A mandala is a Hindu symbol used to represent the four basic divisions of existence-time, space, matter, and consciousness. The word ‘mandala’ means ‘wheel’. One wheel may be translated as ‘lifeless matter’ and the other as ‘matter that lives’. This mandala is particularly associated with Disney and cartoon characters because they represent the various stages of life. Since Disney shows the stages of life in such an imaginative way, it is easy to see how a mandala drawing can be applied in their artwork.
For example, the Disney Princesses represents two broad categories of Disney cartoons-the virtuous princesses and the wicked princesses. The former are more realistic, and there is some chance that you will be tempted to think that these represent the good and evil points of view. But the wicked princesses, such as the evil queen from Snow White, or the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty, are ‘pure evil’, without a speck of good within them. These cartoon villains are symbolic of the transformations that take place during childhood; they become something terrible and unforgettable. They are evil only in their own eyes, and no one can see the goodness within them.
The other category of cartoon characters is the virtues, which are less real but equally inspiring. The princess Jasmine, for example, represents wisdom and justice, which are associated with truth, gentleness and mercy. Ariel represents beauty and passion, which are associated with love, attraction and creativity. Merida, another of the characters from Brave, represents loyalty and fidelity, which are linked with kindness, consideration and understanding. These cartoon characters are usually linked to the virtues, but it is not always the case, as the most famous of them are not necessarily associated with them.