Thumbelina

Mother: Now, here is the story of the noble dog, who saved the king from the wicked wizard. Once upon a time…
Thumbelina: Oh, mother, please. Are there any stories about… about little people?

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Ever get the feeling you just don’t belong? Like you just want a story to be written about someone like you – similar background, similar experiences, similar behavior? Life is hard on the unique. We’re told to act in certain ways and become like everyone else, so much so we feel slightly exiled when we stand out in any way. Truth is, the remarkably great people that go down in history are the ones who thought differently – and didn’t keep it to themselves. It’s time to be proud of our differences! Speak courageously and don’t allow others negativity to get in your way. As the wise Dr. Seuss once questioned: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” In your bravery, you just might discover a life you’ve always dreamed of…just like Thumbelina. ©

Lilo

Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.

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Sometimes we forget just how important family is. When we think of what we’re grateful for, they typically top the list but I don’t think we fully realize why. The most common answers are: they’re always there for you when times get tough, they’re a huge part of your life especially when you’re growing up, and they always want the best for you no matter what. But there’s one aspect that ties these all together: love. Unconditional love. Sure, families fight and have disagreements, but within each family member’s heart, there is a special spot for you that only you can fill. You cannot be replaced or forgotten – you are there permanently, just as each of them fill a part of your own heart. Keep this in mind when things get crazy or you feel alone. A simple text or phone call can really make a big difference – and not only for you, but also for them. ©

Wendy

But, Peter, how do we get to Never Land?
Fly, of course.
Fly?
It’s easy! All you have to do is to… is to… is to… Ha! That’s funny.
What’s the matter? Don’t you know?
Oh, sure. It’s… It’s just that I never thought about it before. Say, that’s it! You think of a wonderful thought.

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Sometimes when we think of achieving our wildest dreams, it may feel like we’re trying to fly. We find ourselves like penguins – strapped to the earth by gravity, even though we sometimes feel like our wings should be able to carry us high into the sky. It can feel like an impossible feat. But if you never allow yourself to believe that your dream is ultimately possible, it can never come true because it doesn’t have the power of your true belief. It takes faith and trust (and perhaps a sprinkling of pixie dust) in order for it to come to fruition. And this all starts with what Peter said: “You think of a wonderful thought.” Whether this be standing on the first place podium, receiving an A in your hardest class, performing on Broadway, or working really hard to earn enough money to purchase whatever it is you’ve always dreamed of. But don’t only imagine the dream, envision yourself actually attaining it. Positive thinking is the key to success. Just remember, your dream is only a wish away… ©

Jane

It can’t get any worse, can it?
[it starts to rain] Obviously, it can.

Life is just that way, isn’t it? When you feel that your situation really cannot get any worse, it almost certainly will. But from this dreary perspective, something positive remains: at the lowest of lows, it forces you to start looking up. Reconnect with old friends, challenge yourself to make a difficult recipe, sit down with a classic novel and learn what the hype is about – start working towards something that will make your life better. When you take a step away from the stress, you can realize all the things in life that you are truly thankful for. With Thanksgiving in a matter of days, whether you’re feeling down or at the top of your game, take a moment and write down everything you can think of that you’re grateful for. And I mean everything; large or small, meaningful or superficial, everything counts. Once you’ve completed your list, read it over once more and then hang it somewhere you can see it often: a bathroom mirror, the fridge, etc. Having this as a constant reminder of all the good things in your life will revolutionize how you see the world. It will give you that boost you need to get out of the rain and instead feel the warmth of the sunshine. ©

Tinkerbell

Tink was not all bad: or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand,
sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other,
because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.
They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change.

Sometimes, we’re kinda like fairies. We get so into something that we are only focused on that one thing. We can no longer hear people speaking to us, and not even a natural disaster could distract us from it. There’s a word for this kind of determination. You know what it is? Passion. This is a feeling that goes beyond your average emotion. It’s a fire that burns deep within us that no one can extinguish. Perhaps this is where Tink gets all of her spunk. She has an attitude and speaks whatever’s on her mind – even if only one person can really understand her. I admire her for that. In fact, I strive to be like her for this reason. Besides, she’s also strong, intelligent, and pretty darn cute. So I’d like to make a suggestion: when you’re feeling a little down, throw your hair up in a fairy bun and channel her personality. A little sass goes a long way. ©

Nala

What’s happened to you? You’re not the Simba I remember.
(Adult Simba) You’re right, I’m not. Now are you satisfied?
No, just disappointed.
You know you’re starting to sound like my father.
Good. At least one of us does.

