We can learn more from our weaknesses rather than our strengths; what quality of ours makes up for a weakness, and how we can utilize it for our advantage?
There are many lessons we can learn from both the protagonists and antagonists of our favorite Disney movies. Sure, having manners, being good, brave, and chivalrous are the best qualities of a hero, and qualities that we all could learn from, but there are also a couple of life lessons that Disney villains teach best. Below are some of the the life lessons I've picked up from some of the most menacing, infuriating, cunning, and underrated male Disney villains.
1. Scar - Anyone Can Betray You
Some who let anger and jealousy rule over their heart, even those people you think would be the closest to you... They can let go of your hand and leave you trampled on by wildebeest or devoured by hyenas.
2. Claude Frollo - Never Underestimate the Power of Blind Faith
Frollo thinks he's still right by the will of God, and he thinks the evil acts he commits are justified because they are His will. Claude Frollo is self-righteous, religious, and reviled. Much like the current religious turmoils the world faces, the deluded (like Frollo) will only think that they're doing great service for the heavens above. Even if in reality, they're only fueling their own rage-filled ideology. Though normal people will perceive their own religion as that of peace, extremists won't listen to reason- other than the one they've already formulated.
3. Gaston - The Most Self-Absorbed People Need the Most Reassurance
Although he really isn't your typical bad guy (he was going to kill the Beast for the benefit of everybody, after all), Gaston's so narcissistic that you can't help but marvel at how ludicrous he can be. My, my, nobody can do anything as great as Gaston! But really, you can't help but pity Gaston: when he doesn't get what he wants, he needs constant reassurance that nobody can be better than him.
4. Shan Yu - Never Underestimate Your Adversary
Shan Yu is a feared warrior - a Hun. But in the movie Mulan, our heroine used the ancient techniques of cunning, deceit and seduction used by clever women since time immemorial. This is what led to Shan Yu's guards being knocked out instead of guarding the doors of the Emperor's palace.
When the fight ensued however, Shan Yu almost killed Li Shang, thinking he was the soldier in the mountains. Mulan interfered and admitted that it was her. Shan Yu was keen to take her out immediately, because unlike the Chinese Imperial army, Shan Yu knew who the stronger adversary was- and it wasn't the other man in the room.
5. Dr. Facilier - Never Trust or Make A Deal With Someone You Don't Know
The idea of black magic, particularly voodoo, has always fascinated and terrified me. But, if there's one lesson I will always remember from Disney's The Princess and The Frog, it's to never make a deal with someone you don't know. Nope, not even if you're nearly convinced to give them even just a strand of your hair because of their sweet business talk. Another thing is, never play the game of chance either, even if you've got friends from the other side like Dr. Facilier.
6. Hans - Looks Can Be Deceiving
All that glitters isn't gold. It's the same with people. If someone seems too good to be true, they probably are; you'd have to be incredibly lucky to find someone who is handsome yet isn't as self-centered as Hans (although, that could just be the cynic in me talking). But here, Disney taught us that even the right guy, the supposed prince, might not be the right person for you. With Hans, the nail is hit right on the head: you can't be absolutely sure that you're in love with someone you've just met- and rest assured, they likely don't reciprocate whatever affections you have for them.
We can learn a lot from the heroes of our favorite Disney movies, but like our heroes, we will test the strength of our characters against whatever the villains throw at us. They make life harder for us, but the takeaway is that, our lives will be more colorful. After all, there's always a rainbow after the rain.
If you liked this article and would like to see more, check out these related reads:
Disney Villain Analysis: Beauty and the Beast
- Disney Villain Analysis: Frozen
- Disney Villain Analysis: Mulan
6 Life Lessons To Be Learned From The Best Female Villains Of Childhood
What lessons have YOU learned from Disney villains?