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Aesop / Animated Films

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  • Beauty and the Beast: True beauty lies within, and love can transform you.
  • Several lessons are learned by characters in The Book of Life.
    • Manolo: Follow your heart.
    • Maria: Live life by your own rules.
    • Joaquin: You do not have to be exactly what someone else expects of you to be great.
    • Xibalba: Cheaters never prosper.
    • Carlos and General Posada: Let your children follow their dreams even if they differ from yours.
    • La Muerte: Anyone can die. It takes courage to live.
    • The Candlemaker: Don't live your life as someone else dictates. Write your own stories.
  • The Boxtrolls:
    • The first teaser trailer includes same-sex couples as well as single parents of both genders as some of the possible "shapes and sizes" that parents and families can come in... and there's nothing wrong with that.
    • The movie proper tells how you are defined by yourself more than anything else.
  • Coco: Following your Dreams is important, but nothing is as important your family.
  • Coraline: Life may not be perfect or ideal, but it isn't all bad. Its important to be grateful for the good things in your life that you do have.
  • Epic: "Many leaves. One tree."
  • Klaus (2019). A true act of goodwill always sparks another.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings: As long as you hold those you love within your memories, their stories will never fade, even after they're gone.
  • Kung Fu Panda: There is no "secret ingredient" to greatness. You alone can make yourself great. This is why the Dragon Scroll is blank. The surface is reflective to show its viewer themselves.
  • The LEGO Movie:
    • By deconstructing the trope The Chosen One, this film expertly averts sharply defining the terms ordinary and extraordinary, explaining that everyone has the capacity to be special and creative without a prophecy unfairly singling out those who deserve to be special. This puts it in the regard of how toxic it is to splinter people like this and initiate conflict by saying those who have received status through a magical prophecy are better than others. This is bluntly parodied in that the name of the person who holds the Piece of Resistance is the Special. Not only that, but it also involves the aesop of the burden of this on the individual, as well as Emmet's spontaneous retrieval of the Piece of which he honestly had no idea about being received as undeserved by many of the characters. Despite the fact that this prophecy was meant to be random, and did not discriminate against specific groups of people.
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    • As everyone's special, it is noted in their potential to be creative that puts people on an equal level, rejecting the idea that people are born with inherent value seeing as we are taught from a young age of how special we are. This sets off the ideal of 'special snowflake' status where we internalise the belief that we are better than others, competing against possible threats that, even if they seem legitimate, are perceived towards our 'perfect' self. It practically explains the unhealthiness of competition, favouring equality and healthy relations with others.
    • This film criticises the concept of "special snowflakes" without specifically targeting a particular group of people or even a single character.
      • It's pretty obvious with Lord Business, who assumes any genuine or legitimate rejection of his beliefs that he has enforced is an attack on his dream of a perfect world. He even explains during a speech that he was never considered special, instead validating himself through power and control of others which hides his insecurity. This is brought to the surface by Emmet, who tells Business that he has inspired so many people and that he is special too and doesn't need to push back against everyone else whom he assumes to be receiving the special treatment over him (the climactic scene in the Think Tank involving Business' one-sided interaction with Emmet explores this very closely).
      • Wyldstyle herself wanted to be the Special, her initial meeting with Emmet involving taking out a lot of her anger on someone she believes didn't deserve the prophecy because he isn't a Master Builder. What we must understand is this involves how she actually wanted to be the Special herself, quoting her prejudice to begin with that someone ordinary received it instead. Of course, this is important in establishing the aesop of the film, because it kickstarted the aesop that everyone is special with the capacity to do great things, creating an equilibrium rather than discrimination between different groups by the end of the film.
    • Lord Business is a representation of Finn's father, where the LEGO world is being simulated in real life, who has become so much of a control freak as to define LEGO as a 'highly sophisticated interlocking brick system' (therefore taking it far too seriously) as well as refusing to allow anyone to mess up the perfect construction he has built. Finn is playing out the events of the story through how he perceives his father to act, detailing the aesop of the importance of reaching a middle ground between two set values, and the acceptance of both as long as you don't force them on others. Finn also didn't want to become distant to his father, whom he loved but feared he would never respect if his father continued like this (as seen by his designated role in Finn's story as Lord Business, the villain) and was honestly trying to reach out to him because he wanted to have a proper, loving father-son relationship where they could bond over their interests together.
  • Moshi Monsters: the Movie has the Aesop "don't be arrogant, but be optimistic".
  • Played in Mulan II. Heart Over Duty.
  • My Scene Goes Hollywood: Friendship is more important than being rich and/or famous.
  • ParaNorman: Has two for the price of one:
    • People are different and its important to treat them with basic human decency.
    • Doing horrible things to people who wronged you is no excuse, otherwise you become the very thing you hate, and thus no different than they are.
  • Penguins of Madagascar:
    • "Looks don't matter. It's what you do that counts."
    • You do have a right to be appreciated... but it's a right you have to EARN.
  • The Prophet: Many of Mustafa's poems contain a lesson, such as parents not being controlling over their children and that while romance is beautiful, it's also important to remain independent.
  • Lampshaded in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, in the following dialog:
    SpongeBob: I guess you're right, Plankton. I am just a kid. And you know, I've been through a lot in the last six days, five minutes, twenty-seven-and-a-half seconds, and if I've learned anything during that time, it's that you are who you are. And no amount of mermaid magic, or managerial promotion, or some other third thing can make me any more than what I really am inside: a kid.
    Plankton: Very impressive. Now, back against the wall...
    SpongeBob: [on microphone] But that's okay! Because I did all the things they said a kid couldn't do! I made it to Shell City, and I beat the cyclops, and I rode the Hasselhoff, and I brought the crown BACK! So, yeah, I'm a kid! And I'm also a goofball, and a wingnut, and a Knucklehead McSpazatron! But most of all, I'm... I'm... I'm... I'm a Goofy Goober! [rock music starts]
    And later subverted in the end of the movie
    Mr. Krabs: Mr. Squidward, front and center! I think we both know who rightfully deserves to wear that manager pin.
    Squidward: I couldn't agree more, sir.
    [Crowd cheers]
    SpongeBob: Wait a second, everybody. There's something I need to say first. I just don't know how to put it.
    Squidward: I think I know what you're going to say. After your life-changing journey, you found that you don't want what you thought you wanted. What you really wanted was inside you all along.
    SpongeBob: Are you crazy?! I was just going to say that your fly is down. Manager! This is the greatest day of my liiiiiiife!
  • Toy Story 2. The toys watch Al half-crying during an Al's Toy Barn commercial on TV after losing his Woody's Roundup dolls.
    Hamm: I guess crime doesn't pay.
  • Trolls: World Tour: True harmony doesn't come from treating it as better for everyone to be the same, but from listening to each other, acknowledging your differences and celebrating them.


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