Even in Disney movie romances, conflicts arise. It’s inevitable in any sort of relationship to disagree on certain topics because, well, you’re different people with different opinions on what’s right and what’s wrong. The key is to learn how to deal with these arguments and still be friends once the storm has passed. This takes a certain level of respect for the other person and compassion in your heart. While what they may say to you could anger or sadden you, you should honor what they’re saying as valid and hear them out. Sometimes seeing things through a different set of eyes can open up a world of possibilities you never would have thought of before. But if they aren’t coming from a place of love and are instead cruel or demeaning, it’s best to walk away from the situation until that person has calmed down. With time, they will most likely be able to talk about things in a calm and controlled way. It takes a strong will in order to deal with conflict in an adult manner, but with a few deep breaths and an open heart, all will be well again soon. ©

Alice

“But I don’t want to go among mad people.”
“You can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has ever felt like I’m surrounded by crazies. For example, whenever I go to school, I feel like I’ve walked into a war zone. People push and shove through the hallways, students talk loudly in class while the teacher is speaking, and as they try to get to their desks, they bonk you in the head with their backpacks. On the way home using public transportation, men stay seated as women stand, people crunch their chips or blast their music, and once at the final destination, I get trampled by everyone racing to get off first. It feels to me that the world and the people living in it are just getting more and more intense. It’s all about them. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor” or “do unto others as they shall do unto you”? Instead, it’s become ‘take advantage of thy neighbor’ and ‘do unto others as you darn well please with no consequences for your actions.’ While my initial reaction to this rude behavior is to act the same way in return, I know in my heart that I don’t want to become like one of these people. I want to inspire you to also be different. Be kind, be considerate, be patient – love people in spite of their actions. I know it’s hard, but it’ll make all the difference in the world. ©

Ursula

The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber. They think a girl who gossips is a bore. Yes, on land it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word. After all, dear, what is idle prattle for?
Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation. True gentlemen avoid it when they can.
But they dote and swoon and fawn, on a lady who’s withdrawn. It’s she who holds her tongue who gets her man.

With Halloween coming up, I thought perhaps some villains might also be able to grant us a little insight and advice. And indeed they can! Ursula is Ariel’s jealous foe and she’ll say anything to get the naive mermaid to believe her – and hand over her beautiful singing voice. This wicked witch manipulates her with all those lies; convincing her that a quiet girl is in fact who will win over a young man. But that’s just not true. Boys may be intimidated by your smarts and go for girls who really don’t have much to say and are more…’physical beings,’ but a real man will respect the fact that you have opinions and thoughts on world goings-on. Be proud of your intelligence, ladies! A young man who really loves you, will love everything about you…including your IQ. ©

Giselle

I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss, And a prince I’m hoping comes with this,
That’s what brings everaftering so happy, And that’s the reason we need lips so much,
For lips are the only things that touch, So to spend a life of endless bliss,
Just find who you love through true love’s kiss…

Giselle exemplifies what it means to be a hopeless romantic. She comes from a fairytale world where princes and seemingly perfect love do exist. Unfortunately, we don’t live in Andalasia – and this is the sole premise of her movie, Enchanted. She discovers the truth about the world we live in and interestingly enough, in the end, chooses to live her life in our reality with the ‘real’ man she fell for: her true love. I think this says a lot about how we should view our own lives. Giselle’s innocence and imaginative wonder allowed her to see our world in a positive light, however still experiencing some hardships. Through her transformation, she had to let go of her fantasy world and with it, her first love, Prince Edward. She truly thought this was the man she was going to marry, but life experiences changed her and opened her eyes to many marvelous things – things she never believed were possible. It’s because all of this that I think we should try and live our lives like Giselle: pure at heart, seeing the best in people, and dreaming of the day we’ll experience our ‘true love’s kiss…’ ©

Tiana

I remember Daddy told me:
“Fairytales can come true. You gotta make ’em happen, it all depends on you.”
So I work real hard each and every day. Now things for sure are going my way.
Just doing what I do – Look out boys, I’m coming through!

Tiana had a lifelong dream – to open her own restaurant. Even though it seemed like it would never happen, she never gave up on it. She remembered her father’s words and let those motivate her. She struggled along the way, but eventually her dream came to fruition – turning her ‘Place’ into a ‘Palace.’  Hard work certainly pays off. Dedicating yourself to something you love and working on it everyday definitely increases your chance of success. But this doesn’t mean that it will be easy. You’ll get discouraged, people will put you down, and at some point, exhaustion hits and you need a break. But none of these mean that your dream is unattainable; they’re just obstacles along the way, challenging you to continue doing your best despite them. You can let these setbacks destroy your ambition or you can use them as fuel toward ultimately achieving your goal, ‘it all depends on you.’ ©