The Disney Villains Guide: What We Can Learn From Them
Our favorite Disney characters teach us about love, passion and dedication. We learn of kindness and the rewards that come out of doing the right things. But what if, the princesses and the heroes aren’t the only characters we learn from in our beloved Disney movies? What if we could learn a thing or two from the so-called ‘bad guys?’ The Disney villains? While they may seem mean or misunderstood, it’s up to every Disney viewer to learn from them, and how to not repeat their same mistakes. Below are five life lessons we’ve learned from Disney Villains during the classic films:
Gaston from The Beauty & the Beast Gaston
While Gaston was the most handsome man in his provincial town, it was easy to see why he didn’t capture Belle’s heart. Known amongst the Disney villains as a man with style, he would parade around, relying on his charm and good looks to earn him everything he wanted. But, when it came to impressing the beautiful and smart, Belle, he fell short. Why? Because his vain character didn’t appeal to this bookworm. She wanted someone who was pure of heart, kind, and a true gentleman—someone like Beast. While he eventually learned it’s not what on the outside—but the inside—that matters, it was only after an evil spell taught him to change his perspective. The next time your children are acting up at home (or while waiting in line for a rollercoaster)—remind them of his story as a piece of fair warning.
Ursula from The Little Mermaid
Throughout films, Disney villains constantly test our favorite character. In The Little Mermaid, Ursula put Ariel through the worst ultimatum: Ariel had to choose, would she give up her voice, or the love of her life? When Ariel chose with her heart, she realized that love and companionship were nothing without banter, laughter and open communication. Our voices are very special and not something we should ever be afraid of—nor should they be taken for granted. Remember, when Ursula stole Ariel’s voice she was taking away her identity. This is a lifelong piece of wisdom that rings true, regardless of age: Always be true to yourself and express how you feel—there is so much power in your values and opinions.
Hanz from Frozen
While—of course—a beautiful prince riding up on a valiant steed would impress just about anyone, there’s always a sense of caution to be had when meeting someone new. While Hans—unlike the other Disney villains—didn’t show his true colors until near the end of the move, it’s important to notice that his perfect manipulation convinced a whole town that he was looking out for the kingdom’s best interest. When in fact he was only looking after himself. But just like Elsa told Anna, ‘you can’t marry someone you just met’—you can’t trust someone completely until they’ve had time to show you their true colors. This is why you should stress to your children (and hey, your eager-to-get married pals) to make new friends and meet new people, but maybe wait more than a one day before announcing your engagement… like Princess Anna.
Te Ka from Moana
One of the only Disney villains who could frighten a Demi-God, Te Ka had the power of nature behind her. Once Te Ka was the island’s beautiful goddess—populating the islands with greenery, animals, and calm seas. That was until Maui stole her heart, turning her into a lava demon. Her anger and sorrow then spread throughout the Pacific Ocean, hitting every island in her path. Moana’s story shares the devastation that comes from taking what does not belong to you. In this case, it was taking from the Earth. Humans are given such a wonderful gift of being able to live on such a wonderful planet with so many resources and Moana teaches our children that we must respect mother earth and not take away our planets riches.
Hades from Hercules
As the younger brother of Zeus, Hades had to accept the fact that he ruled underworld, while his older brother was the ultimate God of the earth and the king of Mount Olympus. Never liking that his brother had the spotlight, Hades went off on a revenge so evil that it would result in the kidnaping of Zeus’ son, Hercules. We hear of Disney villains having jealousy and needing vindication from their siblings (think Scar from The Lion King) but just like those examples, it never turns out well for the villain. We can teach our children how jealousy is an ugly trait: that it can cloud our minds of unclear thinking and sad thoughts. Just like Hades ended up losing in the end, we learn, nothing good ever comes from an act of jealousy. Especially when it involves family.
Meet Villains in Person!
While there are plenty of Disney movies and Disney villains with lessons we and our children can learn from, it’s important to always point out we can learn through mistakes just as much as we can success’. So next time you visit one of Disney’s magical theme parks, make sure to stop by and say hello to your favorite villain—as well as your favorite hero. To help plan your next family vacation to Disney World, contact a specialized Disney Travel Agent specialist for the ultimate Disney-packed getaway.
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