I remember the boys in my junior high school telling me about all the hidden messages in Disney movies. They said there were hidden propositions underneath characters’ voices, obscene drawings in the architecture, and nudity in the background. I never believed them because adolescent boys see sex in the patterns of chicken nuggets on their cafeteria trays.
Turns out, they might have been right. The evidence for pesky animators putting their adult tricks into children’s movies seems to be there, some of the time at least. But you’ll never find them on your DVD’s. After Disney found out about the hullabaloo surrounding these adult themes, they removed the obscene parts from all of their movies. But here are some of the most famous subliminal messages from Disney movies, whether they are believable or not:
--The Lion King. When Simba remembers his father on the top of a cliff, the word “S-E-X” is apparently written in the clouds above his head.
--The Little Mermaid. The tower of the castle from the Little Mermaid’s movie cover looks a little less like a tower than another type of erection. Rumor has it that the artist who drew the cover was about to be fired, so in his anger and hurry to meet his deadline, he didn’t disguise his final goodbye to Disney as discreetly as he had intended. Later versions of the movie removed the tower.
--The Rescuers Down Under. The 1977 movie has a photograph of an actual topless model during a short frame of the movie. The naked lady makes an appearance as Bianca and Bernard fly through the city in a sardine can. Disney recalled more than 3.4 million copies of the movie.
--Aladdin. In the scene during which Aladdin is trying to reach Jasmine on his magic carpet right underneath her window, he supposedly says, “Good teenagers take off your clothes” very quickly. Take a look for yourself.
--Who Framed Roger Rabbit? During a duet between Donald Duck and Daffy Duck, Donald supposed calls Daffy the n-word. Donald is pretty difficult to understand and the captions say he calls Daffy “Goddurn stubborn nitwit,” which seems a little more believable. Donald also had a potty mouth in a 1995 cartoon called “Clock Cleaners”—the cartoon was removed from shelves at Wal-Mart after complaints that the angry duck shouted “f---you!”
--Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The dirty movie also features a scene during which the lady love interest, Jessica Rabbit, is shown being thrown from a taxi and exposing herself for a few seconds.
--The Beauty and the Beast. While most of these subliminal messages have been sexual in nature, The Beauty and the Beast features satanic images. In the scene of the movie featuring a stained-glass window, there are signs of evil, including satanic horns and a skull.
Sometimes, we can let what we want to believe lead us in the wrong direction. It’s hard to believe that the animators of The Lion King put so many hours into the film—but still decided it would be worth it to put the word “sex” into every scene. Sometimes, these subliminal messages seem indisputable—like in The Rescuers—but sometimes, junior high boys, they really are complete bogus.