Have you ever sat and really thought about all the life lessons that can be found and taught in those Disney movies your kids watch on repeat? In my house, there is no shortage of Disney DVDs stacked on the entertainment center, and it usually initiates a fight between my son and daughter as to which one we are going to agree to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of the whole “happily ever after” fairytale theme, because let’s face it, relationships take work. However, I do think there are some valuable life lessons you can teach to your children if you take the time while watching these films.
Let’s start with Bambi. Quite honestly, it is my all time favorite. I even had a pet rabbit named Thumper when I was a kid. This movie can be a first lesson related to death and grief, along with the power of friendship, family and love. What Thumper said in 1942 when the movie was released still rings true today: “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
Lately, my daughter is obsessed with all things Snow White. We have seriously watched this movie at least one hundred times in the last six months, not even exaggerating! There are some really good messages in this movie. Being pretty or the “fairest in the land” is worth zilch if you are mean and have an ugly heart. Friendships (the seven dwarfs) can come from unexpected places. Always be cautious of strangers or never take food from strangers. Being kind shows true beauty.
My son is obsessed with Cars, both of them. In the first Cars movie, we learn that winning is not everything and there are more important things in life to consider. If you look at the relationship between Doc Hudson and Lightning McQueen, we see that wisdom is a powerful tool, and we should always respect our elders and take time to learn from them. Moving on to Cars 2: when we look at the relationship between Lighting and Mater, we see that you should accept your friends for who they are and never expect or ask them to be someone different.
My husband always tells people we live with Tarzan (my son) and Jane (my daughter). There is so much more to this movie besides the obvious human baby that is raised with the apes. For instance, families are diverse and family is important. We shouldn’t judge others for being different. I think it is significant to remember in life, no matter what race, we are all the same. No matter what your circumstances are you can overcome and be successful. Have faith and always do what you believe is right.
The life lessons are repeated over and over in other Disney movies. Beauty and the Beast shows us that true beauty comes from within. Cinderella proves that attitude is everything, and even when circumstances are bad, YOU have the power stay optimistic and have a positive outlook on life. Pinocchio, obviously, honesty is the best policy. The movies and lessons can go on and on.