95 years ago, the Walt Disney Company was founded. 82 years ago, the company’s first animated feature-length film debuted. Snow White And The Seven Dwarves showed the world just how captivating a cartoon movie can be. Since then, The Mouse House has captivated generations of kids, adults, and families all over the world. A total of 57 classic and iconic Disney films have been released. 58 will be Frozen 2, in what is sure to take over every parent’s life for a few years.
That number doesn’t even include Pixar. The computer animation arm company of Disney that hasn’t had a single critical mishap over its 20 films, with Toy Story 4 coming in 2019. Besides the shrewd acquisitions the muckety-mucks have made over the years, like Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN, and now 20th Century Fox; it all starts with the company’s endearing and heartwarming animated features. Which, thanks to Tangled, Frozen, and Moana, has entered into a second renaissance.
Animation is a hard business though, sometimes it’s hard to keep all of your cartoons in order and much like live-action filmmaking, mistakes can be made every so often. Whether it’s in the artwork or plot points themselves, here are 25 Disney Cartoon Mistakes Everyone Completely Missed.
25 Toy Story: Buzz Is A Toy Or Isn’t He?
Toy Story was a technical and beautiful film when it was released in 1995. It set the tone and the bar for all of Pixar’s successes to come. The attention and care that was rendered in every frame helped wow audiences and the love of children’s toys brought adults right back to their formative years and they happily kept bringing their kids to the theaters to see it.
Buzz Lightyear was an instant hit with a lot of fans, even though he didn’t believe he was a toy at all – “I’m a Space Ranger.” Imagine if the writers kept that belief going when any of the human characters came into Andy’s room? We’d have a much different movie on our hands. After all, why would a character who doesn’t think he’s a toy need to fall down and act like one when humans came into the room?
24 Monsters, Inc: When Exactly Did Mike And Sully Meet?
Pixar’s third animated adventure focused on the imaginary world of a very real problem for toddlers - the monsters under their bed. Monsters, Inc. took computer animation to unprecedented heights with the giant fuzzball, Sullivan. The story of a toddler inadvertently stepping into the world of monsters landed another hit for Pixar.
Years later, when they made a prequel – Monsters University, the studio inadvertently created a continuity error with the first film. During one of their arguments, Mike tells Sully “You’ve been jealous of me since the 4th grade.” Obviously, Pixar wasn’t planning MU years later, but that line is rendered silly when you realize Mike and Sully didn’t meet until college.
23 Toy Story 2: Are Rex And Ham Vampire Toys?
In the pantheon of movie sequels, there are very few that surpass the original film in terms of execution, story, and star power. The Godfather, Part II; The Empire Strikes Back; and The Two Towers to name a few are joined by Toy Story 2. The movie was originally conceived as a 60-minute direct to video sequel that seemed certain to tarnish the original’s legacy. Thankfully, Pixar scrapped the idea for a feature-length film.
While it doesn’t deter from the film’s story, there is a head-scratching moment to make you think Rex and Ham are vampire toys. The TV turns off while they’re fighting for the remote, and their reflections are frighteningly not there.
22 Monsters, Inc: Boos Giggles Don’t Always Cause Power Outages
Sometimes, no matter the franchise – the film must make some conceits to make sure the story makes sense or keep the film moving along. Which means every so often a plot hole exists. No matter how big or how small. Kids movies, of course, are full of a lot more of them – but this one from Monster’s Inc. the entire movie sort of hinges on.
Monstropolis runs on the energy produced by the screams of children until Mike and Sully discover that the city can run on their laughter instead. Because when Boo got the giggles, the city would have a power outage. But for some reason (re: plot doesn’t call for it), it’s an event that doesn’t always happen.
21 The Lion King: Nala Has Mood Ring Eyes
One of the most popular Disney films ever, real or live–action, The Lion King was and still is an absolutely gorgeous film to look at. The story, based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, provides the most gut-wrenching scene in a Disney movie since Bambi.
After a self–imposed exile, Nala finds Simba hanging out with Timon and Pumba and urges him to return to Pride Rock. Simba initially declines. Perhaps it’s because he’s befuddled by his old friends forever changing eye colors. Eagle-eyed viewers can spot that Nala’s eyes in one scene are blue and in another they’re green. Her eye’s changed colors all the time throughout the film.
20 Beauty And The Beast: The Timeline
If you believe the song, then Beauty And The Beast is a tale as old as time. If you think a guy holding a girl trying to save her father captive is a tale as old as time, of course. Nevertheless, the entire story of Beauty And The Beast is completely ridiculous. It gets even more so when you realize the timeline is way off.
The curse would become permanent on the Prince’s 21st birthday. During the iconic “Be Our Guest” number, we learn that the castle has been cursed for ten years. That puts the cursed prince at 10-11 years old when he refuses to help an old lady. Seems a bit harsh to curse a kid that young?
