Who didn’t grow up watching Disney movies? If you were a little girl you wanted desperately to look like Princess Jasmine or to sing like Ariel. You wanted to find a prince like Cinderella and have squirrel friends like Snow White. Little boys wanted to grow up to be a prince and wanted to win the girl in the end. We all cried when Bambi lost her mom and had nightmares when Simba lost his dad. We wanted to fall in love like those squirrels in the Sword and the Stone. But who knew that these movies had underlying themes and secrets hidden in their storyline? From unhealthy relationships to blatant racism and mental illness, here are some Disney secrets that are hidden in plain sight.
Beauty and the Beast is one of many Disney stories where a beautiful woman falls in love with a prince. But when you really examine the story, she falls in love with a animal-like beast that captures her and holds her hostage. He is even abusive. People have even suggested that Belle might have Stockholm Syndrome. She puts up with his volatile behavior and his angry outbursts and, despite his emotional abuse, they fall in love and live happily ever after. I’m not sure this is really a great message to send to little girls and boys, who are seeing this as a romantic fairy-tale ending.
Disney is notorious for sneaking in hidden images and secret words into their movies. Next time you watch the movie Frozen, don't skip over the end credits. If you watch the end credits, Disney includes a secret disclosure that only the most astute fans were able to pick up on. It turns out Disney doesn't think all men eat boogers. Good to know, but how can they be so sure?
Frozen was a huge hit and this take on The Snow Queen was empowering for little girls. The heroine did not have a love interest and the story focused on the relationship between the sisters instead. But there may be some hidden deeper meaning to the story. Some suggest that when Elsa isolates herself and locks herself up in order to keep other safe, it may have been hinting to how people in real life handle mental illness. She is shunned by the public for her “flaws” and she feels like she needs to hide her true self. Could they be alluding to people who are different than others? Those who are trying to learn how to accept themselves and “Let It Go”?
The movie Dumbo was first released in 1941, and if the movie was released today, a lot of the it would not fly in our much more politically correct society. Dumbo is in the circus with a bunch of diverse characters and it is clear that the group of crows are a representation of African-American people. They use stereotypes in the way the crows talk and how they are dressed. If you had any doubt, one of them is literally named Jim Crow.
There is no better way to introduce psychedelic drugs to your small children than with a popular Disney movie. From the caterpillar smoking a Hookah pipe to Alice eating magic mushrooms, this movie does not send a great message to the children watching. Rumor has it that the original story of Alice's Advnetures in Wonderland was written when opium smoking was very common, so it is no surprise that the movie is beyond trippy.
Even though this is more of a Pixar secret, Disney owns the animations studio so it still counts. It's subtle, but nearly every Pixar film references Apple. Steve Jobs, the genius behind Apple, was one of the early supporters of Pixar.
When you really look at Aladdin, it is pretty racist. There is a scene where Jasmine almost has her hand cut off for giving fruit to a hungry child, depicting that the people of the Middle East are monsters and savages. And the original lyrics to a song from the movie was, “Oh, I come from a land/From a faraway place/Where the caravan camels roam/Where they cut off your ear If they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but hey, it's home.” After many complaints from The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee the lyrics were changed.