Part of our world

By ALICIA KANG, freshman

On the surface, Disney movies have straightforward morals: listen to your parents; there are rewards for those who work hard; the impossible is possible with a bit of luck. However, contrary to popular belief, these “cliche” morals that we learned as children are still applicable to our lives today. Here are a few lessons Disney really wanted you to take away from its movies:

Beauty and the Beast

Belle shows us that looks are not everything. She accepts Beast for who he really is, proving that bad hair days are not the end of the world; your classmates know that what’s inside really counts. And Belle probably would have accepted Beast even if he had not turned back into a handsome prince… probably.


Cinderella is often censured for her inability to stand up against her wicked stepfamily, but she actually shows great inner strength. So the next time a teacher assigns groups for the marking period project, just remember: if Cinderella can scrub the floors, dust the drapes, and feed the chickens every day, then you can survive working on the project with that lazy partner of yours.

Monsters, Inc.

Sulley shows us that little creatures are not always as threatening as they seem: Boo was not nearly as scary as the monsters had imagined her to be. So the next time a spider crawls onto a homework sheet, just remember that it is not going to hurt you (deep breaths, deep breaths).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White teaches us that accepting apples from old ladies is dangerous, but that living with seven male strangers is perfectly fine. Disney nailed this lesson: when deciding who to room with, keep in mind that the strangers have to be short. Do not trust the tall ones.

The Little Mermaid

Ariel deliberately disobeys her father, lies about her identity, and makes a deal with one of the scariest villains ever devised in Disney history. But, while her actions are questionable, Ariel goes through quite a lot to achieve her dreams, and eventually finds herself living on land as a princess. She does the impossible, and, if Ariel can grow legs, you can pass the next history quiz (it is possible—you just have to believe).


As long as the protagonist is a dashing young boy, it doesn’t matter if he steals from the working middle class—let’s just call him the underdog. Besides, there is a deeper meaning behind this movie: keep a pet tiger around. He’ll ward off any unwanted suitors.

Finding Nemo

This movie’s moral is rather straightforward: Nemo should have listened to his dad. Admit it, we have all gotten lost at a crowded mall or two by not staying next to your good ol’ folks. So the next time your parents start to lecture you, just remember, what they’re saying is not all nonsense. After all, Nemo really should not have touched the butt.

Sleeping Beauty

Though Aurora is asleep for most of the movie, she can still teach us a valuable lesson. If our princess can wake from a deep, cursed slumber looking flawless, then you can stop pressing that snooze button and you should still be able to face the day looking somewhat decent.

Although Disney films often appear to deal with superficial themes and fantasy stories, their deeper messages are still relevant to our lives today. So if you’re stuck baby-sitting your little sibling, who asks you to watch Cinderella with him or her, or you just feel like going on a nostalgia kick, do not be ashamed to embrace your inner Disney.

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