The Straits Times/Asia News Network
A still from 'Tangled.' (Disney/File)
Need advice on how to keep yourself occupied during the circuit-breaker period? Why not take a lesson from these seven cartoon characters, from Disney heroines to a robot and a squid offering essential services?
1. Rapunzel: Keep your mind active, and groom yourself
Rapunzel (Tangled, 2010) might have been isolated. This preppy princess lived in a tower in the woods for 18 years, with only her morally ambiguous mother who her for company.
However, Rapunzel never let isolation get her down, keeping her mind busy with eclectic activities.
In the film's opening song, "When Will My Life Begin," she lists the deeds of the day, including the more outlandish "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 poignant 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 languorous lady 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, who lived deep in the woods, used her time well.
After years traversing the great outdoors alone and familiarizing herself with the local flora and fauna, Aurora acquires a vast knowledge of plants, knowing what berries to pick and eat. She also befriends various woodland critters, who 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, even one as small as Arendelle, 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, Elsa spent much of the time alone in her room, wrestling with her inner demons.
While reflection might be constructive, don't 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 re-building their relationship.
4. Ariel: Don't lose sight of your goals and work on your collections
Ariel (The Little Mermaid, 1989) might have a larger space than most, with the entire ocean as her playground and home. However, she is still confined.
While her companion, Sebastian the Crab, coaxes, "Darling it's better down where it's wetter" in "Under The Sea," our imaginative explorer still yearns to set eyes and fin on the human world - the one place she longs to explore.
However, staying underwater does not stop her from living each day to the fullest and making progress on her goals, exploring and learning about the human world that she someday dreams of being a part of, through the debris that drifts down to the bottom.
Staying home also allows Ariel to built up her extensive collection of human artifacts.
This aquatic archaeologist 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 abode, but this erudite heroine made use of the peace and quiet to devour and digest book after book.
With the Beast's extensive library at her fingertips, the brilliant beauty pored over all types of literary texts, from plays to poems.
But her brain wasn't the only one getting fed. While staying home, Belle was 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: Get to cleaning, and keep entertained
The titular character, Wall-E (Wall-E, 2008) is one lonely little robot, with the entire planet for him to roam, but no companion to roam 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, Wall-E 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 endeavors
Squidward Tentacles is an essential worker. He works tirelessly as the cashier of fast food restaurant, The Krusty Krab, famous for its signature burger, the Krabby Patty, in cartoon series SpongeBob SquarePants (1999- now).
After a day of hard work, Squidward goes straight home - but his day doesn't end there. This diligent dilettante spends his time dabbling in artistic pursuits, from practising the clarinet, to completing entire 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.
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