People used to think cartoons were just for kids. But companies such as Disney’s Pixar and DreamWorks produced animated films that indeed taught us valuable life lessons. Animated films are for both the young, and young at heart.

1. A hero lives in all of us


“Kung-Fu Panda’s” Po may seem an unlikely hero. He even doubts himself. This movie proves that a hero can come in all shapes and forms and, as long as one person believes in you, you can do whatever you set your mind to.

2. Never underestimate the little guy


Nemo was just a small fish, but he and his lucky fin proved that big things come in little packages. He was brave, he had courage, and he never gave up. “Finding Nemo” showed us to not be afraid of things that may seem bigger than us.

3. We are all connected in one way or another


“Bee Movie” showed us that humans, animals, and insects alike impact the earth in some way and we need to treat our home better. The movie also showed us that if we all work together, we can accomplish great things. Just think Bee!

4. It’s okay to be different


We come in all shapes and sizes, and one’s character should not be judged solely on looks. “Dumbo” shows this perfectly. The little elephant has huge ears and is constantly made fun of. But the ears make him stand out. How boring it is to be simply normal.

5. Bigger doesn’t always mean better.


When a little girl is kidnapped, an international group of rodents step in to help. Who would have thought a couple of mice could save the day? The Rescuers confidently shows us that you are never too little to help.

6. Money can’t buy happiness


Sure, mountains of gold coins and jewels are enticing. But all the money in the world can’t replace love. Realizing this, street rat Aladdin turned out to be a good guy after all, trading in his riches for his one true love, Jasmine.

7. Remember the important things


“Up” told a beautiful love story of Carl and Ellie, without using any words at all. We felt Carl’s heart ache as he had to let Ellie go. For years he lived a resentful, lonely life. He built up a lot of walls, but we saw them slowly come down, thanks to the help of an eagle scout by the name of Russell.

“Up” is all about second chances, not letting anything hold you down. Remember, adventure is out there!

8. Letting go is part of life


You can’t hold onto everything forever, including toys. But things can never truly leave your life as long as you keep them in your heart. “The Toy Story” trilogy taught us just that.

The films also taught us about the importance of friendship, true friendship.

9. Don’t judge a book by its cover


“Beauty and the Beast” is a perfect example. Belle is judged by always having her nose in a book. The townspeople consider her weird. An old lady approaches the prince’s castle, and the door is slammed in her face. In turn, the entire village has outcasted the prince after he was turned into an ugly beast.

This movie shows us how to face adversity.

10. Have faith in yourself


Even if you stand alone, walk tall. “Mulan” is all about female empowerment and possessing inner courage. She struggles internally. She’s told she will never amount to anything unless she gets married. But she stays true to herself, bends gender roles, and ends up saving China.

Girl power!