I think we can all agree that when it comes to animated movies, Disney is easily the most iconic! Everybody (especially 90’s kids) grew up watching classic Disney films, and it brings them happiness just thinking about them. Even as adults we still love to sit back and suspend reality for a little while as we watch our favorite animated characters dance around the screen, enacting scenes we’ve pretty much memorized all the words to.
What if I told you that these fictitious characters and their experiences are actually a lot more realistic than you would initially realize? I’m willing to bet that if you really think about it, you’ll come to realize you can relate to your favorite Disney friends more than you know. So I’ve prepared a list of 10 classic Disney characters you can totally relate to! Check it out and tell us what you think.
1 – Peter Pan
Peter Pan is literally living my dream. My life would be absolutely set if I could find a place where I never had to grow up! I guarantee that no matter what age you are, we’ve all come to a point in life where we just wanted to be a kid again. Life as a kid was just so much simpler! No jobs, no real responsibilities, you get to pretty much play all day, and most importantly NO BILLS!! Peter Pan was a smart guy. He knew growing up would never be as enjoyable as being a kid. Oh ya, and he could fly! Who hasn’t ever wanted to do that, am I right?
2 – Alice from Alice In Wonderland
I know what you’re thinking, “how could I relate to Alice? I’ve never been to a magical place called Wonderland.” Well you’ve also never been to a magical place called Neverland, but you went with me on that one! Just think outside the box with me a little bit on this one and I promise you’ll see why I picked her. Multiple times in our lives we enter into new environments. We start at a new school, we get a new job, we move to another city or country, etc. With these new environments undoubtedly also means new people, and usually there’s some pretty peculiar characters that come along with that. That’s exactly what happens to Alice! She falls down a rabbit hole and BAM! She’s in a totally brand new environment. She’s not sure where to go, she’s meeting all kinds of strange new people, and basically just learning as she goes along. Sounds a lot like my first day of highschool. I’m willing to bet we’ve all felt a little bit like Alice did at one point in our lives.
3 – Simba from The Lion King
We all have those people in our lives that we trust more than anyone else. It may be one of our relatives, our friends, or maybe even a teacher. We look up to them and we would never think they’d do anything to hurt to us, but every so often one of those people betrays our trust and puts us in a world of hurt! Simba from The Lion King knows that feeling all too well! Simba’s dad was a lion named Mufasa, and Simba’s uncle was a Lion named Scar. Now I don’t know about you, but I trust and love my uncle’s a lot, and from the movie I get the vibe that Simba trusts his uncle a heck of a lot too. Which is why he was utterly devastated when his uncle Scar killed his father! In fairness, no one’s ever killed my dad. However, I have had people I trust betray me, and when I watch the scene from The Lion King when Simba sees Scar kill his dad, I can totally feel my little feline buddy’s pain.
4 – Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians
Before you decide to hate me for suggesting you relate to someone as vile as the infamous Cruella De Vil, hear me out. I’m not suggesting that any of us want to capture and kill over 101 dalmatians to turn them into a new fur coat. What I am suggesting however, is that I’m sure we can all relate to the dream of owning 101 adorable little puppies!! Who wouldn’t want that?!
5 – Lilo & Stitch
Hopefully everybody has at least one or two super close friends, and if you do, chances are you consider them more like family. Well that pretty much sums up Lilo and Stitch’s relationship. Two friends who, despite so many differences, are more like family and would do anything to help each other out. For your sake, I hope that’s something you can relate to because it’s pretty great! Remember everyone, Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind.
6 – Ariel from The Little Mermaid
In my opinion, when Disney created the character’s of Ariel and her father King Trident, they did an amazing job of capturing what the relationship between a parent and their teenage child looks like. As teenagers, our parents seem like they’re always trying to control everything we do. We think we know better than our parents, we don’t listen, and we generally just want to spread our wings and fly (or in Ariel’s case grow legs and walk). Despite our parents best effort to keep us safe, we feel an innate desire to disobey them and do what we want, when we want. And the best part is, when it all blows up in our face because we should have listened to our parents from the beginning, they’re always there to help us out and pick up the pieces. That is exactly the relationship I see between Ariel and her father.
