8 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Disney Movies

Are you a fan of everything Disney? If yes, then you should check out these life lessons you can learn from Disney movies.

Updated 07 Jun 2019

8 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Disney Movies - Feature-Image

"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it." — Rafiki (The Lion King)

There are many reasons why so many of us love Disney movies and will never grow tired of it. They are relatable, hilarious and full of inspiring values that everyone can take away from, regardless of their age. What’s not to love?

Here are some key lessons that are bound to keep you going during the tough times in life.

#1. Set your goals high - Toy Story (1995)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Toy Story

“To infinity and beyond.” — Buzz Lightyear

When Buzz first entered Andy’s toy room, he believed that he was a real space ranger that could fly and attack enemies using his laser feature. Despite being doubted by Woody who was filled with jealousy, Buzz was determined to fly and save the universe from Evil Emperor Zurg. Although his confidence faded when he realised he’s not the real Buzz Lightyear, he eventually lifted himself up and somehow ‘flew’ to save his friends.

Likewise, you should always set your mission as high as Buzz did for your assignments, examinations or even career goals. As Buzz believed he could fly, he did (sort of) — you too should never doubt the power of believing in your abilities!

#2. Just keep swimming - Finding Nemo (2003)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Finding Nemo

"When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming." — Dory

As we all know, Finding Nemo depicts Marlin and Dory who were on a mission to look for Nemo. However, when Dory accidentally dropped the mask that could have led them to Nemo, Marlin becomes distressed. This then led Dory to sing and drag Marlin down to the depths of the sea where they eventually find the mask after encountering a wild chase with sharks.

Moral of the story: when you begin to think it’s the end, it’s probably just the beginning. So, when you’re faced with adversity in life, you should never give up and always remember that it’s going to be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

#3. Hard work is key to success - The Princess and the Frog (2009)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-The Princess And The Frog

"It serves me right for wishing on stars. The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work." — Tiana

Throughout her life, Tiana has always held on to her father’s advice to strive for her dreams of setting up a restaurant of her own. She worked hard as a waitress for two local diners all day and night and was nearly able to buy her restaurant but she was outbid. So she decided to take a chance on an easier way to achieve her dreams — by kissing a talking frog who told her that he was a prince from a wealthy family and that she would be rewarded for helping him.

But the plan backfired as instead of transforming the frog back into a prince, Tiana was turned into a frog too! As you can see, taking shortcuts to success is never wise as they often come with hidden and unexpected surprises. You must never rely on another person for success and the only way to achieve your dreams is by putting in effort and working tirelessly.

#4. Step outside your comfort zone - Tangled (2010)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Tangled

"Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it." — Rapunzel

After being abducted when she was a baby, by a woman who pretended to be her mother, Rapunzel had never stepped foot outside the tower where she was forced to live in for 18 years. She was told it was unsafe. But Rapunzel’s curiosity got the best of her as she had been longing to find out the meaning behind the beautiful lights in the sky, which she could see every year.

So, she finally decided to leave the tower when her ‘mother’ is away. Her journey allows her to experience so many new things while learning more about herself, and eventually leads her to the truth.

This story shows that performing tasks that you’re not familiar with can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. But, in order to improve and grow as an individual, we must learn to embrace the unknown and have the courage to try something new. You never know what your true potential could be.

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#5. It’s never too late - Up (2009)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Up

“Thanks for the adventure — now go have a new one!” — Ellie

At the beginning of the movie, young married couple Ellie and Carl were often seen having to use their savings for important obligations and could never take on the adventure they dreamed of when they were young — to travel to Paradise Falls.

Years later, after Ellie’s death, a 78-year-old Carl finally gets the chance to fulfil his dream when he meets wilderness explorer Russell. Together, they experience plenty of adventures and eventually make it to Paradise Falls.

Time and age are but a number. Sometimes it may seem like you’ve run out of time to achieve your dreams or goals in life. Perhaps, you’ve taken a longer period of time to complete your studies, but that’s okay. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you get there.

#6. You are your own limit - Ratatouille (2007)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Ratatouille

"You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul." — Gusteau

Remy is an extraordinary rat with highly developed senses and loves food as much as life. He was inspired by Chef Gusteau, a famous chef in Paris. Although Remy’s dad did not approve of Remy’s dream to be a chef and desire to be close to humans, he still persisted to find a life in the world of cooks. In the end, Remy succeeded.

Like Remy, you should follow your instincts and pursue your passion, despite what anyone else says or thinks. Always keep in mind that you’re your biggest enemy and that your limitations are defined by you. So reach for the stars and chase your dreams with no inhibition!

#7. Growing up is inevitable - Peter Pan (1953)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Peter Pan

“Go on! Go back and grow up! But I’m warning you, once you’re grown up you can never come back.” — Peter Pan

When Peter Pan learned that Wendy has to ‘grow up’ the next day, he offered to take her to Never Land — a place where no one will ever age. And so with a little sprinkle of pixie dust, Wendy, John and Michael flew off to Never Land with Peter Pan. There, they encountered lots of danger and excitement. But eventually, despite the amount of fun that they had, the children knew they had to come back to face reality and grow up.

In life, although it’s fine to release the inner child in you once in a while, everyone must learn to face the real world when it comes to it. This means taking up more responsibilities and learning to be independent whether it’s for our studies, career or even family life.

#8. Don’t be a worrier - The Lion King (1994)

8 Life Lessons From Disney Movies-Lion King

“Hakuna Matata… It means no worries, for the rest of your days.” — Timon and Pumbaa

In The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa are the meerkat-warthog duo who live a carefree lifestyle, holding on to the “Hakuna Matata” philosophy. When Simba first met the two of them, he was feeling depressed as he felt guilty for his father’s death. And so, Timon and Pumbaa sang the “Hakuna Matata” song to teach Simba how to relax and not worry too much about life.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to care about things that matter such as your school projects or your major examinations. Rather, you should not worry about the inevitable and instead, live in the present and try to do your best. A good rule of thumb to remember is: if the problem can be solved, there’s no reason to worry and if it can’t be solved, worrying does no good either.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and have been inspired by these Disney movie quotes. We would love to know your favourite Disney movie and the hidden lesson you discovered, so tell us in the comments below!

Want to check out more movie-related articles? Here are 10 movies related to your degree that will bring back the spark to your studies.

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    Josephine Serena

    Josephine Serena

    Media studies and journalism graduate. Buy me coffee and I'll spill the beans. Also really tall.