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10 Lessons From Disney And Pixar Movies

The tapes from these animation studios not only teach values, they also give important lessons for entrepreneurs.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Animated Disney and Pixar films have always stood out for having endearing characters who constantly fight against evil. But in these animated stories there are also several lessons that any entrepreneur can learn to lead their business to success.

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We give you 10 lessons from some of his classic tapes and more recent ones:

1. Peter Pan's imagination

This film, released in 1953, is based on a book by Scottish writer James Matthew Barrie. The story is about a young man (Peter Pan) who refuses to grow up and guides the "lost children" in a fantastic place called Neverland. When Peter is introduced to a young girl in the line of maturity named Wendy and her brothers, he convinces them that to fly you only need to think about it. With the power of their thoughts, they manage to move to Neverland where they live great adventures.

The phrase “if you can think about it, you can do it” has become the motto of many well-known entrepreneurs and businessmen. Such was the case with Steve Jobs . Imagination is the main component of an innovative person; from someone who comes up with a good idea and knows how to transform it into a successful company. Peter Pan's teaching is precisely that: dreams and self-confidence that you can achieve them is what makes them come true. Don't be afraid to think differently.

2. Robin Hood's social responsibility

This 1973 film tells the story of a medieval hero (in Disney's version he is played by a fox) who robs the rich to give to the poor. The young Englishman is an expert in the use of the bow and arrows and uses his skill to achieve social good.

Although Robin Hood is actually an outlaw and a lawbreaker, this character is remembered as a hero for stealing, not for his benefit, but for people who suffer the injustices of an exploitative government. In today's society, economic inequality continues to be one of the great problems. In this sense, an entrepreneur endowed with specific skills and qualities can - and must - offer well-being to society and the planet. This is what social and environmental responsibility is all about: making effective the ability to make this a better world.

3. The Toy Story teamwork

Pixar's first feature film was the pioneering animated film in 100% digital making. In this trilogy the most important thing is friendship (both between the toys and with Andy); the characters come together and never give up. In the third installment - winner of the Oscar Award for Best Animated Film - this value becomes even more relevant when all the toys try to escape from the terrible nursery. His escape plan requires the specific skills of the members to be successful. In the end, thanks to the talent of each toy, they run away and reunite with Andy.

In any company, teamwork is essential to achieve the objectives. Each of your employees has some capacity or some talent, essential for the company. The lesson of Toy Story is not only that human capital is key to success, but that it is necessary to have a common goal and you, as a leader, are the one who must establish and communicate it effectively. Listening to your collaborators can bring you great benefits and solutions to problems. That is also part of your role as a leader.

4. The leadership of The Lion King

Released in 1994, this film that adapts the play of Hamlet and is set to music by Elton John, has been one of the great successes of Disney. With the death of his father, Mufasa (considered the great king of the jungle), Simba - who is hardly a cub - must face his destiny as a successor. Not being prepared for the position, he disappears for a time in the jungle where he meets Timon and Pumbaa, while his uncle and the malicious hyenas take power. When he discovers that the kingdom is starving, Simba returns to lead and brings well-being back to his subjects.

Leadership is something that is earned and not inherited, that is the teaching of The Lion King . Something that we see throughout the film are the skills that a person must have -or develop- to be a true leader: decision, knowledge of their market and authority, understanding this quality as respect for the achievements obtained and confidence. Not everyone is born knowing how to lead, but life, experiences, and even crises are the best teachers. You just need to believe in yourself and in your ability to lead others to success.

5. Be Aladdin yourself

This 1992 film stems from one of the most famous stories in One Thousand and One Nights . In it, a petty thief finds a marvelous lamp containing a genie from whom he makes three wishes. The first of them is to become a wealthy prince to conquer Princess Jasmine. Although when Aladdin enters Agrabah with a spectacular parade he is greeted like a celebrity by the townspeople, Jasmine is not interested; she prefers the beggar.