19 Who Wrote Alice In Wonderland?
Walt Disney and his company have been making a habit out of adapting tried and true classic stories since the very beginning. You would think that 14 years and seven years in, that the Mouse House would have the formula down to a science. At the very least – they’d know how to properly credit the original source material!
1951’s Alice In Wonderland was, of course, based on the stories by Lewis Carroll. But Disney messed up when flashing this credit on the screen and credited the work to Lewis Carrol. Clearly, no one seemed to mind at first, but that is one egregious mistake to not credit one properly.
18 Aladdin: The Genie Doesn’t Grant Al’s Wish
Forget all of the recent hullaballoo over big blue Will Smith and the already universally despised remake of 1992’s Aladdin. The 31st Disney animated feature was a rollicking adventure telling the story of a street rat who was able to wow a princess and help to save her kingdom.
Obviously, Al was able to pull this off with the help of the Genie, who was supposed to grant him three wishes. 'Supposed' being the operative word. He wished to be a king to help Princess Jasmine. But was he bestowed with a kingdom? Instead, the Genie only made Aladdin look like a king.
17 Tangled: Flynn’s Shackles
While Frozen has been at the forefront of this new generation of Disney classics, lest we forget Tangled. The retelling of the Rapunzel story featured a new character, Flynn Rider, who was based on the prince from the original story.
In order to save Rapunzel, Flynn, while handcuffed, had to snip a portion of Rapunzel’s beautiful mane right off. It’s a noble gesture, one that the animation could have kept as such by not having the shackles disappear and reappear in between frames.
16 Pocahontas: Shadows Aren’t Holding Hands
In the amazing Peter Pan, no one questions shadows acting independently from where they’re being cast. Peter spends a good few moments trying to get his shadow in line. In just about every other film ever, when shadows aren’t cooperating it’s a little jarring.
Submitted for your approval – Pocahontas. In one scene, the Indian princess is holding hands with John Smith and walking away out of the frame. Their shadows should also be intertwined. However, some such devilry unbeknownst to everyone is keeping that from happening.
15 Cinderella: The Glass Slipper Should Have Turned Back
Cinderella might be the company’s personal favorite Disney movie. They do have a castle named after the main character after all, and it’s also the Disney logo. It was the greatest and most successful hit since Snow White.
The film does make one big mistake though – at the stroke of midnight, everything on Cinderella’s person and her carriage will revert back. We all know she left a slipper behind – shouldn’t that glass slipper revert back too? Considering Disney makes its own rules, why should the movies follow their own rules?
14 Tarzan: Mutant Healing Factor
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan Of The Apes was the subject of Disney’s 37th animated feature. It’s also considered the last of the films labeled the Disney Renaissance that started with The Little Mermaid. But just because Uncle Walt’s company had made a strong comeback didn’t mean that animation errors were gone.
With the film being a kid’s movie and Disney’s stance on blood and intensity, Tarzan couldn’t have a giant gash injury. So, after he tussles with a leopard his wounds heal pretty instantly.
13 Hercules: The Issue With The Muse
After adapting so many classic folktales over the years, Disney and directors Ron Clements and John Musker decided to tackle Greek and Roman mythology. The mighty Hercules would get the Disney treatment. Considering how animators like to get detailed with their pencils, they certainly had ideas about what to do with togas.
As the muses are singing “Zero To Hero,” one of them does a grand split. The way the light hits her, she doesn’t seem to be wearing anything underneath. While this might be historically accurate; it sure isn’t appropriate for a Disney movie.
12 Sleeping Beauty: Spindles Aren’t Sharp
A cursed princess, doomed to eternal slumber. Three fairies who try to prevent her fate, and true love’s kiss from a prince prepared to do battle with a dragon. Sleeping Beauty was the last of the Disney Princess movie before The Little Mermaid was released decades later.
The movie hinges on cursing Aurora with the prick of a spindle from a spinning wheel. Even that’s a pretty big leap to take – spindles aren’t sharp at all. So, either Aurora’s skin is pretty fair, or Disney was getting a little lazy here.
11 Frozen: Dancing Shadows
With all of this new technology that Disney has available to use, the traditional hand-drawn animated cells approach might be a thing of the past. But that doesn’t make animation errors a thing of the past. Even in Disney’s newest and most successful classic – Frozen. Seemingly, the animating shadows is harder than it looks.
During Anna’s duet with that jerk Hans, their shadows are dancing like they belong in Neverland, instead of Arendelle. Not only do their shadows not match their movements, but their feet aren’t even on the floor.
10 Finding Nemo: Moving Posters
Before Frozen took over the world, it was a little clownfish that had captivated the hearts and minds of children all over the world. Finding Nemo was a crowning achievement for Pixar – animating an entire ocean world was a daunting task. But the finished product was a massive hit with families.
Even with Pixar’s staunch attention to details, the movie had an error involving a poster that not so conspicuously moved around the dentist’s office. When the Pelican flies in, it’s not directly next to the window.
