So, this past week we celebrated Valentine´s day. Therefore, in honor of all the love in the air, I wanted to reflect upon one of our main examples and dictionaries of love: Disney movies. If you, like me, are a millennial, the chances are you have seen quite a sample of Disney films. For me, Disney is a source of inspiration, knowledge, and most of all, it is the link to my nostalgic childhood memories. Hence, to continue celebrating love during the weekend, let’s go over five lessons Disney movies’ characters taught us about love.
Oh Olaf! Who doesn’t love this carefree snowman who seems clueless but understands the essentials things more than everyone? There are numerous moments when Olaf has something to say about love. This moment specifically he’s about to melt for Ana. When Ana says she doesn’t know what love is, Olaf explains: “Love is putting someone else’s need before yours”. In other words, love is not selfish. The other person’s needs and feelings will come to mind always because they matter, they are important and they are loved.
After John Smith has been shot and he is about to return to England, he insists on staying. He can’t leave her. Nonetheless, Pocahontas consoles him by saying: “No matter what happens, I’ll always be with you. Forever”. For a moment, this might seem like the idealistic romanticized version of love that Disney movies portray since relationships nowadays seldom last a lifetime. However, doesn’t the memories, the laughter, the tears, and the lessons do? People might walk away, but they leave behind a bit of them with us. For example, if you drink coffee after the person who taught you to drink it has left, you will always remember that person when you drink coffee. So, in one way or another, we stay with the people we loved, and they stay with us.
Tangled is one of my favorite Disney movies. For me is better than Frozen. I’m sorry, don’t hate me. The story between the main characters is sweet, romantic, and very Disney-like. In this scene, Rapunzel is seeing the lanterns for the first time in her life. She is in a boat with Flynn Ryder, her companion, and guide. Suddenly, she realizes her vision of him has changed. As she sings, she declares: “all at once, everything is different, now that I see you”. This movie states one of the universal known truths: love transforms us. Loving somebody changes our vision of the world, our priorities, and our way of thinking. A person who is truly in love is not immutable.
I said Tangled was one of my favorite Disney movies. Well, the first and top on the list is Mulan. Mulan is one of those films I will never get tired of seeing. In contrast with her predecessors who were mostly damsels in distress, Mulan is a heroine. She puts her love for her family first and decides to go to the war in place of her father. After she comes back home, she kneels before him and presents some gifts. Her father tosses the gifts aside and through tearful eyes affirms: “The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter”. This moment illustrates how the person who has our love becomes to us a gift more valuable than any possession in the world.
Cinderella is one of the old-time Disney film classics. Although it is one of the stereotypical ones, it doesn’t change the fact that it contains important love lessons. While Cinderella dances with her Prince Charming, the lyrics that sound on the background music goes as follows: “So this is love, this is what makes life divine”. And I agree. The fact that we are able to love the people around us is what makes life delightful and enjoyable. Love gives purpose to existence; it moves it and it pushes it.
Disney movies tend to romanticize and idealize their stories. Nevertheless, we can learn many lessons about love through their characters. In fact, most of us have shaped our ideas about love thanks to their plots. So, next time you watch a Disney movie, look beyond the stereotypes for the important things it can teach you. Even if you are not a romantic, take it as an inspiration and love, make memories, change visions, and be the gift of someone. Maybe your life won’t be as perfect as a Disney film, but you won’t regret loving the people around you.