The Dark World of Disney Cartoons

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For a few months after college, I worked at the happiest place on earth. No, not Disneyland, which is the Six Flags New Jersey of the Disney parks. I worked at Disney WORLD. Working at Disney World is kinda like working at a Type A personality factory that pays third world soccer ball wages. Despite my meager pay and smile-induced seizures, I still love everything Disney to this day, much to the dismay of my wife who thought she was marrying a man but instead ended up marrying a very articulate toddler who smells like booze. That being said, my time working in the underbelly of the Glorious Mouse Empire taught me to look at the darker side of Disney. So here are a few movies that you may not have noticed are terribly dark and should never be shown to children. It should also be obvious, but the Disney company owns the copyrights to all of these images and they do not endorse this post even a little bit. Whatever the opposite of endorsing something is, they do that.

Let our bright lights distract you from the fact that you're in a Floridian swamp.
Let our bright lights distract you from the fact that you’re in a Floridian swamp.
Beauty and the Beast

This one should require no explanation, as it makes no attempt to hide the intertwining themes of bestiality and Stockholm syndrome. Keep in mind that Belle began to fall in love with the beast long before she realized he was actually a human, meaning that the female lead made the conscious choice to be attracted to what amounts to a dog with a nice house. This is one of the many Disney movies where some straightforward talk would have solved everyone’s problems pretty quickly. If Beast had walked into town and said, “I’m actually a billionaire with the world’s largest castle, all you’ve gotta do is makeout with me,” that town would have turned into an orgy and his “curse” would have lasted at most twenty minutes. But instead, he keeps the truth secret and nobody questions why dogboy owns 600 acres outside of town. So without knowing that he’s human, Belle makes the conscious choice to be attracted to a talking bear. Just because an animal can talk, doesn’t mean it isn’t bestiality; you can’t go around banging parrots. Also, the entire plot rests on Belle’s textbook example of Stockholm syndrome. The Beast kidnaps her, locks her in her room, kidnaps her father, and then slowly starts to show her kindness which she grasps on to as any hostage would, before falling in love with him as a form of self preservation. That isn’t love, it’s Stockholm syndrome. Then when a handsome, totally-not-of-a-different-species townsperson attempts to rescue her, Lord Dogbear of Stockholm throws him off the roof. THAT IS YOUR HAPPY ENDING. When he turns into a prince at the end, that doesn’t excuse her bestiality, similar to how if you attempt to have sex with a prostitute that turns out to be a cop, you can’t turn around and say, “Hey, it was a cop, so that’s not prostitution!” Same exact principle.

Tale as old as time: charges pending.
Tale as old as time: charges pending.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now obviously the darkness of this particular film isn’t entirely Disney’s fault as it was written in 1831, but they can be blamed for deciding to create a children’s cartoon from an adult novel written in 18freakin31. Seriously, what was that production meeting like where that decision was made? “So we can’t get the rights to make The Grapes of Wrath, so how about we adapt a novel about torture, a deformed slave, and the corruption of the 19th Century Catholic church?” Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to show it to children, Disney. Nonetheless, Disney went forward and made the movie, but they also decided to not change any of the inappropriate aspects. Apparently Disney didn’t mind changing the story to include Jason Alexander as a fat demonic statute singing about hot dogs, but they did have the cultural integrity to make sure the lead female was still a stripper. Right off the bat, this movie starts with the villain attempting to DROWN A BABY. Not even in subtle terms, either – the bad guy quite clearly holds a baby over a well with every intention of killing it in the first two minutes of a Disney movie. And he doesn’t change his mind, he simply gets caught and goes, “Dammit, I guess I’ll kill this baby later.” Seriously, other Disney villains can’t even come close when they have their little villain meet ups. Oh, you tried to steal Ariel’s voice, Ursula? That’s cute, because Judge Frollo attempted to kill a baby before enslaving him and attempting to sex traffic a stripper. IN A DISNEY MOVIE. Beyond the slavery, baby murder, and stripping, the entire theme of the movie is that appearances don’t matter. Except that the guy who is beautiful on the inside ends up alone (and ultimately unemployed) at the end, while the lead female character blows him off for the more attractive man. Welcome to life, children, we live in a world where looks are everything and people drown babies. The end.

Teach your children the importance of making it rain.

Good Lord, Disney, why did you think that making Pocahontas was a good idea? Of all the points in American history to convert into a children’s movie, you chose the beginnings of what is basically genocide. And that isn’t my personal political views being imposed on a Disney movie, it’s the views of the movie itself. The movie openly admits that the bad guys are the white people who want to tear up the land, remove the native people, take over the country, and exploit the natural resources. This would be dark enough source material if it weren’t also for the fact that they chose a historical event where those bad guys actually won. So now children get to watch the movie and then ask their parents, “So did Pocahontas win, mommy?” to which the only appropriate reply is, “No, honey, the bad guys won and we live on an Indian burial ground and the world is awful.” Beyond teaching children about how they are the spawn of villains and good guys never win, any kid that actually sparks an interest in history from this movie quickly learns that Pocahontas was certainly a trailblazer in American history – she was one of the first gold diggers. Because in real life, she didn’t marry John Smith (who, fun fact, was voiced by Mel Gibson as a little cherry on this already incredibly racist sundae) but instead married some wealthy Englishman. If they had wanted to be historically accurate, the movie would have ended “And they lived happily ever after until she met a guy with a bigger house.” There is also a song called “Savages” which calls Native Americans “barely even human” so your kids will learn a new racial slur while they’re at it. So the themes of Pocahontas are: bad guys win, America is founded on genocide, money is more important than love, and all Indians are stereotypes. Well done, Disney. Well done.

And the winner is…
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