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It’s been nearly 100 years since the entity that is now The Walt Disney Company was founded and over 80 years since the studio began to produce theatrical length animated films. Thanks to consistent re-releases and the advent of home video and DVD, those movies have remained in regular circulation for that entire time, which means several generations have grown up with these great animated movies and have taken advice from many of them.
While many pop culture fads have come and gone, Disney has remained, and while we all might have different particular favorite movies, we’ve all seen the classics, probably countless times. Since we saw many of them as impressionable children, these films may have had more of a profound impact on us than many of the other movies in our lives. Disney movies aren't immune to giving advice either; in fact, a single piece of dialogue can sometimes be enough to inspire people for years to come. With that in mind, we've compiled just a few of the quotes that have stuck with fans through thick and thin and that over the years we haven't been able to forget. Take a look.
"Always let your conscience be your guide."
These words were spoken by the Blue Fairy as an instruction to Pinocchio that came along with him being transformed into a living puppet and began his quest to become a real boy. Jiminy Cricket gets drafted into surface as Pinocchio's conscience, and remarkably, for a homeless insect, he’s well-suited to the job. It’s a good lesson for all of us to take to heart, even if we’re not always that great about following it.
"Just keep swimming!"
Dory is one of those Disney characters that you can’t help but love simply because she is so unabashedly optimistic. She deals with a pretty severe disability, but she never lets it get her down. Instead, she focuses on the future and simply repeats her mantra, “just keep swimming.” It’s something to keep in mind when you come up against any obstacle. Sometimes you just have to put your head down and keep moving forward.
"Think happy thoughts."
In order to learn to fly, you need to think happy thoughts. In Peter Pan it allows you to literally fly through the air. Unfortunately, in real life happy thoughts won’t let you actually fly, but they will help you feel like you could. Maybe thinking about Peter Pan is your actual thought, maybe it’s something more real, but we should all think happy thoughts as often as possible.
"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."
The Emperor of China has been around the block a few times and so he knows the lesson Li Shang needs to learn when he very nearly lets Mulan go without letting her know how he feels. So often we all feel that the difficulties we deal with weaken us, but this quote reminds us that we’re all actually stronger because of it.
"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."
As much as we might love the song “Hakuna Matata,” The Lion King is very clear that the tune’s message about forgetting the past is the wrong way to go about things. As Rafiki tells us, the past is there for each of us to learn from. This line is what drives Simba to face his past after so many years away.
"I never look back, darling! It distracts from the now."
Of course, Edna Mode might not necessarily agree with Rafiki, but that doesn’t make her any less fun or her quotable lines any less memorable. Edna is the most quotable of the entire Incredibles franchise and this is probably the line that we all think of when we think of her.
"Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind."
For a movie that starts out as a science fiction movie about a destructive alien, Lilo and Stitch gets remarkably emotional This is best exemplified by this line, which is spoken a few times throughout the film. It’s a reminder that family isn’t always the people we’re related to. It’s also about the people that we choose to make a part of our lives. Like little blue destructive aliens.
"Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it."
Questions of fate and destiny are often at the heart of Disney stories. In Brave, Merida fights against the idea that she has no control over her own life. While things don’t exactly go the way she planned, she does come to realize that, whatever you call it, her life, as well as all of ours, are only what we make them. However, taking that responsibility in our own lives isn't always as easy as it seems.
"Some people are worth melting for."
Frozen’s Olaf has many great lines throughout the movie, but the most beautiful is probably this one. Anna is worried that Olaf will melt as he attempts to warm her. While one might have assumed that the childlike Olaf might not have realized what he was doing, he makes it clear that he’s a bit smarter than we’ve given him credit for, and he’s willing to do what must be done to help a friend, even if it harms him, because friendship is worth it.
"Like so many things, it’s not what’s outside but what’s inside that counts."
The peddler opens Aladdin with these words, giving us the smallest hint of the story we have yet to come. It’s not exactly an original idea, that who you are inside is what truly matters, but that’s part of why it works so well. The peddler himself acknowledges that we already know this, but that only reinforces its importance. Also, the line is spoken by Robin Williams so you can’t go wrong there.
"There’s no one I’d rather be than me."
Wreck-It Ralph may be a bad guy, but he’s not a bad guy, know what i mean? This line, part of the bad guy affirmation from the beginning of the film, comes back at the end as Ralph does what he can to save the world of Sugar Rush and his friend Vanellope. He accepts himself and all of his qualities that are beyond his control.
"Take her to the moon for me, okay?"
Of all the things that Pixar has done to tear our hearts out over the years, none may have been quite as powerful as introducing Bing Bong in Inside Out. His final words to Joy are a request to do the one thing with Riley that he had never been able to do. It tore our hearts out, but we never forgot it.
"Success doesn’t come for free. You have to do whatever it takes to seize your moment."
Sometimes, even bad guys have something useful to say. Ernesto de la Cruz may have taken this idea to an extreme in Coco by literally killing somebody in order to seize his moment, but the ultimate idea, that you have to work for success and take the opportunities that come along, is certainly one that we can’t forget.
"The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work"
While Disney is frequently known as the company that cashes in on the idea of dreams and wishes, not every Disney Princess would believe you'll ever get what you want from life if all you did was wish for it. She believed in hard work and that's something we can certainly all take to heart.
Of course, this list really only scratches the surface of the great Disney quotes that have become memorable and important to all of us. Is there a quote not listed here that means a lot to you? Let us know about it in the comments below.