At just shy of a year old, my kids aren’t watching much TV yet, but I will readily admit to using Netflix as a temporary babysitter when I have a headache or just want (need) to finish a cup of coffee uninterrupted. Overall, my favorite Disney classics have stood the test of time fairly well … except for the weird questions that pop into my adult head while watching the beloved characters of my childhood.
Underage marriage, Stockholm Syndrome, and horrifically blatant racism aside, there are more than a few Disney movies that raise some questions, and some eyebrows, about the kinds of things that were going on behind the scenes. I’ll still try to enjoy Disney movies in the meantime, despite these awful thoughts occupying the background of my mind the whole time – at least until the twins are old enough to ask who Nala’s dad was in The Lion King.
1. Beauty and the Beast implies the existence of sexually active teapots.
This was one of my favorite Disney movies as a child, which is why re-watching it as an adult hurts the most. Stockholm Syndrome aside, there is something seriously messed up about a sorceress punishing a ten-year-old orphan with the possibility of turning into a slavering man-beast for all time just because he was a dick to her when she showed up on his doorstep in the middle of the night. Gosh, I guess maybe his parents didn’t have time to teach him etiquette before their untimely deaths.
But here’s the question I can’t stop asking: where the hell did Chip, a six-year-old child, come from? During “Be Our Guest”, the servants mention that they’ve been cursed for ten years. This implies one of two things: either the sorceress decided it was a totally legit punishment to turn a small child into a teacup because his boss was mean; or teapot sex is a thing.
2. The Little Mermaid makes us wonder if the mermaid fifth-graders had to go to the gym for a special talk while the merboys stayed in class.
Fish don’t menstruate, which you probably know even if you aren’t a Science Mom. What did Ariel think the first time she got her period? I can only imagine a freakout to rival the shower scene from Carrie, although hopefully Prince Eric wouldn’t throw a box of tampons in her face while yelling at her to ‘plug it up’.
3. The prince from Snow White has 99 problems and most of them should come with a jail sentence.
Snow White is fourteen years old. I just want to put that out there. If you see an apparently dead 14-year-old lying on the side of the road, and your first instinct is to make out with her, you need Jesus. And an arrest warrant.
4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame doesn’t need any help from me in raising awkward questions.
This G-rated movie features pole dancing, and a villain who sings about he plans to either have sex with the heroine, or murder her. How was I allowed to watch this as a 13-year-old?
5. Does the world of Tangled have Nair?
Rapunzel’s hair has magical healing properties. Is that only the hair on her head, or would armpit hair, leg hair, or hair from, um, anywhere else also do the trick?
6. The family tree in The Lion King is just a straight line.
How many adult male lions do you remember seeing strolling around Pride Rock besides Mufasa and his brother Scar? I count exactly zero. Not only was Mufasa most likely Nala’s dad, or at best, her uncle, but adult male lions also have the not-so-cute behavior of committing infanticide when they take over a pride. So if Simba had any older half-brothers or half-sisters, they might have been eaten by his dad before Simba was born. Don’t worry, kids, it’s all part of the beautiful circle of life!