Was there anything better than having Mom pop open a large plastic VHS case and push the tape into the VCR on any given day? Not unless you were lucky enough to get to watch two in a row (or, let’s face it, the same movie over again after it was rewound). Disney movies were THE BEST. THE. BEST.
Okay, who am I kidding? They still are pretty great. Thinking about the Disney films of my childhood still gives me the warm fuzzies. I may or may not have purchased DVDs of my favorites when I moved out on my own and began forming my larger than average DVD/Blu-Ray collection. I should probably note that most of my collection is comprised of non-Disney films; that needed to be clarified. But I have The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Cinderella, and Frozen, among others. (Yes, I said Frozen. Which came out when I was already in my 30s. And I have no children. Go ahead, judge me. But it’s a good movie and you know it.)
Unfortunately as we were taking in all those great stories and songs and whatnot, these sacred movies were working dark magic on us. Sorry to report this, but it’s true. You see, these animated classics were encouraging us to dream. And they introduced us to amazing love stories that, when you really start to think about it, might not be the best examples for impressionable young minds.
Before you cry “Feminist!” like it’s a four letter word and stop reading, please, just hear me out. Think about your favorite Disney film. Now (all in good fun) take a look at this list and see if anything sounds familiar. Based on your favorite Disney movie, I’m going to guess what has caused your relationships to fail. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I did try to include all the major “traditional” Disney movies – the animated films with honest to goodness breaking into song, particularly those containing a love story. A few Pixar films have been tossed in just because. If I haven’t seen it, if it’s not as popular, or if it’s live action/mixed it has been excluded.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – As long as he shows up at the right time, you think he’ll be the one. In the meantime, you bide your time cooking and cleaning for lesser men. Just keep in mind that for Snow White, the “right time” was after she choked to death. Here in the real world, I don’t care how good of a kisser the guy might be, he’s not bringing you back from that.
Pinocchio – You tend to fall for guys who don’t really understand consequences. They have questionable ethics, lie frequently, and don’t often realize what they’ve done until it’s far too late to repair the damages. There’s also some family history there that you just can’t quite work out. Better to avoid the trouble and get a nice coffee table instead.
Dumbo – You have a soft spot for the hopeless cases, the really damaged guys. But a guy who lost his mother at a young age and was abused as a child might need therapy more than he needs you. Actually, maybe you should just become a therapist. Just don’t sing “Baby Mine” to any patients.
Bambi – It’s hard to find someone who cares as much about the environment as you do. Your worst nightmare has come true more than once: you meet a guy, he seems great, and then you find out he’s a hunter.
Cinderella – You expect the right man to chase you and make you his princess. But this is the real world, honey. Glass slippers cause blisters, and once the guy catches you he’ll either lose interest or you’ll end up cleaning up after him instead of your stepfamily.
Alice in Wonderland – You’re into druggies. There’s no way to sugarcoat this one. Sure, the highs might be fun, but the lows are downright frightening. Do not go down this rabbit hole ever again.
Peter Pan – You’re type will never grow up. That does not make for an equal partnership. He refuses to take on responsibility, which means you’ll never land a future with him.
Lady and the Tramp – Unlike in this movie, when an ex-girlfriend of the guy you’re seeing tells you he’s bad news and he’s going to use you and lose you, that is what will actually happen. Also, slurping spaghetti just isn’t as romantic in real life, which is quite a letdown.
Sleeping Beauty – You think you can just lay around in bed and the perfect guy will come to you. Instead, weirdos who think it’s OK to do things when you’re asleep keep showing up. Unconscious means NO, people!
One Hundred and One Dalmatians – Your love of dogs may be your downfall. Sure, they’re great companions, but the reality of finding someone who loves dogs as much as you do is you’ll need to find a really big home. Roger and Anita would’ve had animal control knocking on their door before you could finish one verse of “Cruella Deville.” You and your significant other will never have time for each other, what with walking and feeding all those dogs…
The Jungle Book – You’re far more interested in hanging out with friends than meeting people. But when you do date, you give that person your undivided attention and completely drop your friends. You need balance.
Robin Hood – Social crusaders rarely have time to properly develop and maintain healthy relationships in real life. Don’t expect them to have time for you. Or maybe you drive them away with all the outfits you have for your various pets.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – The guys you fall for tend to be a bit clueless – dare I say it? – bumbling idiots. Constantly getting them out of the troubles in which they’ve gotten stuck can be taxing on your sanity. They may be loyal, but thinking is not their strong suit.
The Fox and the Hound – You are much too emotionally fragile to fall in love with anyone, knowing that they will someday be taken away from you. You protect your heart at all costs after the number this film did on you.