This film has a valuable lesson: the image influences but the really important thing is to always be yourself. In the business world, first impressions do count (especially when it comes to finding partners and investors), so having a professional image is paramount; This ranges from choosing the right clothing to aspects such as non-verbal language and attitudes such as punctuality. However, the image is not everything. A person who excels in any field is because of his unique personality and unusual abilities. Aladdin is a good sign that pretending to be who you are not will only make you fail and be rejected.

6. The sacrifices of Hercules

The film that narrates the myth of Greek origin of Hercules is the 38th Disney production. Hercules is the son of the main god Zeus and since childhood he has superhuman strength. However, being just a baby, he is kidnapped by Hades, king of the underworld and brother of Zeus, who tries to assassinate him. Although he is unable to kill him, Hercules becomes mortal and is expelled from Olympus. To return home you must prove that you are a true hero.

Yes, Hercules has a supernatural power that allows him to defeat every mythological creature and is considered by people as a hero, but his father knows that he lacks the most important thing to be: sacrifice. Hercules is only accepted on Olympus when he decides to give his life for Meg. Here is one of the great lessons of Disney: the success of an entrepreneur is not in the achievements or in the profits he makes, but in how much he is willing to sacrifice to fulfill his dream; that is, what is he capable of doing for his people to be considered a leader.

7. Learning The Sword in the Stone

This was the last feature film ever released by Walt Disney (1963). The plot revolves around "Grillo", a teenager who, according to legend, by drawing the sword from the stone would become the king of England. With the help of the magician Merlin, "Cricket" learns all that it takes to lead a country (even transforming into animals such as squirrels and fish), ending in his coronation as the famous King Arthur.

Again: leadership is learned. "Grillo" is mentored by the wisest being of the moment, the magician Merlin, who shows him the keys and challenges of being king. Only by learning and following your instincts can you understand the rules of leadership. Surround yourself with the best talent and great mentors and listen to their advice; never stop learning and constantly train yourself with the idea of boosting your business and taking it to the next level. Being an entrepreneur, you don't have to be a todologist: a leader knows how to enhance their skills and delegate responsibilities .

8. The perseverance of Finding Nemo

This digitally animated film is one of Pixar's most famous. In it, a little fish named Nemo (with a short fin) gets lost and his fearful father, Marlin, crosses the ocean to search for him. After going through great dangers and meeting dear friends and ruthless enemies, Marlin manages to find Nemo who was trapped inside a fish tank in a dental office.

The lesson is clear: he who perseveres achieves. He who pursues his goals earnestly, no matter how many failures or disappointments he has had along the way, is the only one who will find success. So, never give up; If in one place the doors are closed, there will always be others more open. If what you want is to own your business, you will be it, no matter how many kilometers you have to travel.

9. The creativity of Alice in Wonderland

Based on the famous novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (1951) is a conjunction of strange characters, unusual situations and fantastic ideas. When Alice falls down the hole, she knows a completely different world, something that is only possible to conceive dreams.

The creativity and originality of this film are the elements that make it magnificent. Creativity works not only to create, but also to solve problems, a lesson that Alice learns on her journey through Wonderland. Supporting yourself with this element in your company is the first step to increase your competitiveness. Forget past schemes and dare to explore new ways of thinking and seeing things. Only then will you reach the white rabbit.

10. The adaptation to change of Monsters Inc.

This film, produced by Pixar and released in 2001, is about two monsters who work in a factory that is dedicated to scaring children and who, through their screams, obtain energy to illuminate their city. However, their modus operandi is affected when they meet Boo, a little girl who sneaks into their world and whom they must take care of. She, like many other children, is no longer afraid of monsters.

When Sully and Mike find that they no longer cause the children to scream, the company and the entire city are threatened. However, they later discover that there is something even more powerful than screaming: laughter. Without a doubt, the qualities of innovation and flexibility are keys to the success of a business. At Monsters Inc. they face a market that no longer responds to the same stimuli and they need to find another formula to attract their attention. By doing so, they not only find a solution to the problem, but a more effective and less expensive practice. A leader must adapt to changes, understanding that everything is perfectible.