Every actor has a toolbox of tips and tricks they use to land “wow” at auditions and land gigs. One of the most important tools in your toolbox as an actor is a collection of monologues.
And where best to get your monologues than from the many blockbuster movies Disney has produced?
If you’re in need of great monologues, give Disney monologues a shot. Most are short, punchy, and very memorable.
Monologue – Is it Really You Talking to Yourself? (That’s Just Weird)
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s define what a monologue is. It may not be what you think. Most people define a monologue as a scene in which one person is talking. Period. But a monologue is actually a scene in which you speak – and another character listens.
This means when you do a monologue, you have to imagine the other character listening, and even reacting. When you do a monologue with the other character in mind, your monologue becomes more lively and convincing.
That’s the whole point, isn’t it? To give such a powerful solo performance people actually believe you’re talking to a real person.
Why Monologues from Disney Movies are Some of the Best (Ever)
When it comes to entertainment, Disney must have the magic formula everyone is looking for. Great concepts, amazing storytelling, and brilliant artwork make all of us look forward to the next Disney production.
But one thing they do best, even though they never get credit for it, is creating great speeches for their characters. So, what makes Disney monologues great?
They are Packed with Emotions
Whether it’s a Disney princess monologue (I know kids of today call it a rant. How uncultured of them!), or a funny intro to the story, Disney knows how to pack emotions into a monologue.
A great example is Dory begging Marlin to stay with here in the Disney movie Finding Nemo – “No. No, you can’t. …STOP! Please don’t go away. Please? No one’s ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave…if you leave… I just, I remember things better with you! I do, look! P. Sherman, forty-two…forty-two… I remember it, I do. It’s there, I know it is because when I look at you, I can feel it. And…and I look at you, and I…and I’m home! Please…I don’t want that to go away. I don’t want to forget.”
If you can pull off an emotionally charged monologue, whether for an audition or an audience, you’re bound to steal the show.
They Have a Clear Format
When you study Disney movies monologues, you will discover they all have a clear pattern – beginning, middle, and end. That pattern has a reason behind it, and the reason is to take you on a journey with the character (albeit a short one).
The beginning hooks you and makes you empathize with the character. The middle carries you on an emotional high, and finally, the end brings you back down again. It may take a few minutes, but that simple monologue can hook you to the entire story and make you a big fan.
Now, imagine having that kind of effect on the judges at an audition. Why not steal a couple of monologues from Disney movies and “own” them?
They are Short, Precise, and Punchy
The most used one-liners anywhere are 1-minute monologues from Disney. Why? They are short, precise, and punchy. Above that, they are very memorable. These are the kind of monologues you should employ in order to make a lasting impression.
Have a Clear Purpose
A good monologue must have a clear purpose, or two. For example, it can be used to reveal the characters deep feelings in a way acting alone cannot. The monologue expands the character. In other instances, a monologue can be used to elicit certain feelings from the audience, usually empathy, if it’s the “hero” of the story doing the talking.
A good example is a monologue from the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians. Here’s Cruella De Vil’s epic monologue: “You beasts! But I’m not beaten yet. You’ve won the battle, but I’m about to win the wardrobe. My spotty puppy coat is in plain sight and leaving tracks.
In a moment I’ll have what I came for, while all of you will end up as sausage meat, alone on some sad, plastic plate. Dead and medium red. No friends, no family, no pulse. Just slapped between two buns, smothered in onions, with fries on the side. Cruella De Vil has the last laugh!”
The interesting thing about this monologue is that the way the villain is talking about the heroes of the show actually makes the audience feel sorry for them. I mean, who would want a cute Dalmatian turned into a spotty coat in an evil woman’s wardrobe? Or as sausage meat?
Lights, Camera, Disney Monologue!
As you prepare for your next audition, remember the lessons you have learned from the monologues in Disney movies. Go out there and impress – enough to get the role.