any adults have the mentality that wishing on stars, fairy godmothers, and a spoonful of sugar are just around for children to enjoy and get lost in a fairytale world. However, who says magic can’t also be for adults? When you spend all day in an office doing work or school work, it can be a bit mundane. Who is to say that what you need isn’t a little bit of Bippity Boppity Boo to add a little bit of magic to your day?

While every Disney movie can be an enjoyable and magical experience for adults, here are a few categories that you may find particularly relatable:

  • “Let It Go” and Immerse Yourself in New Worlds
  • Believing in Happily Ever After
  • “Breaking Free” Your Feelings of Nostalgia
he newest Disney heroine, Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, from Raya and the Last Dragon.
The newest Disney heroine, Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, from Raya and the Last Dragon. Image courtesy of Collider.

“Let It Go” and Immerse Yourself in New Worlds

From 2013’s Frozen to 2021’s Raya and the Last Dragon, here are a few stand out Disney movies from the past few years.

Believe it or not, more recent Disney movies actually do a really great job of addressing their adult audiences from well-placed jokes to catchy soundtracks. You can shamelessly watch any of these movies by yourself or with friends and will be sure to laugh, cry, and want to sing along!

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021): Released this past March, Raya and the Last Dragon features the latest Disney heroine duo, Raya and Sisu, breaking the mold that Disney traditionally sticks to. And that’s not just because Sisu is a dragon! When the Druun comes back, turning people to stone, Raya sets out to find Sisu and bring back her father. This movie will have you laughing hysterically to crying hysterically and back to laughing.

Navigating her own trust issues, Raya unintentionally collects a diverse cast of characters that all come together in a shared goal - bringing back the ones they lost to the Druun. This heartwarming story features loveable characters that you are going to want to root for the minute you meet them.

Frozen (2013): It’s very likely that you have heard “Let It Go,” or have at least heard of the movie Frozen when it first came out in 2013. However, if you didn’t have any young kids dragging you to go see it, you may have missed out on this beautiful story of two sisters, failed marriage proposals, an eternal winter, and who could forget, a talking snowman.

Frozen consists of fun characters, beautiful visuals, and an amazing soundtrack. It also features big names like Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad. Frozen and Frozen II (yes, there’s a sequel) should definitely be high up on your must watch as an adult list! And having “Let It Go” stuck in your head for the next week is an added bonus!

Zootopia (2015): Zootopia features another fierce female heroine in the city of Zootopia, which is basically a utopia city for anthropomorphic animals. The properly named bunny, Judy Hopps, is an aspiring police officer and teams up with an unlikely companion - a fox Nick Wilde - to connect a string of disappearances throughout the city.

Not only will this movie have you crying tears of laughter, but also tears of joy. There are references for everyone in the family from The Godfather to “Breaking Bad,” and even Frozen! Zootopia also aims for a larger social commentary regarding prejudice that is important for children to learn, but still very enlightening for adults.

Belle and the Beast from Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast will show you that happily ever afters really can happen. Image courtesy of Vulture.

Believing in Happily Ever After

These movies tell stories of love and wishes on stars that will make you believe in fairytale love.

As a young adult, it can be hard to believe you will have your life all figured out at once. Whether it’s your job or not finding a true love, something always feels out of place. These movies will help you believe in a Happily Ever After for yourself.

The Princess and the Frog: A voodoo doctor, a trumpet playing alligator, and a head over heels in love firefly are just a few of the characters that you will find along the way as you watch Tiana and Naveen fall in love...as frogs. Tiana isn’t like other Disney Princesses you’ve seen - she has a dream of opening her own restaurant and will stop at absolutely nothing to see her dream come true.

When Tiana turns into a frog, she uses the hard work and determination that she knows to help herself and Naveen return to human form. Though what she doesn’t expect is to find her Prince Charming along the way. The Princess and the Frog will have you “Dig[ging] a Little Deeper” to believe in true love and happily ever afters by the end. It is truly a must see for all ages!

It’s also important to mention that Tiana is the first (and only) Black Disney princess. Until there are more, you should watch The Princess and the Frog as a way to tell Disney that movies portraying Black people are a success!

Beauty and the Beast: “A Tale as Old as Time” is a tale that will always be one worth watching, and this is no exception. Belle, looking for more than what her provincial town can offer, finds more than she could ever imagine when she ends up stuck in an enchanted castle with a master that is anything but friendly.

However, Beauty and the Beast will show you that a person is more than what is on the outside, with a charismatic candlestick, a teapot full of love, and, of course, a beast with a heart of gold. After all, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. By the end of the movie, you will know that if a cursed beast can find love, the possibilities are endless for you.

The Disney Channel Original Movie logo from the early 2000s.
If this logo takes you back to your childhood, you will definitely find these Disney Channel Original Movies nostalgic. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

“Breaking Free” Your Feelings of Nostalgia

It may not be “The Start of Something New,” but these movies will be sure to “Get Your Head in the Game!”

These Disney Channel Original Movies, or DCOMs, are definitely going to strike a nostalgic chord. For those that grew up in the 2000s, you should consider yourselves very lucky since you grew up watching DCOMs. Here are some of the most popular DCOMs that will transport you back to your glory days of the early 2000s that you will still love as an adult.

High School Musical: And yes, 2 and 3 are most definitely included! Don’t you dare “Stick to the Status Quo,” because you “Gotta Go [Your] Own Way” by watching these “Fabulous” movies. If you grew up on the High School Musical movies, you know you owe it to yourself to rewatch these movies. You were obsessed with them for a reason (though, it probably wasn’t because of the acting).

A forbidden love thrown in the middle of a high school amidst their basketball championship, scholastic decathlon, and the spring musical? It is still the emotional rollercoaster that you remember. Oh, and if you don’t dance along to “We’re All in This Together,” did you really watch High School Musical?

The Cheetah Girls: You can’t talk about DCOMs without mentioning the most cheetalicious girl group to ever exist. This movie will have you laughing, crying, and fighting the urge to get up and dance, because the soundtrack is, what’s the word? Oh yeah, cheetahlicious!

Honestly, rewatching The Cheetah Girls as an adult will make you feel so good. They were the original feminist empowerment movie! Sisters that stand together and refuse to wait around for a man to come and save them? It is surprising that this movie is almost twenty years old, because it seems like it could have come out in the past year!

The Lizzie McGuire Movie: Now, “This is What Dreams Are Made Of” when considering what DCOMs you should rewatch. The Lizzie McGuire Movie was one of the best DCOMs ever created. Taking everyone’s favorite Lizzie McGuire on a European trip only to be swept away by an Italian pop star? How can you not want to watch that!

Hopes, dreams, and secrets are only the beginning of this crazy scooter ride through Rome. Not to mention it ends in a show stopping performance with Lizzy McGuire… and brunette Lizzy McGuire? If you aren’t going to watch it for the plot, at least watch it for “This is What Dreams Are Made Of.”

A lot of ground has been covered from the latest Disney movies to your old favorite DCOMs, but you may still be left thinking “What about other Disney classics like The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan, or The Little Mermaid?” Well, it sounds like you have a few more movies that you’ll have to add to your own list to rewatch! Because, once again, you are sure to love any Disney movie you watch as an adult!

Image courtesy of Think Monsters.

Jun 23, 2021