When it comes to endearing lessons you can bring with you as you go on with life, nothing has more abundance of it than animated films.
Whether it's about building courage to face your fears or learning how to accept your shortcomings, you can bet that these gorgeous works will leave an impression on you with their diverse themes and messages. But one common topic that many animated films touch upon concerns the mysterious, complicated, but wonderful thing called love.
Here are the love lessons that some animated gems could instill in you in more ways than one.
Love can last a lifetime with the right person — Up
"'Till death do us part." It's just four simple words and yet many married couples have a hard time keeping this sacred vow from being broken, resulting in their marriage ending in frustration, conflict, and misery. But not Carl Fredricksen and his wife Ellie.
Their love story started out through their shared interest in renowned explorer Charles F. Muntz and bonding over their passion for adventure. Romance bloomed between them as they grew older, and their love story turned out to be one of the greatest ones ever told in cinema history.
Despite their marriage having faced a bleak stage when Ellie was informed that she was infertile and thus could not give birth to children, their love for each other did not so much as wither out and they instead found new ways to make their marriage stronger than ever before.
Carl stayed loyal to his wife up until her last breath and even went to great lengths to fulfill her childhood dream, showing that with the right person, true love can indeed last a lifetime.
A parent's love for their child can conquer any hurdle — Finding Nemo
Perhaps the only thing that's even stronger than romantic love is a parent's devotion towards their children and making sure that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them. That's exactly what Marlin, a clownfish, promised his last remaining son Nemo after his wife and his other children were taken away from him by a voracious barracuda.
Over the years, however, his overprotective, paranoid, and worrisome attitude towards Nemo strained their relationship, which eventually led his son to be taken away by some divers. This causes Marlin to brave the harsh and unknown waters of the ocean just to find him, fighting off vicious sharks, a monstrous fish from the deep, an army of jellyfish, and more.
Beyond its epic ocean adventure, Finding Nemo highlights a poignant message of the great lengths that a parent would go to just to protect their children—because seeing them safe matters to them most.
Learning to love yourself is the greatest thing you can do — Shrek
We can get a little harsh with ourselves sometimes when we feel that we have certain imperfections—even more so, for some, if they concern physical appearance as we live in a society that's defined by traditional beauty standards.
Those beliefs also apply in the world of Shrek, a physically intimidating ogre who has chosen to live a solitary life in the swamps because of how people are easily frightened by him, leading him to have insecurities about his whole being.
The same negative thoughts also plague Fiona, a princess in the kingdom of Far Far Away who was cursed by a witch to take the form of a fearsome ogre between sunset and sunrise, and this can only be broken when she kisses her true love.
In the end, however, both Shrek and Fiona achieve their happily ever after as they learn to love and be content with who they are and realize that they do not need anyone's validation to see the beauty in themselves.
Don't let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams — The Princess and the Frog
Love doesn't always happen between people. Sometimes, it is felt towards one's goals and aspirations in life, and for Tiana, it's opening a restaurant with her father James and sharing their delicious cooking with the people of New Orleans. Unfortunately, James passed away before they could even get close to their dream, but Tiana did not let this tragedy make her lose sight of her goal.
Incredibly strong-willed and determined, Tiana continuously proves throughout the film how dedicated she is in pursuing her dream as she works day and night to place a bid on an old run-down sugar mill to be used as her restaurant's location.
Even when she was placed under a curse after sharing a kiss with a prince who had been magically transformed into a frog by an evil voodoo witch, the gifted cook never once wavered under the bleak situation and remained strong in trying to undo the curse.
All of her efforts eventually paid off, which goes to show that if your heart really desires it, you can't let anything or anyone stop you from reaching the finish line.
Love conquers distance — Your Name
It's tough being in a long-distance relationship, and in the worst possible scenario, this setup can lead to heartbreak. But if you're feeling fearful that the fire between you and your partner might sizzle out of being thousands of miles away from each other, you may want to watch the 2016 anime film Your Name.
This poignant work by renowned Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai is about the hardships faced by Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu, two very different high schoolers living in very distant worlds—and this is meant quite literally as Taki lives in Tokyo while Mitsuha resides in a mountainous and rural town.
But their lives become connected when they suddenly and inexplicably begin to swap bodies every so often and are forced to live each other's lives. Despite the two of them not being able to talk in person and can only really get to know each other through little bits of messages on their phones, romantic feelings gradually settle between Taki and Mitsuha.
This spurs them to give it their all in trying to meet each other in person even if the whole universe seems to want to tear them apart, showing that when true love manifests, neither distance nor time will be able to break it.