It’s no surprise many adults still live by Disney movies, their characters, and, naturally, their songs. This magical world isn’t just one of the most profitable entertainment companies today; it’s also one that has changed popular culture like no other. Disney's moving stories and iconic characters have inspired generations of movie fans. But perhaps their biggest asset, and what makes it so hard to let go of this fascinating world, is the songs that accompany each adventure. I don’t think there's a single individual on this planet who doesn’t know a Disney song; we all do.
Perhaps the reason these songs are anthems that remind us of happier times is because they have such universal messages we can all relate to (and let’s not forget the amazing musical arrangements that make them unforgettable). So, if you’re an adult looking for inspiration to make your dreams come true, there’s no better way to get encouragement than listening to these inspiring tracks.
“How Far I’ll Go”
As my life guru, Moana, puts it in this amazing song, “if I go there's just no telling how far I'll go.” Following our dreams can be hard and scary, but you won’t be able to know if you have what it takes, or more importantly, if there’s a better future, if you don’t take the leap.
“Let It Go”
Never ever try to hide who you are because that’s what makes you special. Sometimes, we’re so caught up in what people think of us that it stops us from actually doing what we love. Live by Elsa’s motto: “It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free!”
“Just Around the River Bend”
Most of the time, what makes us doubt about actually doing something is our fear of stepping out of our comfort zone. “Should I choose the smoothest course [...] Is all my dreaming at an end?” I’d say no, smoother can be boring, go for it!
“Go the Distance”
It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel you belong right where you are, as young Herc did. Life isn’t given, one has to pursue it, even if that means having to leave everything to find it. You can truly go the distance! Most importantly, as the song says, “I know every mile will be worth my while.”
The Princess and the Frog
Remember Tiana’s dad’s advice? “Fairytales can come true, you gotta make ‘em happen, it all depends on you.” Case closed, I don’t think there’s much else to be said.
Though it’s a very new song that doesn’t belong to the canon yet, this new strong and determined Jasmine has some pretty good lessons to share. Yes, there are people who will always try to bring you down and undermine you, just don’t let them, “let the storm in, I cannot be broken.”
“When You Wish Upon a Star”
This is Disney’s signature song for a reason. It’s basically all the values and ideals they hold. So, naturally, it’s also one of the most inspiring of them all, starting from the very first line: “when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you.” I’d add that the star must be your will to thrive.
“A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”
“A dream is a wish your heart makes,” and though it might sound a bit cheesy, sometimes we do need to forget about everything and really listen to what our hearts want. For Cinderella, it was finding her perfect prince (can’t relate), but it can be anything.
Things have turned out differently from what you expected? That’s what life is about, falling and trying again. If not, imagine how boring it would be! Have Shakira in your mind singing this and you’ll be back on track again: “I won’t give up, no I won’t give in till I reach the end and then I’ll start again.”
Beauty and the Beast
Belle is an inspiration for a lot of people out there, as an outsider who looks for a better life than the one she was given. Sometimes we all should think outside the box and aim for “much more than this provincial life.” Ok, maybe we can leave the provincial part out.
“Part of Your World”
The Little Mermaid
If Ariel taught us anything, it's that sometimes we have to give everything to achieve our goals, even if that means giving away one of your most precious gifts. And who wouldn’t do it for a couple of “gadgets and gizmos a-plenty”?
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Like Ariel, Quasimodo also dreamed of experiencing life like any other person in the world (though theirs was way better than most of the others). We all have wishes and dreams we don’t follow because of imaginary walls we build. Break them and dare to go “out there.”
“Two Worlds, One Family”
“Put your faith in what you most believe in. [...] Trust your heart. Let fate deicide to guide these lives we see,” sings Phill Collins, and honestly, this is one of the coolest and most inspiring song lines in Disney history. If those words aren’t enough, what about these: “raise your head up. Lift high the load. Take strength from those that need you.” An anthem!
“I See the Light”
Like Rapunzel, who always dreamed of seeing the floating lights (hmm, okay), sometimes, life shows us that perhaps what we really desire isn’t what we thought, but what we encounter in the path. It’s as Flynn realizes in the song: “all those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing things, the way they were.”
“I’ll Make a Man Out Of You”
Okay, out of context, this song can sound a bit, well, misogynistic. It doesn’t really talk about encouragement or anything of the sort, but don't tell me it doesn’t make you get up, get in shape, and kick life with “the force of a great typhoon” as if it were the Huns.
Next time you feel a bit bummed out or lacking the will to pursue your dreams, listen to these songs and get the zest to thrive and accomplish anything you want.