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Top 10 Relationship Lessons We Learned from Disney Movies

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
Most Disney films end with fairytale happy endings, but they also teach us some valuable lessons along the way. For this list, we’re looking specifically at lessons dealing with relationships and love, as opposed to more general life lessons. We are also including Pixar movies in our considerations. Our list includes Take Things Slowly, Bring Out Each Other’s Strengths, It’s Okay to Ask for Help, Don’t Hide Your Emotions, Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Relationship Lessons We Learned from Disney Movies.
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Top 10 Relationship Lessons We Learned from Disney Movies


Most Disney films end with fairytale happy endings, but they also teach us some valuable lessons along the way. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Relationship Lessons We Learned from Disney Movies.

For this list, we’re looking specifically at lessons dealing with relationships and love, as opposed to more general life lessons. We are also including Pixar movies in our considerations.

#10: Take Things Slowly


Disney movies have convinced people that it’s completely normal to be swept off your feet. This may be because many Disney films have the main characters meet, fall in love, and get married in a pretty short time span. Recent flicks, however, have pushed this key lesson - that it’s okay to take things slowly. Get to know the person before you decide to be with them for the rest of your life. You’ll find that your happily ever after will be more likely to come true if it’s with someone you actually know. You surely don’t want to end up dating the villain!

#9: Admit to & Learn from Your Mistakes


Everyone makes mistakes, no matter who you are. It’s part of being human. While it’s important to admit and reflect on the error of your ways, the worst thing you can do is let it control your life. Regretting and dwelling on your past oversights won’t get you very far. Instead, learn from these experiences and find a way to move on. Characters like Anna show us how much better life is when you realize you’ve misjudged someone, but still manage to face your fears and continue to move forward. That’s what true bravery really is.

#8: Bring Out Each Other’s Strengths


People in a relationship shouldn’t be putting each other down. Instead, you should be bringing out the best in each other. Take a look at the Parr family in “The Incredibles”, particularly Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. The pair attempt to live a normal, suburban life, but it suits neither of them, which puts stress on their relationship. It takes a return to the superhero life for their partnership to flourish. Discover what your partner does best, and work on ensuring that they continue to meet their potential.

#7: It’s Not Always Happily Ever After


Most Disney stories end with a classic happy ending. But some of them take a different, more realistic direction. It’s important to understand that sometimes love isn’t eternal. The worst thing you can do is stay in a toxic relationship because you think it needs to last forever. At the same time, sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. There is no denying that John Smith and Pocahontas had a strong relationship, but he needed to return to England and she needed to stay with her people. Essentially, don’t try and force something that couldn’t possibly work.

#6: It’s Okay to Ask for Help


No matter what the situation, people often have a difficult time admitting they need help because they want to seem strong and independent. It’s important to remember that you are not alone, and that it’s okay to rely on others, especially your partner, for help at times. Although not his romantic partner, Dory was crucial in helping Marlin find his son, despite the fact that the clownfish spends most of the film attempting to get rid of her. Similarly, Mr. Incredible likely wouldn’t have ended up in the mess he was in had he asked his superhero wife and children to assist him. There’s nothing heroic in failing on your own.

#5: Don’t Hide Your Emotions


The plots of many movies are created around a simple lack of communication, but it’s essential to let the people who are important to you know what you are feeling or thinking. Despite an obvious mutual attraction, Aladdin is afraid to tell Jasmine the truth about who he really is. Though he ultimately learns the lesson that he should be himself, the street urchin could have likely avoided being gagged and thrown into the sea by Jafar if he initially told the princess how he felt about her. While not a romantic relationship lesson, we do find one about familial relationships in “Inside Out.” Riley decides to run away rather than talk to her parents and tell them how she is having a difficult time handling their recent move. If you are feeling upset, it’s key to talk to the people closest to you and tell them how you are feeling.

#4: You Have to Love Yourself First


We aren’t saying you need to be completely self-obsessed- that’s never a good idea. It’s more that you need to be happy with who you are before you can love someone else, or even more specifically, expect someone else to fall in love with you. This is true both before and during your relationship. It is essential that you remember you are the person who inspired your partner to love you to begin with. As Wreck-it Ralph says, “there’s no one I’d rather be than me”.

#3: The People We Love Never Truly Leave Us


Just like all humans make mistakes, everyone is going to die eventually. It may seem bleak, but it’s inevitable. That can be a difficult pill to swallow for some, particularly after losing a close loved one. But Disney teaches us that just because someone has passed away doesn’t mean they are completely gone. While they may not necessarily appear to us like Mufasa does to Simba or Tala does to Moana, they will forever remain a part of you. Just look at the film “Up”. Although she doesn’t have a single line of dialogue in the movie, Ellie plays a significant part in influencing Carl and his decision to go on an adventure of a lifetime.

#2: Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover


It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are on the outside if you are a terrible person underneath. It’s hard to deny how handsome Gaston is. The guy seriously looks like he was chiseled out of stone. But underneath, he is a horrible, horrible person, and never has a chance of winning Belle’s heart. Furthermore, you shouldn’t make assumptions based on someone’s appearance. Nick Wilde ends up being crucial to helping Judy Hopps solve the case in “Zootopia”, but she struggles to trust him because he is a fox. In short, get to know someone before you make any judgements.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Be Kind to Others

Follow Your Heart

#1: Be Yourself


It never ends well when you try to be something you’re not. A relationship built on lies will definitely never last. Even if the truth may sting a little, it’s important to be honest. Jasmine was much more attracted to Aladdin than she was to Prince Ali, and was pretty irritated when she found out he lied to her. Likewise, Ariel completely transforms herself to impress Prince Eric, but sacrifices the thing he liked most about her to do so! If the person can’t like you for who you are, then you don’t need them in your life.
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