Pinnocchio can’t lie and Cinderella can’t say no: meet the Disney characters who suck at life

Zero to hero, amirite?

The animated protagonists aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be (Credit: Marc Levin)

This week we celebrate the anniversary of the classic Disney animated movie Pinocchio, which was released in 1940. Prior to becoming a real boy, the poor puppet was cursed with the worst flaw for any kid his age – an inability to lie. 

And because we all know misery loves company, what a better way to celebrate his 81st birthday than by looking at other notable Disney failures from the ranks of famous protagonists.

Mulan is bad at being a man 

Obviously, the whole point of this Disney classic is to show that Mulan can be just as badass as any man. But you only have to look at her first days in the training camp to see that she’s absolutely terrible at all things “manly”. She can’t walk the walk or talk the talk, and her social skills are, unsurprisingly, not greatly improved by the guidance of a tiny dragon with impostor syndrome. 

Good luck with that, Shang (via GIPHY)

Ariel makes the worst deals 

We’re not talking paying a tenner on Amazon Prime Day for a gadget that was clearly never worth the £60 it was “discounted” from, or splurging on 2-4-1 cocktails that taste like Tango Ice Blasts and don’t make you feel even remotely buzzed. Ariel straight up gave up her voice to an evil witch just so she can have a hot bod (with an expiration date!!). Honestly, the girl should have known better. 

Always read the T&Cs, you poor, unfortunate soul (via GIPHY)

Cinderella just can’t say no to people

It’s one thing doing your fair share of chores to keep the domestic peace, but blimey, good old Cinders is an absolute pushover. She’s got a classic case of people-pleaser syndrome. And yes, we know that’s why she’s so pure and gets the prince, but honestly, it kind of sends the wrong message. You can set boundaries and still be likeable. 

“If only I had *more* chores!” (via GIPHY)

Jasmine seriously needs to check her privilege

The 2019 live action remake of Aladdin actually does a very decent job of developing Jasmine’s character, which culminates with the absolute banger that is Speechless. However, in the original animated version, she’s a little bit of a brat. Not wanting an arranged marriage is understandable, but setting your tiger on suitors is just plain irresponsible. And don’t even get us started on wanting to live like a commoner, who, get this, doesn’t want to pay for stuff. Yeah, good one Jasmine, go back to your palace.

“How dare you suggest I must pay for food?!” (via GIPHY)

Belle doesn’t recognise a toxic relationship 

Alright, this is the oldest one in the book, but we couldn’t leave it out. Generally speaking, if a man doesn’t let you leave the house, treats his staff no better than household objects and threatens your family, it doesn’t matter how big his… library is, you should get out of there.

Stockholm Syndrome for Dummies is filed under “S”, look it up (via GIPHY)