20 Career and Life Lessons You Can Learn From Disney Movies

disney lessons

Who doesn’t love a Disney film, even if you’re 6, 26 or 46? It’s a special kind of nostalgia, perfect for those days when everything seems to be going wrong and the world is caving in on you. Whether you’re on your 15th cover letter, you’ve just broken free from a bad relationship, or you simply just had too much to drink last night; these childhood favourites will be sure to lift up your spirits and teach you a thing or two.

Here are 20 popular Disney movies and their hidden values to help us prosper in our life and career:



1. A Bugs Life – Speak Up

Flik was the most innovative of all but was ignored by the rest of the ants in his community because they thought he was unfocused and disruptive. If you have an idea like Flik, don’t shy away in meetings. Do all you can to get noticed and respected as a valued employee.


2. Alice in Wonderland – Be Curious

Like Alice, be curious enough to explore your own Wonderland! Don’t feel trapped in your circumstance at the moment, whether it’s your job, relationship or even a friendship. If you’ve wondered what it’s like to quit your job and take on a freelance role – take a leap and follow your dream.

Alice in WonderlandMashable

3. Mulan – Take Chances

Mulan took a chance posing as a man to become a warrior; she went against all the wishes of her family and the rules of society to gain their honour and respect. It’s never too late to start a new profession or take up a healthier lifestyle; you just have to have the will to find your inner warrior!

MulanSlash Film

4. Hercules – Train Harder

At the end of the film Hercules is a hero with more muscle than the juice-head at your local gym, but remember how he got there? With training and development, he managed to turn from a scrawny little boy, into a butch man. This moral can be applied to all parts of your life if you learn and develop you will be one step closer to achieving your goals.


5. The Lion King – Find a Mentor

If you think about it, you have a mentor in your life guiding you to the right path; whether it’s a family member, an old teacher or your manager. In the Lion King Rafiki is a mentor to Simba, especially when he’s feeling a bit lost and in need of some direction. It’s great to have someone to look to when you’re struggling in your career and a lot of people are only more than willing to help out, so it’s definitely worth asking.

The Lion KingTime Magazine

6. Ratatouille – Don’t Take Credit for What You Didn’t Do

Touching on ethics, it should be obvious that you shouldn’t accept praise if you’re not deserving of it. When the fighting gloves come on in a work situation it’s easily forgotten. If you take the spotlight for work you didn’t do, at some point, the rug will be pulled out from under you, and you’ll look like the rat in Ratatouille; Alfredo was naive to think nobody would discover that Remy was really the master chef.

RatatouillePixar Wiki Fandom

7. The Princess and the Frog – Hard Work Pays Off

Tiana is a princess with a vision and a career path in sight. She slaved away working two jobs until she had enough money to open up her dream business. Take a cue from her; stay focused on what you want to achieve, and make sure you’re taking steps towards accomplishing whatever that is.

The Princess and the FrogDisney Princesses

8. Finding Nemo – Just Keep Swimming

“When life gets you down, you just keep swimming.” This encouraging quote from Dory helped lift up Marlin’s spirits. We all have days when we are feeling down and are faced with situations that we think we can’t overcome. But that’s life, and this film teaches us to push through and come out stronger on the other end.

 Finding NemoCBS News

9. Tangled – Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

After being held captive for her entire life, Rapunzel had no idea what the outside world was like. She took a leap of faith and was willing to explore the unknown. She teaches us to come out of our comfort zone and jump to new adventures. Don’t limit yourself to what you already know and miss out on professional opportunities, life experiences, and personal growth.

TangledGeeky News



10. Cinderella – Don’t Waste Any Time

The girl with the glass slipper is proof that we shouldn’t take any time for granted. When she was given an impossible task of completing all her chores in order to go to the ball, she achieved it. Quit putting things off for tomorrow or next week and get stuck in to do them.

CinderellaHuffington Post

11. Snow White – Be Kind

It’s good to have faith in life and try and see the best in everyone; just like Snow White did with the evil queen. If you’re kind to others, they are likely to imitate your behaviour.

Snow WhiteThe Hollywood Reporter

12. Beauty and the Beast – Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

In today’s society, we are all guilty of judging too quick! Whether it’s due to social media influences or general behaviour, we must all take a leap out of Belle’s book and not be too quick to base an opinion on someone or something. She took the time to get to know the beast and ended up falling in love with his soul – so cute!

 Beauty and the BeastThe Blair Oracle

13. The Little Mermaid – Live Your Own Dream

Like the previous life lesson, too many people in this world are opinionated and like to lay their strong feelings on you. Whether your partner or parents are telling you what job to take or where to shop; don’t listen to them and live your own dream, like Ariel.

The Little MermaidIX Daily

14. Sleeping Beauty – Don’t Lose Hope

Although Princess Aurora wasn’t living her true life, she was always filled with a sense of contentment but had a little incline of wonder which led her to the spinning wheel and placed her into a deep sleep. The fairies never lost hope on Aurora’s true loving returning to wake her. The moral of the story is that you should always look at the glass half full, rather than half empty.

Sleeping BeautyIMDb

15. Aladdin – Don’t Settle

This princess could have had any man she wanted, but she was tired of snobby princes coming along asking for her hand in marriage. She didn’t want to settle down unless it was true love on her own terms teaching us not to settle for second best. Don’t rush into ‘just any’ career; you need to have your heart set on it otherwise you wouldn’t be able to progress and climb up the career ladder.


16. Pocahontas – Fight for What You Care About

This is one of the best lessons from a Disney film; if you believe in something that much, it’s worth fighting for. Pocahontas fought for her people, her homeland and John Smith, all things she cared deeply about.


17. Brave – Family is Forever

The characters in this film remind us that “friends come and go, but family is forever”. Merida’s story teaches us the true importance of family. She shows us that while you might disagree, you shouldn’t try to change them.

BravePixar Times

18. Frozen – Embrace Who You Are

Elsa hid from the world trying to hide who she truly was, even her own sister that she loved dearly. This heart-clenching story teaches us that we should embrace our differences and stay true to who we really are.

 FrozenGephardt Daily

19. Pinocchio - Lying Gets You Nowhere

Pinocchio’s ever-growing nose shows us that lying gets you nowhere and always comes back to haunt you. One lie leads to another, and then you’re stuck in a real big mess. If you want an easy life, quit the fibbing!

PinocchioAnimation World Network

20. Toy Story – To Infinity and Beyond

Like Buzz and Woody learn, you can never set your sights too high. Set career goals and make them happen, once you’ve achieved them move onto your next accomplishment. Woody didn’t understand Buzz’s slogan when they first met. In the end, he learnt the power in believing.

Toy StoryGCTN

With these career and life lessons in mind, you can continue watching Disney films guilt-free and learn a valuable lesson while you’re at it.



What other lessons have you learnt from Disney characters? Let us know in the comment section below…