Grab your popcorn, it’s movie night!

Let’s be honest, some of the best movies we’ve ever seen are the ones from our childhood. Between the classic animation, the catchy tunes and the amazing stories, it’s hard not to love the Disney and Pixar movies from our past. But as much as we loved them, we probably weren’t paying much attention to the lessons they were teaching us. You might be surprised all the things your favourite childhood movies actually taught you!

Check out the list below and then hop onto Disney + to re-watch these classics and maybe learn a new lesson or two!

Never give up on your dreams – UP

“Adventure is out there.” – Charles Muntz

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Let’s be honest. If you’ve seen it, Up had you crying, had you laughing and definitely left you inspired.

It showed us a bond between unlikely friends, the reality of coping with loss and it taught us that it’s never too late to live out our dream. When Carl and Ellie met, he promised to help her achieve her dream of travelling to South Africa and moving her clubhouse to Paradise Falls. Before she passed, Ellie wrote in her adventure book telling Carl to have a new adventure and it inspired him, decades later, to make that dream come true for himself and for Ellie.  

At the age of 78, Carl fulfilled his promise and made their joint dream come true. It’s never too late. Don’t give up.

Learn from your mistakes and don’t run away from your problems – Lion King

“Yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”- Rafiki

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After the death of his father, we see Simba struggle for a large part of the movie. Not only does he feel alone until he finds Timone and Pumba, but he also feels responsible for this father’s death, and struggles to accept his past and move on. Instead of facing his problems, like dealing with his uncle and the death of his father, Simba runs away because facing his problems seems too difficult. But Rafiki is quick to remind him, that even though it can hurt, there is always the chance to learn from your past, and running away from your problems doesn’t solve anything.

Your problems will always be there, until you deal with them. So, even when it’s difficult it’s important to face your problems so that you can overcome them. You don’t have to do it alone, either – our Dispute Resolution Clinic can help.

Power through, even when life gets difficult – Finding Nemo

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” – Dory

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Dory really does say it best, “when life gets you down…[you] gotta… just keep swimming.”

There are so many times in our life when we might be faced with obstacles in our path or we just can’t seem to win. Life might not always go the way we plan, but we have to keep going and pushing through because it does become easier again.

The next time life seems to have you down or you feel like you can’t keep going, know that you can. You’re stronger than you think you are. You gotta, “just keep swimming.”

Don’t compare yourself or your journey to others – Mulan

“What beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one’s late. But I’ll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.” – Fah Zhou

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The original Mulan is by far my personal favourite childhood movie and one that I still enjoying watching today. What’s not to love? The story is great, the songs are amazing and there are so many inspirational lessons to learn from this movie.

The movie teaches you that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, to be your own person and to understand your path my be different from those around you. Mulan struggles in the beginning of the movie feeling like a disappointment to her family because she isn’t quite like the other girls her age, but her dad is quick to remind her that people bloom, just like flowers, at different times. There’s nothing wrong with that, we all have our time.

So, remember, don’t compare yourself to those around you. They may be on a different path than you or at a different point on their journey and that’s okay.

It’s okay to not be okay – Inside Out

“Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.” – Sadness

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Okay, now I know this movie may not exactly be from your childhood because it came out in 2015, but it teaches us so much that it had to be included in this list. Think of it as an honorary entry.

Inside Out teaches us all about the different emotions we live with day-to-day and how to deal with them effectively, instead of suppressing them, as we often try to do. Sadness or anger tend to be looked upon negatively, but they serve their purpose too! It’s okay to feel these emotions. It’s okay to express them. It’s okay to not be okay.

And remember, Hakuna Matata

“It means no worries, for the rest of your days.”-Timone and Pumba

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There you have it, some of the most important life lessons you need to know taught to you by your favourite childhood movies. I’m not saying that these movies have all the answers, but they definitely have some things worth noting. If you ever feel yourself struggling with some of the issues discussed in the movies, just like your favourite characters, don’t be afraid to seek help or guidance! Reaching out is always a great step.

Check out our upcoming Jack Talks on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 12 p.m. for a great mental health workshop and a chance to learn how to be there for yourself and for others.


Curious to see what other lessons you can learn from your favourite activities? Check out these lessons worth learning from video games.

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