Our last entry on the dark side of Disney movies focused mostly on movies that were dark overall. For example, Hunchback is about an enslaved handicapped child, a stripper, the corruption of the 18th Century Catholic church, and attempted murder on a baby. The priest also tries to buy the stripper as well, making it a little bit about human trafficking, but hey, keep showing that movie to children. Today’s entry on dark Disney movies focuses more on individual scenes that somehow slipped past the studio’s level-headed censors. These were scenes obviously approved by the same people that thought, “Pocahontas is a romantic children’s story about the beginning of America’s Indian genocide.” We won’t be talking about the more popular (and proven) dark scenes like the sex flowers in The Lion King, the “teenagers take off your clothes” line in Aladdin, the priest boner in The Little Mermaid, or the porno in The Rescuers. Michael Eisner, you were running a goddamn frat house. But speaking of sex in The Lion King…
THIS IS WHERE KINGS COME FROM
The Lion King is undoubtedly the greatest Disney movie of all time, and it inspired some of the best pogs that I ever owned. One day while smoking tons of pot, a few producers at Disney studios said, “Shh, shh, ya know what would be funny? If we had Elton John write a musical about talking lions.” The premise is downright absurd, but the resulting movie is pure gold. Despite being a masterpiece, it had some questionable choices in scenes and characters. For example, go watch the “Be Prepared” scene again and tell me that isn’t three minutes of Hitler played by a gay cat. Because that’s exactly what that scene is, there’s really no room for interpretation. Nothing weird about having a scene with gay Hitler, Disney. But the truly dark part of The Lion King comes at “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” Sure, it’s a great song because every song written by Elton John in a movie about gay Hitler lions is going to be great, but the scene itself is a pretty blatant sex scene between two enormous cats. Luckily I was a child at the time, so when Nala lays on her back and gives Simba some serious “Let’s bang” eyes, I thought, “Ha, pinned ya again!” rather than what my parents should have been thinking, which was, “Please God, just don’t show the penetration.” It is so blatant that the viewer can actually confirm that they do it missionary style, which I highly doubt lions do in real life. Not that I’m about to Google “lion sex” because there’s no program in the world that can scrub my search results clean enough for that. Finally, after watching two lions pretty clearly bang missionary style, the scene cuts back to Pumbaa and Timon, the characters who started the song. MEANING THAT THEY WERE WATCHING THE WHOLE TIME. Seriously, what Disney executive was like, “It’s fine that the lions just had sex, but I want to make sure that the audience gets the impression that Simba’s friends watched.” Oh, and in case you had any doubts, do you remember how that movie ends? Yeah, that’s what I thought, because Nala gives birth.
50 SHADES OF JASMINE
Disney villains range pretty broadly on the evil spectrum. They can be as innocent as Gaston, who simply doesn’t want a local girl to marry her talking bear kidnapper, or they can be as evil as Lord Frolo from Hunchback who kills a woman and then attempts to drown a baby in the movie’s first five minutes. At the range closer to “baby murderer” is Jafar, the villain from Aladdin. Jafar was basically just John Waters in a funny hat. He was a strange villain in that he ran the entire government of Agrabah with nothing but a talking bird to help him, and the city seemed to be doing pretty great. The scene “One Step” from Aladdin shows that the city has a pretty thriving economy, a responsive police force, formidable living conditions, and great singing voices. Beyond Aladdin, everyone in Agrabah seems to be doing pretty well, so Jafar deserves more credit for efficient leadership and public service. But things take a turn for the more evil when Jafar gets a hold of The Genie and makes some weird wishes, the most disturbing of which is turning Jasmine into an unwilling sex slave. Once again, much like the sex scene in Lion King, it’s pretty straight forward. She’s wearing handcuffs, a chain, a bikini, and she’s forced to feed him. He even spits on her. And once again, although as an innocent child watching Aladdin in theaters I thought, “The chains are so she can’t escape,” now I watch that scene and think, “Oh my God, the chains are so she can’t escape.” Gay Hitler cats, missionary bestiality, and sex slaves. My parents were really playing it fast and loose with my impressionable young mind in the 90s.
THE MONSTERS OF FROZEN
Most people are sick of hearing about Frozen, but that movie is so damn good. It is the Citizen Kane of Disney movies, but with even more sleds. One of the highlights of Frozen is that the story structure is nontraditional, since there is really no “bad guys” until the last 15 minutes of the movie. The “bad guy” for the majority of the movie is a reluctant, cursed older sister who actually loves the protagonist. It’s a Disney movie that succeeds without a real villain; that is, until you look a bit closer. The true villains of Frozen are right there in the opening scenes: Elsa and Anna’s parents. After one minor incident that happens when they are children, the parents decide to lock Elsa into a single room for the rest of her life. People get less serious sentences for murder in Southern states. To make it worse, they let Anna know that her sister is behind the door, so every day while her sister goes slowly insane in solitary confinement, Anna goes to the door and says, “Wanna build a snowman,” when in reality all Elsa wants to build is a noose out of her bed sheets. Then it turns out when they’re adults that gloves work just fine. GLOVES. They could have just given her gloves, but instead they treated her like the sister in Pet Semetary. No wonder Elsa went a little crazy, her parents were basically Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. “It’s puts the lotion on its skin if it ever wants to see its sister again,” said Elsa’s parents, the true villains of Frozen.