8 Huge Life Lessons a Man Can Learn from Kids’ Movies

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The Lesson: If it all gets too much, take a step back

Baloo the bear has a mighty fine attitude towards jungle existence – he’s all about keeping it simple. Modern life is insane, absolutely mental, and it’s incredibly easy to get distracted and lose sight of what’s actually important. That’s how you can end up with three stars on every level in Angry Birds but a mum you haven’t talked to in weeks.


The Lesson: Personality beats looks, every time

If you were pairing the absurdly sexy Jessica Rabbit with a male cartoon character, you’d be tempted to go for a hunky one – He-Man or Tarzan or someone of that ilk. But no, she’s with Roger Rabbit, a short, bow-tied, dungaree-wearing dork. Why does she like him? “He makes me laugh,” she says. Look at the mismatch between them again. Those Crack-a-Joke books gathering dust in the attic are calling you…


The Lesson: It’s rarely a bad time to bust out some sweet moves

Bert (Dick van Dyke) is a soot-covered chimney sweep who’s almost definitely not declaring his income to HMRC, but the chemistry between him and Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) – who is worlds above him and practically perfect in every way – is palpable. Palpable, damn it. What’s his secret? Dancing his ass off. The only people who don’t like a dude who can dance are dudes who can’t dance.


The Lesson: If you’re going to show off, be able to back it up

Sure, Caractacus Potts (Dick van Dyke, again) initially draws attention to himself through his sweet set of wheels, but Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes) ends up falling for him because of his charm, courage and loving nature. There’s no point in being the flashiest dude around if there’s nothing beneath the surface.


The Lesson: A few drinks can really give you a new perspective on things

Hitting the booze didn’t work out well for Dumbo, who had wild, disturbing, psychedelic hallucinations of pink elephants, but he was (a) very young, (b) an elephant and (c) drinking alone. If you aren’t those things, going to the pub has been scientifically found to be beneficial to your mental health – plus come on, it’s where everything interesting in life happens.


The Lesson: If you don’t need to be a jerk, don’t be a jerk

Some people seem to think that the only way to display any sort of authority or get anything done is to belittle other people. You see it in offices all the time – superiority being asserted by whispering behind other’s backs or shouting them down. But, just like a tiny pig politely requesting that some sheep move in a specific direction, you’re likely to achieve a lot more by asking people to do things than making demands, by treating them with respect, rather than hammering the hierarchy down their throats.


The Lesson: There’s nothing wrong with grand romantic gestures

As cynical as this absurd world can make us, as much as we’re world-weary and jaded and roll our eyes at everything, and watch TV programmes we hate just so we can loudly hate them, sincerity still means something. Even if you’re in a relationship based on sarcasm and tearing stuff apart, a bit of romance is never going to be thrown in your face. If there’s a lovelorn farmhand inside you, let him out once in a while. Not all the time though, you soppy weirdo.


The Lesson: You’re as comfortable as you want to be

For a large amount of the film, you can clearly see Jareth the Goblin King’s penis through his leggings. This wouldn’t be an ideal situation for most men, yet Jareth is cool as hell. A lot of this is because he’s David Bowie, and David Bowie is the kind of man who, if he decides he’s cool prancing about in penis-displaying leggings, is cool prancing about in penis-displaying leggings. There’s a lot to be said for that.