If getting drunk alone and over-analyzing decades-old childrens’ movies was an Olympic sport, I’d be the Michael Phelps of whatever that was called (it’s called sadness). We’ve already looked into the dark plots of Disney movies before on this site, covering the more obvious cases of bestiality, Stockholm syndrome, and straight-up murder. And that’s just Beauty and the Beast. So since they tend to get my site a lot of hits, here’s some more real talk about your favorite Disney cartoons.
Where to begin with the problems in Sleeping Beauty, a movie about arranged marriage, baby murder, and making out with sleeping women. From the very beginning, this movie gets dark, with an arranged marriage between a newborn baby and a kid who looks to be around 10. It’s supposed to be cute in an “Aww, how many goats did dad get for Princess Aurora?” kind of way. Then three fairies show up and give Aurora the gifts of beauty and song, because they figured they should help the princess be about as useful as a cockatoo. Nobody wants to give Princess Aurora intelligence, or wisdom, or the ability to not have a fiancee when she’s 3 months old? Because those gifts might help.
After the fairies are done high-fiving the newly-engaged baby, Maleficent shows up. She’s upset that she wasn’t invited to the christening/bachelorette party of this newborn baby, so she does what anyone would do and decides that the baby must die. And clearly the best way to do this is to have her touch a spinning wheel some time within the next 16 years, instead of just using your magic to kill the baby. I mean, it’s a baby and you have the power to turn into a dragon. It may have a 10 year old husband, but it’s still just a baby. Sure enough, in the kingdom of rational decision-making, the king and queen’s reaction to this threat is to give their child away. Some crazy lady said, “Maybe your kid’s gonna die someday” so they said, “Well, shit, guess we gotta get rid of this kid.”
But have no fear, because after they’ve sold a baby into an arranged marriage, somebody has threatened to kill a baby, and she is shipped off to live in a shack in the woods, she ultimately gets saved by some stranger making out with her while she’s asleep. Since it’s Disney, they call it “true love’s kiss” but technically they’re just taking Philip’s word for it. He could just be some freak who goes around making out with sleeping women. When she woke up she was probably thrilled to be thinking “Who’s tongue is that? Oh, it’s that guy I met once in the woods!” Luckily, though, the romantic ending is that it didn’t matter, because it was the same guy that her parents sold her to in the beginning! He already owned her! Romance.
Good God, where to even start with Dumbo. Most people haven’t seen Dumbo in a while, but as someone who really enjoys racist movies about drunk children going on benders, I watched it recently and Jesus Christ is it a weird movie. In case you don’t remember, Dumbo, who is essentially a child, learns how to fly when he accidentally gets blackout drunk. Seriously. He wakes up in a tree after blacking out on champagne and the logical thought is, “Bro, I musta been so drunk that I flew into this tree.” That’s not an exaggeration either, that’s how Dumbo learns he can fly – by blacking out and waking up in a tree. In a kids movie. It’s exactly the same plot as The Hangover.
Once Dumbo gets over his hangover, he gets help learning to fly from far-and-away the most racist Disney characters in existence. And that’s no shallow accomplishment, seeing that this the same company that had Louis Prima play a jive-talking monkey, had a song called “What Makes The Red Man Red?“, and also made an entire movie called “Song of the South” – a movie in which Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da is somehow the least racist moment. But nothing can ever top the crows in Dumbo, the leader of whom was a white actor playing a character literally named JIM CROW. Yes, really. And he’s one of the good guys.
The head crow, who is, to reiterate, named Jim Crow, leads his merry band of his “brothers” in a song that really needs to be experienced to be believed. In case you missed it, the chorus is indeed “I be done seen bout errything, when I sees an elephant fly.” As sung by Jim Crow, played by a white guy. Honestly, even in 1941 when this was released, it was over the top. Some guy probably looked up while taking a sip from his whites only water fountain to go, “Well, that’s a bit much.” So next time somebody tells you that they let their kid watch Dumbo, remember that they just let their kid watch a movie with a lead character named JIM GODDAMN CROW.