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Life-changing lessons taught to us by Disney mothers

From a gorilla to a weeping willow, a mother’s love is universal

If you’re lucky, you’re familiar with a mother’s love: there isn’t anyone in your life who loves and cares about you quite like your mom.

She’s been with you since the moment you were born and has most likely been by your side for most of your life -- even during that phase in high school.

Our mothers have taught us a lot, and while we don’t always appreciate the guidance at the time, as we grow up, we realize just how important those life lessons really are.

This year, on top of celebrating the mothers in our lives, we’re also honoring the mothers we grew up watching on the silver screen. We’re talking about Disney mothers and the life lessons they bestowed on us.

We will not feature mothers who locked children away in a tower, hired a huntsman to kill their child or ones who violated child labor laws. That’d be crazy, right?


“I suppose a princess just does what she is told.” - “Brave”

In “Brave,” we’re introduced to a strong family relationship with two loving parents and family members who put each other above themselves. Merida may briefly forget how much her parents care for her, especially when her future is planned out by her mother. When Merida’s mother is helpless, and at her mercy, Merida realizes she needs her mom and appreciates all that her mother has done for her up until that point.

We aren’t always happy with every decision our parents make for us, but we eventually see that they make those decisions to help us.

Tarzan - 1999 (Disney)

“You’ll be in my heart always.” - “Tarzan”

A human baby and a gorilla mother -- it’s not easy being a human among apes. From the moment Kala plucked Tarzan from his crib, we knew she was going to be a great protector. As Tarzan grows up, he struggles with his appearance. He doesn’t look like the rest of his primate family. But his mother Kala never lets him feel as if he is different.

When Tarzan decides he wants to leave the jungle and live a life among humans, Kala supports Tarzan’s decision and reminds him that a mother’s love never ends; their hearts go with their children forever.

Dumbo - 1941 (Disney)

“Baby of mine.” - “Dumbo”

You don't need us to explain this scene again. But nothing shows a mother's love more than the love Dumbo receives from his mother.

From the moment the stork delivers him, she loved him with all of her heart.

When he is bullied and teased for looking different, his mother continues to love him just the way he is. We learned that no matter how we look, our mothers will always be there for us.

“Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.”

Pocahontas - 1995 (Disney)

“Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” - “Pocahontas”

A grandmother whose bark is worse than her bite -- Grandmother Willow, of course -- taught us to follow our path. She advises Pocahontas to listen and allow the spirits to guide her along her journey.

We must learn to follow our own spinning arrow and go where our hearts are leading us, even if we feel like it is not the right path.

Disney's The Princess and the Frog - 2009

“I’m almost there!” - “Princess and the Frog”

Eudora taught us that we have to work each and every day to make our dreams come true.

Eudora wanted Tiana to be professionally successful, but also have some fun along the way. She kept pushing Tiana toward her dream of opening her own restaurant while also stressing the importance of enjoying the journey.

The only way to make your dreams come true is to work really hard each and every day, then good things are sure to come your way. You can’t just sit around wishing on stars. That old star can only take you part of the way. You’ve got to help it with some hard work of your own.

Lilo & Stitch - 2002 (Disney)

“Ohana means family.” - “Lilo and Stitch”

Sure, Nani isn’t a mother.

However, she is Lilo’s legal guardian, so she deserves a mention this Mother’s Day. If you grew up with a sibling, then you know the struggle that can sometimes bring.

We can recall countless arguments, close living quarters and maybe even a few slammed doors.

Despite the troubles, we still find ourselves doing anything for our younger or older halves. They’re still ohana, no matter what you go through -- because ohana means family, which means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.


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