Finding Hidden Things In Walt Disney Movies
Urban Legend or Attack on Children’s Morals In Disney Cartoon?
One of the modern urban legends is that of finding Hidden Things in Walt Disney Movies. Since there have been so many made during the years of Walt Disney’s lifetime and afterward, it is not surprising that there is a field of belief which holds that numerous examples of sexual or racist remarks and behavior have been displayed by the characters.
Researchers have found some of the evidence quite clear; in other cases, it seems to be a case of the eye seeing what the mind expects it to see. Or, the ear hears what is expected. Most of the instances discussed in chat rooms and in blogs around the internet have to do with comments or pictures of sexual nature, but a few movie goers sincerely believe that racial epithets and bias are shown in several Disney cartoon “shorts” as well as by more recent feature film characters.
The most notable examples put forth by detractors include a sexually aroused priest during the wedding scene of The Little Mermaid; a phallic symbol on the cover of the first 200 copies of the home video of The Little Mermaid; a chant in The Lion King talking book regarding squashed bananas; an out of context comment about teenagers and clothes which is heard in Aladdin; a topless female in The Rescuers; and a bottomless female in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Racial epithets or stereotyping
Three examples are commonly mentioned by detractors. The Song of the South never was released as a home video in the United States, due to the false picture painted of life on a southern plantation; Donald Duck uses the “N” word to Daffy Duck in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?; and the massing of the hyenas in The Lion King which bears a striking resemblance to news clips of Hitler’s goose-stepping troops.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs purportedly refers to the seven stages of cocaine addition. More often, the Alice in Wonderland movie is cited as being full of drug references. Examples are the Caterpillar smoking hash, the magic mushrooms which distort reality, and the White Rabbit on speed.
Numerous web sites and forums have asked about these negative aspects of the squeaky clean Disney image. In most specific instances, one expert responding will say the negative conclusion is correct, while the next expert will prove that it could not possibly be what the rumor describes. One example will suffice. During a scene in Aladdin, the main character purportedly states “Good teenagers take off your clothes”.
The script says “C’mon good kitty..take off and go” Sound track analysis reveals that the segment consists of the first voice (Aladdin) saying “C’mon good kitty” and at the same time as the word “kitty” is spoken, a SECOND voice (unknown) says “Pssst…take off your clo…”. The entire few seconds of dialogue, thus could be considered proven to be false, but those who later state opinions seem to be about evenly divided as to what Aladdin actually said.
Tracing the history of even one of these instances of hidden messages is an interesting exercise in communications, movie making, and cultural and religious mores.