Disney Myths Dispelled

I’ll start by explaining my absence and then make it up to you by dispelling some popular Disney myths. I’ve been a little MIA lately because, quite frankly, the sun came back out. Depending on where you live, this may or may not be significant. While the sun does often shine in Alaska during the winter (just for only a few hours each day), it doesn’t feel that strong and barely makes the day more bearable. However, now we’re hitting 40’s for highs each afternoon, and the warm sun coupled with the crisp air means that I am spending much more time outside than I am inside. This means less time watching movies and less time spent on the computer. Additionally, there’s a lot of pre-tourist season activities to do with fewer crowds, so we’re busy planning those. For instance, a pod of 50 Orca were recently reported by the Alaska Dispatch in Resurrection Bay, a less than 3.5 hour drive from our home. I’ve already started researching whale watching tours in that area and will be begging my husband to find a way in our budget for us to go on his next weekend off. Fingers crossed our budget will allow for it, nay– encourage it. Otherwise I may be renting a kayak and venturing into the waters sans tour guide.

Back to Disney. Have you ever noticed when Disney is mentioned, half the room takes up arms against it? Saying it’s dirty, there’s hidden messages, they twist the stories too much. Well, I’m quite tired of it. So I’ve researched and read and watched and listened, and this is what I’ve found. I’ll tackle the 3 most popular myths, in the order of their release date.

It has long been speculated that there is a phallic image on the VHS cover of The Little Mermaid and a, er, ‘happy’ wedding officiant during Eric and Ursula-undercover’s wedding. Sadly, both of these are true–but only in the VHS release. Both images were restored to non-phallic-ness before  the DVD release. A disgruntled animator is to blame, though I can’t recall if his name is ever mentioned. I would think not, as I at least find that nearly unforgivable.

Aladdin is next. Supposedly, when Aladdin comes to Jasmine’s balcony after she declares herself not a prize to be won, he whispers “Take off your clothes”. This is false. Think about it: the animators, painters, voice actors and sound technicians would have all colluded to make that work. It’s highly unlikely that all of those people could collaborate to pull off a stunt like that and no one would notice. The editors would catch it at least. What was originally scripted and said by the voice actor was directed to Raja, Jasmine’s pet tiger. He says, “Nice kitty, take off and go, go on.” There isn’t anything malicious or said with ill intent to subtly negatively influence children; that’s exactly the kind of behavior Walt was against. For the DVD release, this line of dialogue was completely removed. So while the myth about The Little Mermaid may be factual, Aladdin‘s is not.

When people hear about my deep and unconditional love for all things Lion King, they try to test me by tainting it and suggesting that at one point, s-e-x is spelled out. First I was told it was in the dust immediately after Mufasa’s death; then it was when Simba lays down on the ledge and flower seeds go flying in the wind. In actuality, the dust simply settles and there are no letters. The seeds spell out ‘S-F-X’, the acronym for the department that crafted that CGI sequence in a hand-drawn movie. Because it was disputed and tainted, it was removed for the DVD and Blu-ray release.

So there you have it, two myths dispelled and one explained. So stop trash-talking Disney, people. The people who work there are good people and they don’t want to corrupt children, so give them the benefit of the doubt. If you hear any myths about Disney films, remember that it takes a few years to create each film and the amount of people who examine each and every frame is numerable. Getting something past that many people, after it happened with Little Mermaid, will likely never happen again.

Now I’m off to enjoy some sunshine 🙂

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