Hidden Sexual Innuendo In Disney Movies
Mischievous Disney Animators or Urban Legend?
Reported incidents of hidden sexual innuendo in disney movies have given birth to a large number of urban legends concerning Disney’s animated feature films. Documented incidents and complaints have been rampantly scrutinized in every corner of the World Wide Web, as well as in many print publications that dominate the parenting and religious marketplace. While it seems that Disney has been able to explain away the questionable content in the majority of the scenes in question, a few remain a little ambiguous.
Those crying foul point to numerous video images and audio clips that they believe are the product of Disney animators and engineers. Enraged parents, like Janet Gilmer of Washington County, Arkansas, have accused Disney of knowingly leaving these sexual indiscretions in films for years. Gilmer filed suit against The Walt Disney Company in the early 90’s, but she dropped the case soon after.
As Disney tries to answer questions and offer explanations about the inclusion of sexual imagery and dialogue in popular films such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King, it is important to remember that they have encountered this problem before. The 1977 release of The Rescuers contained two frames that clearly showed a topless woman in the background of a particular scene. Disney recalled nearly 3.5 million copies of the home video offering an apology and a “promise to families that we can trust and rely on the Disney brand to provide the finest in family entertainment” (Mikkelson).
In this case, Disney admitted that someone had slipped the images into the final release copy and came forward with the admission when they discovered the problem in house. Disney caught the problem before the activist groups or the media and promptly addressed the situation by issuing the recall.
Why, if they were willing to admit their foible in The Rescuers, are so many unwilling to believe the seemingly innocent explanations that they offer for incidents in their other films? It seems that Disney’s explanations are insufficient. In the home video release of The Lion King, there is a scene where a swirl of dust goes up into the night sky and appears to spell out the word SEX. Disney claims that the word is actually SFX, a common abbreviation for “special effects”. In another instance, this one from The Little Mermaid, complaints erupted over a scene in which a priest appeared to have an erection. Again, Disney was able to pull the frame-by-frame stills from the film and show that what they were seeing was the priest’s knee.
In spite of Disney’s relentless refutations of wrongdoing, the accusations continue to pour in. Complaints about dolls, video games and other products based on Disney characters seem to draw an unusual amount of scrutiny from many conservative parenting groups. While accusations of witch hunting have never passed from the lips of The Walt Disney Company, there must be someone out there taking the time to take things apart and go through them frame-by-frame and syllable-by-syllable in order to find these supposed indiscretions.
Cited: Mikkelson, Barbara. "The Rescuers." Urban Legend Reference Pages. 2 Feb. 2007. http://snopes.com/disney/films/rescuers.html.