Oliver & Company – Excitement over substance. Unfortunately, when the going gets tough, he won’t stick around. Also, he won’t be Billy Joel circa late 1980s. There’s no way he can be what you need.
The Little Mermaid – You fall for men who are incredibly shallow and don’t actually care about you as much as they care about you looking and acting (and sounding) a certain way. You will change everything about yourself and alienate yourself from your family just to have a chance with him. Then, just when you think you’ve got him, some (b/w)itch walks by and steals him away. Girl, if she can steal him, he wasn’t worth it!
Beauty and the Beast – You enter relationships thinking you can change him, then you get frustrated when it turns out he’s not under a magical spell that your true love can lift. Turns out he’s just a controlling jerk with a temper. It’s also possible he’s abusive. Run. Just get out of there.
Aladdin – You fall for the bad boys. And, unlike in the magical world of Disney, bad boys are not diamonds in the rough with a genie and a magic carpet to fly you to a whole new world; bad boys are immature and likely to either get you caught up in their troubles or split when things get tough. Stay away from the bad boys.
The Lion King – The guy who runs from responsibility is your type. He may or may not have had a father figure to teach him how to be a man. Also, in the non-Disney world, he may or may not have fathered multiple children with multiple women. He’s shirking responsibilities now, he’ll do the same to you eventually. Dump him before you’re holding up a newborn and singing “Circle of Life.”
Pocahontas – You fall for your complete opposite. It’s like you’re from two different worlds. Need encouragement to break this tempting rut? Look at the real life story: John Smith was a creepy old man who made up the romantic relationship with a much younger Pocahontas, who eventually married a different British man and was dragged over to England only to fall ill and die a world away from her family and the home she loved. Yeah, so there’s that…
Toy Story – You can’t seem to find anyone who wants to stick around after he’s seen you extensive collection of childhood toys and stuffed animals.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – The controlling type is never a good one to get involved with. He won’t let you be yourself, or he’ll be a recluse who never wants to go out and do anything.
Hercules – You fall for the vain type. Sure, he’s strong and handsome and all that, but it’s not like he’s a god. You can’t help but get the feeling that he’s always out to prove something, so it will never really be about you.
Mulan – For some reason, the guys you fall for turn out to be just as into guys as you are. Or they’re turned off by your pet cricket and free-roaming pet lizard.
Tarzan – You fall hard for surfer dudes. There’s something about the way they move and the fact that they wear so little. Or maybe it’s their shaggy hair? Sadly, you can’t live your life in the jungle (or on the beach), and he just doesn’t look the same dressed up like a regular human, nor can he interact like one.
Monsters, Inc. – The big, hairy, goofballs are your type. It seems like a safe bet, but the hairy part might start to get on your nerves. If you haven’t invested in lint rollers, it can’t last.
Lilo & Stitch – You think the guys you bring home are quirky, cute, mysterious. Your family knows better. If they tell you he’s probably dangerous and they don’t like him, just listen to them. Even if he can sing like Elvis.
Finding Nemo – Nervous, overbearing single dads are your thing. It’s great that they seem to care so much, but there’s something a bit neurotic about them that just doesn’t bode well for your relationship longterm. Besides, it’s pretty clear that you care more about the kid than you care about the dad. That kid’s gonna have enough to talk about in therapy without getting attached to you only to have you disappear one day.
Ratatouille – You love guys who throw themselves into their work, artists of all kinds – chefs, painters, musicians, etc. What you don’t realize is their obsession with their art leaves little time for you in their lives. Sure, there will be some delicious meals on occasion, but most nights you’ll be home alone eating Chinese takeout, making conversation with your pet rat.
WALL-E – You have a hard time communicating. You fall for quiet people, but eventually you realize someone will have to verbalize more than what either of you can.
Up – No one will ever live up to the first two minutes of this film. No one. And even if you think maybe you can see yourself living those snapshots with the right guy, the thought of the heartache and loss stops you cold. Either that, or your strange affinity for balloons is chasing them away.
The Princess and the Frog – You expect adventure and excitement, so when it all becomes familiar routine, you get bored. Either that or you scare guys away with your pet frogs or your obsession with voodoo.
Tangled – Sorry to say it, but you’re pretty naive when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. When you fall, you fall hard. And you’ll fall alright – for the first guy who comes along. Even if he’s actually a criminal. But there’s also the possibility that your situation at home isn’t entirely healthy either, so I’m not sure what chances you had in the first place.
Brave – Your family life is far too complicated right now to even think about dating. Your combative nature fends off the weak naturally. The rest? Probably bears.
Frozen – You keep finding guys who finish your sandwiches – even when you wanted to finish them yourself. Actually, know what? You’ve got better things to do than to bother with stupid relationships. Go build your ice castle in peace.