Disney movies are classics that appeal to both young and old, partly because we identify with the characters portrayed. That said, certain ones offer some pretty dubious life lessons, which seem really outdated and can make their moral high ground a bit hard to swallow.
In Disney's defense, many of these movies are based on books written by a third party, including famous authors such as Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) or Victor Hugo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)... Here are 9 classic Disney movies with life lessons that certainly made us raise an eyebrow!
1. The moral in Cinderella is that all girls (or women) should wait for a man to come and save them
This could be real life - a father passes away to leave his only daughter to deal with a wicked stepmother and horrible step-sisters who treat her like a slave. The problem? In most countries, women nowadays are independent creatures who are able to deal with their problems rather than waiting for a dashing prince to whisk them off their feet and save them from a life of misery. Admittedly, not all women have the luxury of being educated and free to do as they wish, but for the most part Cinderella doesn't set the best example when it comes to women's rights!
2. If you're ugly, you'll never find love, according to the Hunchback of Notre Dame
Victor Hugo was a brilliant writer and Disney turned this classic tale into an amazing movie. But, despite having a heart of gold, beautiful Esmeralda falls for the handsome Captain Phoebus, rather than her other 'suitor' the ugly Quasimodo, who in turn is rejected by society and hides away in the cathedral. Although Quasimodo is welcomed back to society at the end of the movie, his ugly appearance means he doesn't get the girl. In reality, it's our personalities that define us - intelligence, humor and kindness are just as (if not more) attractive and appealing than a washboard stomach or dazzling smile.
3. Sleeping Beauty tells women it's best to marry a rich guy, even if he's a complete stranger
Before the rise of equality, this was considered to be an intelligent path for women and Aurora's clearly from a bygone age - if you find a wealthy husband, you'll be made for life... The sad truth is that many women had to choose money over love, otherwise they would never have survived in an era when women weren't independent or educated. It also explains why so many women were smitten with men other than their husbands!
4. Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland promotes drug use
It's never been proven that Lewis Carroll took mind-altering drugs, but references to narcotics litter this movie - Alice with her pills and potions, Absolem's hookah... And we'd love to know what gave the Cheshire Cat his insane grin!
5. Snow White suggests women are fools
Sweet, naive Snow White is certainly taken for a ride. Unpaid cleaner and cook for a bunch of men (even if they are nice guys), fooled by an evil queen who's out to kill her and finally, kissed and seduced by a handsome man that she's only known for a millisecond. Once again this harks back to a time when women were expected to keep a perfect house and wait hand and foot on their man - a far cry from the sassy, independent girls of today!
6. The Lion King tells us not to think about the future
This is a 'live for the moment' movie, where it's best to bury your head in the sand rather than deal with life's problems. Living for the moment is a cool way to look at things, but if we refuse to think about the future or face up to our problems, then life can get really hard. Plus, we can't rely on ghosts of former family members to lead us along the way!
7. Beauty and the Beast = Stockholm Syndrome!
Belle is locked up in a castle and eventually falls for her kidnapper! Fortunately this Disney character has a good soul and manages to transform into Belle's perfect Prince Charming. But be warned girls, abductors aren't known for their softer side!
8. The Little Mermaid tells us we can't be ourselves if we want to catch a man
Ariel is a mermaid who falls for a dashing prince (yawn) called Eric. The problem? She has a fishtail and he has legs, so certainly not a match made in Heaven. So what does she do? Sacrifices everything in order to get and keep a man that she's only met once before...
9. Kings and Presidents don't rule their lands, according to Aladdin
The rag to riches side of the story is quite cute, but what's a bit scary is that the king (Jasmine's dad) is completely under the control of the evil and sinister Vizir Jafar. Apply that to modern life and we're pretty sure we would all have been bombed to oblivion by now!