The Business of Disneyfication: 8 Business Lessons I’ve Learned From Disney Movies


In the past few years I have spent a lot of time in two places: work and alongside the minions.  What this means is that I have read an alarming number of children’s stories and seen an obscene amount of G rated movies.  Since toddlers like to watch things over and over again I have had plenty of exposure to a handful of their favourite films.  I have a ton of commentary on the Disneyfication of our youth, however repeat exposure to Walt and his successor’s works has sparked a great deal of debate between Chris and I surrounding Disney and Business.  Walt was a great creative mind, but his empire was also a business.

Below are 8 lessons about business that are brought to you by Walt Disney, the letter B and the number 3

1. Always read the fine print

The devil is in the details was one of the major lessons that Ariel learned when Ursula the Sea Witch came to collect on her contract to make her temporarily human to pursue her love.  The same can be said of vendor contracts, employment contracts and pretty much anything you sign in business.  When in doubt have your lawyer look it over.

2. Treat everyone with respect and dignity

My sister got her first job as an assistant to the president of a major corporation in part because she was the only candidate that was kind to the receptionist.  In Beauty and the Beast the prince was turned into a horrible Beast after turning away a beggar woman because of her looks.

3. It doesn’t matter what your intentions, you will fail if you can’t work together as a team

In Sleeping Beauty, Princess Arora is sent away under the charge of the three good fairies (Flora, Fauna and Merry Weather) who are completely incompetent at every day tasks, they undo each others work, attempt tasks that other players are masters at (like cake making and sewing) only to fail, flounder and argue.

4. Know your team’s talents and utlize them well

Alternately once they are able to use their magic, the three good fairies are able to give Prince Phillip the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth for the final fight with Maleficent, the sword enabling Phillip to destroy Maleficent and her evil with one well-aimed blow.

5. Sometimes your allies and opponents are obvious…other times they aren’t

In Frozen the gentleman from Wesleton is obviously looking out for number one whereas other people are better at hiding their ambitions.

6. Everyone needs a Champion…or Fairy Godmother

Look for allies in the work place and beyond to vent to, bounce ideas off of and talk you up as your personal sponsor to help challenge you and provide great opportunities.  The fairy godmother only needed to give Cinderella until midnight to change her life forever.

7. Hakuna matata or Let it Go!

It means no worries, You can’t control what other people say or do, only how you react to it.  Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and move on.

8. Have faith in yourself and you can accomplish so much!

Because all it takes is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust!  Hard-work and sticktoitiveness also helps!