While the parent/child relationship is the primary way I see Ariel as a relatable character, there’s also a secondary way. Ariel is in love with a man named Prince Eric, even though they’ve never even officially met. As a kid we all had that one crush who we were convinced was “the one”. Maybe they were a celebrity, maybe they were your boyfriend/girlfriend, or maybe like in Ariel’s case, they didn’t even know you existed. What ever the circumstance was, it didn’t matter! You were in love, and you were gonna marry that person one day, no matter what sacrifices you had to make!
7 – Cinderella
The character of Cinderella will go down in history as one of the most reputable Disney characters of all time. Everybody’s seen Cinderella! But Cinderella isn’t just reputable, she’s relatable. Our girl Cindy’s life consisted of being worked to the bone by her step-mother and bullied around by her step-sisters. Now, looking back my parents were actually extremely fair when it came to making me do chores, and my sister really wasn’t all that bad. However, as a kid I felt like I literally was Cinderella! If my mom asked me to even just sweep the floor I felt as if she was forcing slave labor on me. And don’t even get me started on my sister! In my mind, she was one of Satan’s minions sent to Earth to torment me. If you were anything like me as a kid and growing up you ever had to do chores or got picked on by your siblings, then I think its safe to say you’ve probably felt like Cinderella at least a time or two.
8 – Wall-E
Strap yourselves in folks, cause we’re about to get deep. Growing up can be really hard. As kids we feel like even the smallest things mean the end of the world as we know it. It’s because of this melodramatic attitude that I think Wall-E’s life can feel all too familiar. Wall-E spends his whole life alone on a deserted planet, and despite being a robot, he can’t help but feel a sense of loneliness. I’d wager that if you really thought about it, there’s been a time in your life that you felt like you were completely alone and had no one to turn to. But don’t lose hope! Wall-E found a friend and so will you. So if you’re going through a phase of loneliness right now, then watch Wall-E again so that you can be reminded that even when it seems like no one’s around, there will always be someone who’s there for you.
9 – Belle and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast
For number 9 we’ve got two parts to look at. One for the ladies and one for the guys.
For the Girls – Okay ladies, you’ve all been there. You’re out in public and some guy who thinks he’s Macho Man Randy Savage decides he’s gonna come up and sweep you off your feet because he’s clearly God’s gift to women. First off, I apologize on behalf of all men that guys like this exist. If it’s any consolation, we don’t like them either. However, we all know a guy like this. They stroll up, flex their big muscles and say some cheesy line like “Hey baby, I lost my number, can I have yours?” Then when you shut them down they act like you’re the one with the problem. Welcome to Belle’s life when Gaston comes along.
For the Guys – Alright fellas, lets face it, we’ve all pulled a Gaston in one way or another at some point in our lives. We maybe didn’t host a private gun show for two or use a cheesy pick-up line, but I guarantee we’ve all tried to show off in an attempt to impress a girl, and chances are it didn’t work out for us. Gaston could have had any other girl out there, but for some reason we always want what we can’t have and we usually make a fool out of ourselves trying to get it. Gaston is no exception, and while I’m not as arrogant or muscular as him, I still know how buddy feels when he gets shutdown by the girl he’s trying to impress. Sound familiar?
10 – Dumbo
If you don’t love our flying elephant friend Dumbo, then you have no soul. Dumbo is the definition of inspiring. He was born with massive ears, like unusually massive, and all of his peers mocked him for it. In fact, his name is actually Jumbo Jr. The name Dumbo was a nickname given to him as way to ridicule him for his ears. Obviously our boy Dumbo begins to get pretty embarrassed of his large ears, but thanks to his mouse friend Timothy, Dumbo discovers he can fly by using his gigantic ears as wings! You can’t help but be inspired by Dumbo’s ability to overcome adversity and change his negative situation into a positive one. That is why I think we can relate to Dumbo. We’ve all undoubtedly encountered challenges in our lives, but we also all have the ability to overcome those challenges and change our situation, even if we need a little help to do so.
As you can see, Disney doesn’t just provide entertainment and fun, they connect with us on a personal level and create characters we can all truly relate to. That is why they are the pinnacle of the animation industry, and that is why we love them so much.
Can you think of any characters we’ve missed? Comment below and let us know what you think.