5 Disney movies that are actually about social distancing
Snow White, Belle, and Mike and Sully did social distancing first in these five Disney movies that are now eerily relatable.
Leave it to Disney movies to offer a coincidental light in this overwhelming darkness. Whether we’re singing “Let It Go” at the top of our lungs or feeling a kinship with Rapunzel’s uncontrollably long hair in Tangled, we’re starting to look at certain Disney movies with a new, socially distant perspective.
From Queen Elsa’s necessary self-isolation to protect her sister and citizens from the wintry magic that befalls her in Frozen to the intrinsic panic the scarers in Monsters Inc. feel when making direct contact with humans, sticking it out in quarantine isn’t a new experience for the characters in these five Disney movies that are actually about social distancing.
One touch from Queen Elsa, and everything in her vicinity turns to ice. When she was young, Elsa’s powers caused her to accidentally injure her sister, Anna. Although she recovers, their parents keep the princesses isolated in their castle until Elsa could control her icy powers. Elsa’s powers become unpredictable, and she remains socially distant from Anna, creating a divide between them and inspiring Anna’s anti-isolation anthem “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
Frozen’s themes center around a larger metaphor than simply social distancing, but now the blockbuster has a second meaning. Elsa understands she must quarantine herself from her sister and other people in order to keep them safe. Unfortunately, she can still cause some harm even if she’s six feet away. Take some wisdom from Elsa and resist the urge to go out and play and build any snowmen. But feel free to ride your bike down the halls and talk to pictures on the wall.
2. Beauty and the Beast
For obvious reasons, the animated Disney classic Beauty and the Beast features some coincidences to social distancing. Because of his unkind behavior, an enchantress casts a spell on a self-serving prince that turns him into an unsightly beast until he can learn to reciprocate love. The Beast hides away in his castle for years until he imprisons Belle’s father, who’s place is ultimately taken by Belle herself. The pair keep themselves cooped up at the castle with the Beast’s magical servants.
Of course, Beauty and the Beast’s place in the pandemic took a turn with the parody video that swirled around Twitter. The humorous spoof re-conceptualizes Belle’s introductory musical number with warnings about not staying home and cautions about how quickly the virus can spread if we’re not diligent about social distancing. “Be Our Guest”? More like “Do NOT Be Our Guest!”
3. Monsters, Inc.
By now, you’ve probably seen the Monsters, Inc. equation video going viral on Tik Tok during one of your many daily Tik Tok binges. The video points out the parallel between the 23-19 red alert code and COVID-19. In the scene, a monster returns from a scare with a child’s white sock stuck on his back, prompting a team in hazmat suits to surround the monster and shave him bare. Perhaps it’s over the top even in Monstropolis, but it’s hitting a little extra close to home these days.
Even though the working monsters in Monsters Inc. spend their time creeping into the bedrooms of children to hand-deliver fresh trauma, the characters inherently fear any physical contact with humans. Scaring is deemed dangerous work because of the belief that human children are toxic. Of course, all it takes is Sully’s emotional connection with a little girl nicknamed Boo. Still, Monstropolis socially distances themselves from humans for their own safety.
Right now, we’re all probably feeling a little bit like Rapunzel in Tangled. (And no, it has nothing to do with her kingdom being called Corona). We’re trapped in the house, desperately needing a haircut and dreaming of the day when we can leave the lonely seclusion of our homes and re-enter the world. Unfortunately, our rapidly growing hair won’t offer any magical powers, and a dashing prince can’t come save us. At the moment, we’re relating to Mandy Moore divinely singing “When Will My Life Begin?,” but if we remain self-isolated like Rapunzel, someday soon we’ll also triumphantly belt “I See the Light.”
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
You know who has the best quarantine setup around? Snow White. After the queen orders Snow White’s death over matters of vanity, the jealous flop learns that Snow White hasn’t been killed but enjoys a quiet life in a cabin with seven personality-rich dwarfs. Sure, Snow White got cast out and had a terrible go of it with her wicked stepmother, but she’s social distancing with seven of her closest buds, singing, dancing, cooking and minding her own business in the woods. She just shouldn’t have eaten that apple, and she definitely shouldn’t have been kissing any princes — for more reasons than basic hygiene.
Which social distancing-themed Disney movies will you be watching? Sound off in the comments!
All of these movies are available to stream on Disney+.