While the body of Walt Disney isn’t actually being frozen until medical science can revive him, that doesn’t mean there’s not some pretty weird stuff in Disney movies. From subliminal messages to out-an-out nudity, the supposedly kid-friendly works are riddled with instances of attempted murder and rape, not to mention bizarre sexual perversions lurking in the background art. While most of it is pretty darned humorous, really uptight parents may have a conniption and tear up those tickets to Disneyland.
- Tinkerbell the Murderer – When you think of the animated Peter Pan, you probably think of a whimsical tale of flying fairies, comical pirates, and a crocodile with an alarm clock inside him. But do you remember the scene where Tinkerbell tries to have Wendy Darling murdered? That’s right folks, the jealous little fairy tries to off a girl barely old enough to squeal in delight at the sight of Edward Cullen. It’s quickly forgotten, of course, and nobody seems to hold a grudge. When Tinkerbell gets blown up, we’re even encouraged by Peter Pan to clap our hands and magically restore the pint-sized murderess. Like a sap, I fell for it.
- Priest with a Boner – Check out this picture from the wedding sequence of The Little Mermaid. As Aerial prepares to get hitched, you can clearly see that the priest is sporting a raging hard-on. Now I’ll admit that Aerial is pretty hot for a cartoon character, but that’s taking it a little too far. Disney claimed it was one of his bony legs, but you can decide for yourself. Oh, and the original DVD cover depicted a golden phallus amidst the spires of the palace (Disney also had an excuse for this one before editing it out).
- The Happy Slave – Disney’s Song of the South melded live-action and animation together, but the most notable part of the film was the portrayal of Uncle Remus, a happy slave who thrills the white kids with tales of rabbits and such. The film has never been released on home video in the United States, largely because of what the NAACP deemed “an idyllic master-slave relationship.” Even Roger Ebert has supported the self-imposed ban, citing the tendency for children to take anything in a Disney film to heart. Maybe Roger hasn’t heard about the priest’s boner.
- The Story of Menstruation – Made in 1946 by Disney, this educational film would become a schoolhouse staple for young girls throughout the decades. Mixing diagrams with animation, the short discusses the female reproductive organs and examines the female gender from birth until motherhood. Did it serve a useful purpose? Yes. It is one of the better examples of weird stuff in Disney movies? Hell, yes.
- White Wilderness – Speaking of weird, we’ve all heard tales about lemmings and their penchant for throwing themselves off cliffs. That’s actually completely false. It turns out that this so-called behavior was first captured during a Disney documentary named White Wilderness, and the poor lemmings were forced off the cliff by the filmmakers. There you have it: lemming suicide is bullshit, and the documentarians employed by Disney were nothing more than mass murderers. Still, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
- Sex and The Lion King – When Simba plops down on the edge of a cliff (no doubt looking for suicidal lemmings), the flowers crushed beneath him release a spray of pollen that flies into the air and briefly forms the word “sex.” Don’t believe me? Just look at the picture. These animators from Disney really need to get out more.
- Drug Use in Alice in Wonderland – Is there any doubt what’s going on in this trippy animated film? Alice gets smashed on wafers, the caterpillar smokes a hookah until he can barely movie, and the White Rabbit shoots heroin with Courtney Love. Okay, I made that last bit up, but there are numerous examples of people getting effed up throughout the film. Jefferson Airplane discussed the source material in a song, for God’s sake, so what does that tell you?! It was also screened on college campuses as a “head film” during the 1970s.
- Pinocchio Makes an Ass of Himself – While we’re on the subject of weird stuff in Disney movies, let’s not forget the scene in Pinocchio where he and Lampwick are transformed into donkeys by the villainous Coachman. The transformation scene is enough to make younger kids pee their pants in fear, but consider what happens later. Pinocchio is rescued, but all the other donkey-boys are left to live out a nightmarish existence on Pleasure Island. Imagine being a donkey with a human mind. Chilling.
- Naked Lady from The Rescuers – As heroic rodents Bernard and Bianca speed down the street in a modified sardine can, a topless, non-animated woman is clearly visible in a background window. The frames were later cut, and I’m guessing that someone ended up on the unemployment line.
- Der Fuehrer’s Face – Released as anti-Nazi propaganda for World War II, this 1943 animated short features Donald Duck as a German citizen forced to work long hours in a munitions factory. He must make the Nazi salute every time a picture of Hitler passes by, and his “paid vacation” consists of nothing more than a few seconds of making swastika shapes with his body in front of a painting of the Alps. Considered one of the greatest cartoons ever, it’s the only work starring Donald Duck to win an Oscar (Animated Short Film). I doubt you’ll find many cartoons where Hitler gets hit in the face with a tomato.
This should give you a pretty good idea of the weird stuff in Disney movies, and I’m sure there’s even more out there (just waiting to pervert your children). If you can think of any we’ve left off the list, be sure to drop us a line in the comments section. In the meantime, here are a few more Odd Films articles that you’ll be interested in: