Unless you have spent the last 80 years under a rock, your life has been touched in one way or another, for better or worse, by the magically twisted world of Disney. Generations of young girls and boys alike have been raised on the wholesome, family-friendly entertainment endlessly being churned out by the Mouse Factory. However, returning to these films as an adult can be a far different experience than when we were pestering our parents to watch them for the thousandth time. Namely, we’ve come to realize that these beloved classics were not all sunshine, fairy dust, and happy endings.
Below we have compiled some of the more eye-opening memes to have graced the Internet showing just how non-innocent our childhoods were. Don’t worry, these won’t entirely ruin these movies for you, just add a new layer of disturbing nuance to them that you can share either now or in the future with your kids. Though we can’t guarantee you’ll look back at your own childhood the same way ever again. Here we go!
Here are 15 Disney Memes That Will Ruin Your Childhood.
15. Pocahontas deserved better
It’s no surprise that Disney took some creative liberties in turning a story filled with Native Americans, colonialism, and an ostentatious pug into G-rated fare. But that doesn’t make the Romeo and Juliet-esque romp around the river bend by Pocahontas’ two main characters any less gross when viewed through the killjoy lens of historical accuracy.
Textbooks reveal Pocahontas was around 11 years old when she supposedly saved the life of the then 28 year-old John Smith, which sheds a whole new light on their creepy makeout session. Of course, Disney also wisely left out the part where Pocahontas is captured, changed her name to Rebecca, and married some rando English dude who she presumedly lived a terrible life with until dying at 21 of tuberculosis separated from friends, family and homeland. Maybe somethings are better left on the cutting room floor.
14. Dead Girl In a Forest? He’d Kiss That
When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937 it was a sensation, laying the groundwork for all those that followed, lasting the test of time as one of the most endearing and romantic of all Disney films. But tear away the nostalgia and you’ll find one of the company’s most twisted tales. Seriously, the whole plot revolves around a crazy middle aged woman trying to murder a 14 year-old girl out of jealously, and actually succeeding!
Thankfully there’s a necrophiliac around to save the day. Equally as fortunate is that her supposed seven dwarf friends decided to dump her body in the middle of a forest for any weirdo to happen upon. With that, the stage was set for the film’s grand finale when the Prince trots by and for no apparent reason decides to make out with the dead body of Snow White.
13. Love Is Blind, and So Is Prince Charming
Ah yes, Cinderella. The classic tale of a wayward hot girl toiling through hardship only to find salvation in the arms of an equally hot guy. The message is clear: everyone deserves a chance to be with the man of their dreams. But take a look again, Prince Charming might not be as charming as we all originally thought.
When Prince Charming and Cinderella first lock eyes during the palace ball, it was love at first site. They danced, sang, and walked over a bridge, truly a night never to forget – unless you’re Prince Charming, who, when Cinderella suddenly runs off, immediately forgets what she looks like. To make up for his obliviousness, he has to go around touching the unwashed feet of every woman in the kingdom. So let’s get this straight, this supposedly charming Prince spends an entire evening looking into the eyes of the girl of his dreams and come the next morning, he can’t remember her face? It all begs the question, was he really looking at her eyes?
12. Because Who Wants to Look at Ugly Animals?
As kids growing up, we all loved the animals that Disney brought to life on the big screen. We laughed with them, we cried with them, and we felt things we never knew we could feel with them. But why? Certainly not because their stories were all that compelling. Seriously, The Lady and the Tramp is about two dogs avoiding the pound and eating spaghetti. This melodrama happens in the backyard of every pet owner everyday. So why did we care so much about these anamorphic animals? It was because they were hot.
Right up there with princess shenanigans, catchy ballads, and parental death, sexing up animals is a staple of the Disney formula. Especially in their early films. O’Malley made you want to move to France and find a cat to pet. Pongo was a totally dashing Dalmatian. Miss Bianca’s accent made hearts flutter. And then there’s the female romantic interest from The Fox and the Hound. Her name was Vixey for fox sake! It’s amazing the majority of us grew up normal.
11. King of the Jungle and Languages
Disney logic is truly a thing to marvel. Elsa’s ice powers can’t pass through a glove, but have no problem going through her shoes. Donald Duck does not wear pants, yet feels exposed when his jacket is off. Tarzan is raised by a troop of apes in the jungle, yet swings around clean shaven. Do not try to understand it, just let it happen and everything will go down a whole heck of lot easier.
Speaking of Tarzan, how about that accent? Jane and every other human he has ever come into contact with is British, and as such, speaks with a British accent. Yet somehow, Tarzan miraculously sounds like he is from the United States. It’s like white washing, only with America. Disney logic.
10. Be Our Hostage
Nothing says love like being locked away in a castle forever with an egotistical mutant buffalo. What kid didn’t think the situation Belle found herself in during Beauty and the Beast was a little odd, or the speed with which she opened herself to bestiality a little off putting? At the time, however, these were just vague notions of something amiss that were quickly brushed aside by smooth talking candle sticks and yellow puffy dresses. Now we know better. Now we know Belle was delusional.
Beauty and the Beast is a textbook case of a victim falling in love with their captor after enduring an endless string of abuse. Beast is constantly screaming in Belle’s face, refuses to let her eat unless she’s in his presence, and psychologically manipulates her by ensuring she can never she her father again, only to show him to her at the worst possible moment in a hand mirror. All of this is then countered in true Pavlovian style with some truly outlandish gifts like an entire library. Watch it again and see, Beauty and the Beast isn’t a tale as old as time, it’s a PSA on the very real dangers of Stockholm Syndrome.
9. Who’s That Creep Knocking at My Window
When we talk about Peter Pan, we immediately think of a young boy who refused to grow up and had a blast as a result. Young or old, who doesn’t wish they could do the same? But re-watch 1953’s Peter Pan today and you will quickly realize that Pan was a real brat, and worse, a kidnapper.
Think about it, Peter Pan spies on children, then climbs through their windows uninvited, sprinkles them with some kind of amphetamine, and flies them off into outer space where no one can ever find them. Anyway you look at it, Pan definitely didn’t get the permission of Wendy, Michael, and John’s parents to go to Neverland, and we’re pretty sure they would be none too pleased to find out this elf and his scantly clad sidekick were watching their kids sleep at night, not to mention enlisting them to take part in a centuries long war between pirates, mermaids, and stereotypical Native Americans.
8. Prince Eric’s Guide to Getting a Woman
This situation in reality would more than likely result in a call to the police, and concerted effort to find where the poor distraught girl came from. In the world of Disney however, you ask no questions, bring her back to your castle, instantly provide her with clothes that perfectly match her size and propose a few days later. Because that’s how love happens.
So while little girls were being raised on fantasies of pretty dresses, glass slippers and talking sea creatures, the boys in the audience were being shown what true qualities to look for in a mate. Turns out that The Little Mermaid isn’t so much a movie about a young mermaid’s dreams coming true, as it is the ultimate male wish fulfillment.
7. Sleeping Beauty Meet Stranger Danger
One of the greatest things Disney has taught all those young impressionable minds out there is that the power of hotness conquers all. Take Sleeping Beauty for example, when Aurora is walking around a secluded forest and an unknown man suddenly forces himself on her, she decides the best thing to do is invitingly sing and dance with him.
Who cares if it was actually Prince Phillip, the man she was betrothed to as a baby, she didn’t know that when he leapt out from the bushes. Then again, he did have nice skin and she had nice skin, so it only made sense that they fall in love. Safety be damned, when you see a hot stranger in the woods you do your darnedest to get all up in that.
6. Princesses Cry, It’s What They Do
Women cry, it’s what they do. Or at least that’s what Disney would have you believe, since every time anything remotely troublesome happens, their princesses find that the best way to deal with the situation is to run away deliriously until they can’t take it anymore, collapse to the ground sobbing, and stay there until someone (usually a man) comes to rescue them.
From Cinderella to Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and even Mulan, it seems no Disney heroine can go an entire film without letting the waterworks fly. We are not saying these ladies weren’t in some pretty bad situations, but there’s got to be a better way of handling it then having your first response be to give up on the world. Even if they do eventually pick themselves back up, it would have said a lot more to us as kids if instead of crying, they immediately threw up a middle finger to their problems and overcame them right there on the spot.
5. Hunchbacks and Happiness Don’t Mix
There’s no denying that a lot of Disney’s messaging explicitly targeted young female audiences, particularly with their non-animal centric films. Then came the late ’90s with the likes of Tarzan, Hercules, and, most notably, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Here the young boys in the audience finally got to see some male driven leads take center stage to teach them how to grow into men, be righteous, and get the girl. Or in the case of Quasimodo, act like a true gentleman and get the shaft.
Hunchback is a Disney twofer. Not only does it show that being ugly will get you nowhere in life except earning the approval of your imaginary gargoyles, but it shows that being kind, considerate, and genuine will get you doubly ignored by women who you not so secretly love. Sure, Disney could just as easily could have had Esmeralda end up with Quasi instead of Phoebus, but what kind of message would that have sent? No, no, she and her handsome knight get to go off and make some ridiculously good looking babies while the true hero of the movie gets to have his face touched by a dirty homeless girl. Moral of the story: it’s not what’s on the inside that counts, it’s how nice your hair is.
4. Flounders with Benefits
The thing about animation is that every single image on screen is conscientiously drawn, painted, and filmed. So you can rest assured that the artists of The Little Mermaid knew exactly what they were doing when they had Flounder check out Ariel’s chest.
Pause the movie at just the right moment and you’ll see what we mean. And here you thought Prince Eric was Ariel’s only love interest. Of course, the idea of the red-headed mermaid getting entangled in a three-way love triangle is not all that crazy considering she is half-fish. If her dilly dallying with Eric isn’t gross, neither should it be for her to swim around with whatever good looking gilled creature she finds under the sea. Alas, poor Flounder was regulated to the friend zone, forced to sneak a peek whenever the opportunity presented itself. Which, in Ariel’s case, was a lot.
3. Do You Want To Build a Snowman? Too Late
Siblings can be notoriously awful to one another. But the manner in which Elsa goes out of her way to make her sister feel crappy is impressive. There are plenty of examples to be had in Frozen, but our favorite is so mean spirited that Disney felt the need to drive the point home with an entire song.
After give Anna a taste of the snow life, Elsa becomes a shut-in because she can’t handle having superpowers. Throughout that time, Anna begs for 13 agonizing years for her sister to build a snowman with her, which Elsa outright ignores every single time with a cold silence. Then the second she is out of her sister’s sight, what does she do? She builds a freakin’ snowman. What a jerk.
2. Can You Feel the Incest Tonight
Ah, incest. A topic Disney has surprisingly not had much experience in bringing to the big screen. Which is probably why they felt compelled to slip it in under the confusing mating habits of lions during what is the only explicit sex scene in any of their animated movies.
The Lion King is one of Disney’s most popular films, and for good reason. And like any true Disney tale, there must be a romance, in this case the one between Simba and Nala. Only problem is that the two are related, or at least that’s what the movie infers. In fact, Nala is his sister, since in an actual pride of lions there would only be one male (Mufasa) who impregnates the remaining female lions. This means that if The Lion King were being true to the circle of life of the animal kingdom, Mufasa is the father of both Simba and Nala. The same Nala that gave our hero those not-so-subtle come hither eyes. What can be even worse than that? The fact that then you rewatch the scene you realize that Pumba and Timon watch the two of them have sex…. and then sing about it.
1. When You Wish Upon a Star, Your Wallet Disappears
Be it Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney, Disney Cruises, Disneymoon, or Shangai Disney, visiting the house that Walt built is a veritable right of passage. While the theme parks may have changed over the years, their endearing spirit has remained the same – to make all our dreams come true. From parades to fireworks, Dapper Dans to Meet n’ Greets, Splash Mountains to endlessly waits in line for Peter Pan, A Small World theme invading our brain to our favorite foods being replaced with “healthy” options, the fun never stops. But at what cost?
It’s all quite genius, as far as nefarious evil schemes to take over the world go. As a kid, a trip to Disney meant a magical world of play with the characters and stories they’d grown up with. For their parents it meant an endless world of debt. Every nook, cranny, turkey leg, and fast pass has been perfectly dole whipped into shape to ensnare families into spending money, all in the name of fun. How dare they! And to think, it all started innocently enough with a mouse.
Do you have any other magical Disney memes to share? Let us know in the comments!
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