Cartoon heroes show how to stay happy

Need advice on how to keep yourself occupied during the circuit breaker period? Get it from animated shows like Sleeping Beauty and Wall-E and try baking, cracking puzzles or playing the clarinet. Chelsea Kiew reports

Rapunzel: Keep your mind active and groom yourself.
Rapunzel: Keep your mind active and groom yourself.PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

1 Rapunzel: Keep your mind active and groom yourself

Rapunzel (Tangled, 2010) might have been isolated. This princess lived in a tower for 18 long years, with only a morally ambiguous woman who adopted her for company.

However, Rapunzel never let isolation get her down, keeping her mind busy with activities.

In the film's opening song, When Will My Life Begin?, she lists what she does for the day, including "paper mache, a bit of ballet and chess" as well as "pottery and ventriloquy, candle-making".

And, as everyone's hair grows longer during the circuit breaker, Rapunzel has a few words of advice: Don't let isolation stop you from keeping clean and looking groomed - "brush and brush" that hair.

2 Sleeping Beauty: Spend some time with nature and celebrate milestones and achievements


Also known as Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, 1959), this beauty lived in relative isolation for the first 16 years of her life, growing up under the care of her fairy godmothers.

She might have been hiding from the clutches of the evil fairy, Maleficent, but in her spare time, this dreamy romantic used her time well.

After spending time in the great outdoors alone and familiarising herself with the flora and fauna, she has a vast knowledge of plants, knowing what berries to pick and eat. She also befriends various woodland critters, which remain her loyal companions.

And staying home does not mean that life is at a standstill. Aurora took the time to celebrate significant moments, ushering in her 16th birthday with a get-together with her fairy godmothers.

3 Elsa: Take the time to reflect and spend time with loved ones


Being the heir to the throne of a country can be tough. Coupled with having to keep her ice powers a secret, Elsa (Frozen, 2013) certainly had her hands full and her fists tightly clenched.

Before her ascension to the throne, she spent much of the time alone in her room, wrestling with her inner demons.

While reflection might be constructive, do not let the circuit breaker socially isolate you. Elsa ultimately managed to open the door and spend some time with her little sister, Anna, building snowmen and rebuilding their relationship.

4 Ariel: Don't lose sight of your goals and work on your collections


The wide ocean is Ariel's (The Little Mermaid, 1989) playground and home. However, she is still confined.

Her companion, Sebastian the Crab, reminds her, "Darling it's better down where it's wetter" in Under The Sea, but she yearns to explore the human world.

However, staying underwater does not stop her from living each day to the fullest and making progress on her goals - learning about the human world that she dreams of being a part of.

Staying home also allows Ariel to build up her collection of human artefacts.

She visits shipwrecks to excavate human items and occasionally finds gems, including "dinglehoppers" and "snarfblatts", to add to her "secret grotto".

5 Belle: Feed your brain and your belly


Belle (Beauty And The Beast, 1991) might have been trapped in the Beast’s imposing castle, but she made use of the peace and quiet to devour book after book.

With the Beast’s extensive library at her fingertips, she read all types of literary texts – from plays to poems.

While staying home, Belle is also treated to a “culinary cabaret”, chowing down on a veritable feast of French food, which, as Lumiere sings in Be Our Guest, includes “soup du jour” and “hot hors d’oeuvres”.

6 Wall-E: Do some cleaning and enjoy entertainment


The titular character, Wall-E (Wall-E, 2008) is a lonely little robot, with the entire planet for him to roam, but no companion to go with.

However, he staves off boredom by spending his free time conscientiously cleaning the Earth, compacting trash day after day.

And after a productive day, he keeps his spirits up and the loneliness away by watching Hello, Dolly! (1969) and dancing along to Put On Your Sunday Clothes.

7 Squidward: Work hard and pursue artistic endeavours


Squidward Tentacles is an essential worker. He is the cashier at a fast-food restaurant famous for its signature burger, the Krabby Patty, in cartoon series SpongeBob SquarePants (1999 to present).

After a day of hard work, he goes straight home, but his day does not end there. He spends his time dabbling in artistic pursuits - from playing the clarinet to completing paintings such as his work, Bold And Brash (2001).

While some naysayers might believe that it "belongs in the trash", one cannot deny the dedication to his craft. Keep busy and keep at it, Squidward.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2020, with the headline 'Cartoon heroes show how to stay happy'. Subscribe