Growing up, I lived off of Disney movies. From “Snow White” to “Cinderella,” I spent my days dreaming of being a Disney princess just like every other little girl. I loved “The Lion King,” “Lilo and Stitch,” and my absolute favorite – “Toy Story.” Of course, as a child, I never understood the morals behind my favorite movies. I simply saw them as fun stories to watch on TV.
As I got older, I began to realize that my favorite childhood movies were actually filled with life lessons. Disney characters ranged from kind and brave protagonists to bitter and evil villains. Regardless of their personality traits, there was something to be learned from each of them. Take Simba from “The Lion King” for example. He was able to overcome adversities like his father’s death and his evil Uncle Scar trying to get him out of the way in order to become king. Eventually, Simba’s bravery takes over and he goes on to become king of the kingdom. Disney characters continue to be role models for people of all ages.
It amazes me the power that the Disney name has. People have Disney-themed rooms, birthdays, and even tattoos. Disney is so much more than a franchise. It brings families together and creates entire childhoods for children. Many a nights in my house during childhood were spent watching Disney movies as a family. Even today, my family enjoys watching Disney movies together.
Typically, people stereotype Disney as something for kids. However, the Disney experience has grown into much more than that. I know adults, who have no children, who are just as obsessed with “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” as a 7-year-old. To them, it is more than just movies and theme parks. Disney allows them to continue their childhood into adulthood, something we all hope for. Everyone knows the saying, “to bring out your inner child.” Disney allows this expression to become a reality.
Disney is not just a piece of pop culture; it has become a part of our society. Everywhere you go, Disney follows. Whether it is clothing or toys, the Disney theme is ever-present. Now, some people may view that as a negative thing. However, I believe it is just the opposite. Disney carries very positive messages through everything it does. In its movies, it presents characters overcoming hardships and struggles to become something great. In its theme parks, it allows imagination to become reality for people of all ages. It is unlike most things we see in the media today, which present stories of the next celebrity’s life in shambles. I think it is quite underappreciated that a force like Disney still exists to set a positive example.
Disney is truly one of the most powerful and most recognized aspects of our culture. Around the world, images of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella’s Castle are easily identified. Disney is something we all can relate to. Whether it is Rapunzel feeling like she has lost her identity in “Tangled,” Elsa having to hide her true self in “Frozen,” or Aladdin coming from poverty in “Aladdin,” we all see a bit of ourselves in the character’s created by Disney. These characters give children and adults alike hope that no matter the struggles we may face, there is a happy ending out there for all of us. I am a firm believer that Disney is relevant to people of all ages, and no one can truly outgrow the Disney experience.