10 Money Lessons from The Mouse
Disney has been in the news lately what with
their Fantasyland expansion at Disney World and
their recent (and first ever!) fan convention. It got me to thinking about
the many Disney movies I've watched over the years.
The Disney name has long been associated with groundbreaking
animation and wholesome family fare--but beyond the pure
entertainment there are also great educational opportunities.
Here are ten money lessons I've gleaned from watching Disney
White and the Seven Dwarfs - Although many would decry
the anti-feminist message of "Someday, my prince will come...," the
takeaway for me was the positive work ethic of the Seven Dwarfs.
Even Grumpy whistled while he worked. Today it's more likely to be
"Twitter while you work," but the idea of maintaining a good
attitude on the job is definitely a good one.
- I bet millions of moms have used the "Don't lie, your nose will
grow" line on their kids, but it's the Pleasure Island Amusement
Park sequence that sticks with me. With the promise of an endless
supply of fun, games and sweets, Pinocchio indulges in laziness and
sloth--eventually turning into a jackass. Literally. The lesson
here is that short-term indulgences can have long term
consequences, so spend your time (and money!) wisely.
Poppins - The no-nonsense nanny had many good lessons
to impart, but my favorite actually comes from Mr. Banks and his
colleagues at Dawes, Tomes, Mousely, Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank
who tell young Michael:
If you invest your tuppence
Wisely in the bank
Safe and sound
Soon that tuppence,
Safely invested in the bank,
And you'll achieve that sense of conquest
As your affluence expands
In the hands of the directors
Who invest as propriety demands
Jungle Book - Baloo gives Mowgli a lesson in living
within one's means when he tells him about the "Bear Necessities":
And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you
Aristocats - Edgar's evil plot to do away with a
quartet of high class cats in order to claim their inheritance is
foiled by a streetwise alley cat. Moral: Build your own savings and
don't count on inheritances. And beware of hound dogs....
- This video game inspired film not only had a groundbreaking
visual style, but delivered prescient warnings about identity theft
and computer fraud.
Framed Roger Rabbit? - This innovative combination of
live action and animation featured cartoon characters fighting to
save Toontown from demolition after owner Martin Acme dies without
leaving a will. Actually, Acme DID leave a will--but the lesson is:
Keep important financial documents in a safe place known to those
you trust and don't write wills in invisible ink!
Little Mermaid - Although Ariel eventually had her
happy ending (these are DISNEY films, after all...), she would have
been wise to have thought through her deal with Ursula. Moral: Read
the fine print in contracts!
- It's hard not to be reminded of our wastefulness and need to
recycle after watching the little Waste Allocation Load Lifter
Earth-Class building piles of trash. As a planet, we really need to
keep our consumption in line and recycle wherever and whenever
- Tying balloons to your house and floating away to a remote
rainforest in South America won't work in the real world, so you
better make sure you've done your due diligence when it comes to
There you have it: ten money lessons I've learned watching
Disney movies. If reviewing these animated classics has made you
nostalgic, you can always add them to your DVD collection--with
some assistance from our Disney Store
coupons of course!
What lessons have you learned from the Mouse? Post 'em in the