9 Frozen: Where Does He Keep That Thing?
With a football team worth of brothers, Hans needed to find some way to get hold of a kingdom. So, the jerk devised an entire plot once Arendelle realized that Elsa had powers. He concocted a way to eliminate Anna and frame Elsa for it and in the process sit on the throne.
When he finally revealed his nefarious plans and tries to convince Else that she ended her own sister, he clearly has no blade on him. Moments later, his sword is unsheathed. Not only did he seemingly pull it out of thin air, but the sword is way too big to have been hiding anywhere on his person.
8 Moana: Missing Footprints
Among the new Disney classics, Moana was instantly beloved by many. Thanks to the voice of the charismatic Dwayne Johnson and the Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated, “How Far I’ll Go,” the film was another return to form for the Mouse House and a heartwarming success.
Baby Moana’s footprints seem to be magical. When the fish gets washed ashore in one of the film’s earliest scenes, there are some footprints in the sand. Literally, in the next shot, the footprints are gone, with no hint of a wave coming in to have washed them away.
7 Lilo And Stich: Changing Bongos
Before Moana, the Magic Kingdom’s resident island girl was Lilo from the movie, Lilo And Stitch. In this close encounters story, Experiment 626 (Stitch) crash lands in Hawaii and is adopted by Lilo, who is living with her sister after their folks perished.
If you’ve seen one alien crash lands movie, you know where this movie goes – the government and the alien’s homeworld get involved and Lilo just wants to protect her new buddy. Even with Stitch’s crazy powers, bongos shouldn’t be changing nearly as quick as they were in an early shot – they change from yellow to red during Lilo’s hula lesson.
6 Cinderella: Sleeveless Gown
For most couples planning a wedding is a fun and daunting task. Sometimes, you just can’t wait to get the honeymoon started. Especially when you’re Cinderella and you’ve been living with a wicked step-family your whole life.
Cinderella’s wedding dress was a beautiful long sleeve ball gown dress. By the time she and the Prince got inside their wedding carriage, her sleeves were already gone. That’s some fast moves by the Princess or some shoddy animation from Disney.
5 The Little Mermaid: Many Mistakes
The Little Mermaid debuted in 1989 and heralded the return of Disney to making compelling animated films. This period in the company’s history has been referred to as the Disney Renaissance. Maybe that’s why so many animation mistakes were forgiven. We’re not even going to mention the perceived symbol on the poster.
Possibly the most egregious is watching King Triton destroy a statue of Prince Eric early on in the film. A few seconds later, Ariel is caressing the statue’s face, which has miraculously been rebuilt in record time.
4 Up: Russell Materialized?
If you’ve never seen Up, you owe to yourself to at the very least watch the first few minutes with a box of tissues...now go finish the rest of it. Pixar, as they have always done, crafted another scene-stealing masterpiece.
How did that little kid, Russell get outside Carl’s house? He didn’t seem to be anywhere near the house in the shots right before Carl took off on his maiden voyage. Sure it’s a cartoon about a guy who's using his home as a makeshift hot air balloon but even within the physics of the film, he sort of just appeared out of nowhere.
3 Snow White: Reappearing Door Handles
Walt Disney’s first ever animated feature is still one of the most beloved. Shirts of Grumpy Dopey, and the other dwarves can be found all over the place. Much of the hit TV show, Once Upon A Time was centered around the Snow White / Prince Charming family. The entire company started with a mouse, but their films started with Snow White And The Seven Dwarves.
Every animation house has made errors over the years, perhaps the forgiveness behind all of the minor to major animation mistakes could be traced back to this movie. The story and the art set the bar high, so mistakes like missing and appearing door handles and were most certainly overlooked.
2 The Incredibles: Date Confusion
For many fans, The Incredibles is their favorite superhero movie. Considering we’ve yet to have a compelling Fantastic Four film – the Parr family is the closest thing we’re going to have. When the original movie came out in 2004, the MCU was still four years away. The film presents a fanciful version of the Silver Age of comics; which would be the 50s through the early 70s.
But during one of the film’s shots of the newspaper clippings, there seems to be some confusion about the dates. There is a clipping dated September 16, 2002. Is it an error, of proof that the movie happens in an alternate Earth where technology never made it past the Silver Age?
1 Peter Pan: Hook And Sword Company
Author J.M. Barrie’s great gift to the world was Peter Pan. Between the many plays and films concerning the boy who never grew up, generations of fans have many different favorites – Robin Williams, Mary Martin, even Robbie Kay. Plenty of fandom always circles back to the 1953 Disney classic.
Peter duels with the dubious Captain Hook at Skull Rock, the pirate drops his blade to try and hang on the cliffs. However, in a shot or two later, the sword is right back in his sheath again. At another point in the movie, even the Captain’s hook changes hands.