16 Lines From Children’s Movies That Hit Hard Once We Grew Up

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By Jonathan Trent

As children, we adored movies, especially animated films that had our favorite characters on screen. However, at the time, we may not have paid full attention to the lines in these movies, which changed as we got older. Here are 16 lines from children’s movies that resonated once we grew up.

The Lion King (1994)

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When we were young, The Lion King felt like a simple and wholesome film, but as adults, the film takes on a deeper meaning. For example, the line “The past can hurt…but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it” makes us want to let go of resentment in our lives. 

Finding Nemo (2003)

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For children, the line “Just keep swimming” in Finding Nemo may seem humorous or even innocent, but as grown-ups, we now interpret this line as a rule to live by. When we face struggle or difficulty, we know that we have to face it head-on and just keep swimming like Dory did. 

Toy Story (1995)

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According to CBC, 25 years after it redefined animated films, the Pixar classic Toy Story still holds some surprisingly relevant lessons. The line “I don’t want to play with you anymore” may not have resonated with us as kids, but now it saddens us, realizing we have real-life responsibilities.

Inside Out (2015)

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Inside Out may seem magical or even lacking depth to kids, but for adults, it is a different story. The line “Take her to the moon for me, okay?” is a real tear-jerker, with most viewers having experienced saying goodbye to someone they once held dear.

Up (2009)

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Up is a fan favorite of children and adults alike; while the line  “Adventure is out there” and the numerous other references to adventure may not resonate with children, it inspires adults to take more risks and free themselves from the restrictions placed on them.

Shrek (2001)

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Despite The Guardian claiming that the entire Shrek enterprise is better left in the past, we couldn’t disagree more! The line “Ogres are like onions…they have layers” reminds older people of human beings’ multifaceted nature, while as children, we may have found this funny.

Frozen (2013)

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Frozen has many catchy songs, the most popular of which is ‘Let It Go.’ Although children sing along to this song, the specific line “Let it go, can’t hold it back anymore!” may not appeal directly to them. Grown-ups, on the other hand, interpret this as a message to be emotionally open.

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

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The modern adaptation of Winne the Pooh contains many powerful lines, such as “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” This line reminds adults, more so than children, that they are worthy even if they don’t believe it themselves.

Moana (2016)

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Many adults instill confidence in their children, so the line “Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface” may not strike a chord with them. However, for grownups who have experienced their fair share of criticism, this classic Moana line serves as a reminder that they have gifts and talents within them.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

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Children may not give a second thought to the line “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” in the first Harry Potter movie, unlike adults who are reminded of forgiveness. It’s not easy advice to take, so Psych Central advises meditation to quiet our mind and find forgiveness.

Coco (2017)

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When Coco was released, cinemas were flooded with children, and they would have heard the line “Seize your moment.” This appeals more to us adults, as we tend to procrastinate doing things we want to do to appease other people. Thankfully, kids live in the moment without even trying!

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

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As kids, we take the line, “The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work,” with a pinch of salt, unaware of the world that awaited us. Sadly, The Princess and the Frog is correct; as adults, we need to put in hard work if we want success.

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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One of the main lessons of Beauty and the Beast is “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” As kids, we may have gotten caught up in the magical storyline, but as adults, we are more inclined to support Time Magazine’s notion that dating someone just because they’re attractive isn’t a good idea.

The Jungle Book (1967)

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Even today, many children have teddy bears and posters relating to The Jungle Book. The line “Forget about your worries and your strife” sticks out in particular to adults, however, as we tend to have more worries than children who don’t have to pay attention to finances or careers yet.

Matilda (1996)

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Finally, as children, we glossed over the line, “I’m smart, you’re dumb, I’m big, you’re little, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” As adults, this classic Matilda line is clearly related to power dynamics. It reminds us that some older people have a superiority complex and that young people are just as strong and important to society.

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