Disney has been creating family-favorite films for decades now, and its reputation as being the best and most beloved animated film company means that audiences have come to expect a lot from its cinematic releases. Audiences of all ages eagerly anticipate Disney movies and continue to watch and re-watch classics that have spanned generations and genres.
However, despite being a much-loved film company and releasing films that have gone down in history as classics, Disney hasn’t always managed to get the plots of their beloved films entirely right each time. From annoying details that don’t add up to problematic situations that have bugged fans for years, Disney’s animated films might be top-notch quality, but they’re not without their faults. Each animated film sees hundreds, even thousands of people working on them, so it’s hard to believe that some of the inconsistencies listed below weren’t noticed by someone.
Luckily, for the most part, children don’t seem to ever pick up on the mistakes Disney makes, and adults are usually too busy suspending their disbelief and enjoying being a kid again to ever really worry too much about the plot-holes and problems that crop up in animated Disney movies.
That being said, there’s a whole host of things that just don’t seem to sit quite right in many of the Disney’s movies, and after reading the ones listed below, you might not be able to watch your favorite classics in quite the same way.
With this being said, here are 25 Things About Disney Cartoon Movies That Make No Sense.
25 Why Is Cinderella The Only One In The Kingdom With Her Shoe Size?
Cinderella’s transformation from a solitary servant to the princess of the ball is a story we all love. Most of us have probably wished we had a fairy godmother who would make our wishes come true, but sadly life just isn’t a fairy-tale, is it?
As much as we all suspend our disbelief when it comes to these children’s stories and their Disney film versions, one thing in particular just doesn’t sit right when it comes to Cinderella. How is it that she is the only woman in the entire kingdom with her particular shoe size? We know from the ball scene that there’s a lot of ladies in the kingdom, so how does Cinderella have such unique feet? We’re not buying it.
24 How Does Tarzan Have An American Accent?
Tarzan tells the story about an orphaned baby raised by apes in the jungles of Africa who, up until he’s a grown man, has no other human contact. Then an Englishman and his daughter Jane arrive and Tarzan ends up becoming close with Jane after he saves her life.
We see the young Englishwoman teaching the orphaned man-child her native tongue, including the now infamous phrase “Me Tarzan, you Jane.” While this is all fine and good, we can’t help but notice that Tarzan ends up speaking with an American accent in the Disney film. Where is this accent coming from? Surely he would speak with an English accent if any at all, right?
23 If Ariel Is A Mermaid, How Is Her Hair Never Wet?
Young girls have held themselves up to unrealistic beauty standards set by Disney since its earliest days, but even if we’ve come to realize that we’ll never have Mulan’s skin or Cinderella's poise and grace, we can at least see that these things make sense in the context of their cinematic worlds.
The thing we can’t quite wrap our heads around though is how Ariel, being a mermaid, somehow not only always has perfectly coiffed hair, but how it's always dry too. We can see that she’s swimming and coming up out of the water, but nevertheless, her hairdo looks as dry and styled as if she’s just come out of the salon. We know you like to set the beauty bar high Disney, but this level of unreachable perfection is just too far.
22 Why Are Riley’s Emotions Male And Female When Her Parents’ Emotions Aren’t?
Inside Out is a hugely poignant film about a young girl’s emotions that are personified by different characters but while these feelings have different genders - with Joy being portrayed as female and Anger as male - the same can’t be said of Riley’s parents’ emotions.
Riley’s mother’s emotions are all female while her dad’s emotions are male. While this could have something to do with Disney’s marketing scheme for the movie, it might also have to do with the movie’s way of showing a child’s development as opposed to an adult’s. Either way, it’s slightly confusing why Riley’s personified emotions are mixed genders while her parents’ emotions aren’t.
21 Why Does Beast Look Like A Grown Man In A Portrait Despite Being Cursed As A Child?
Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s most beloved films and it often tops the list of people’s favorite animated films. Despite the serious Stockholm Syndrome issues lurking beneath the story’s narrative, Beauty and the Beast is a lovely tale about seeing someone’s beauty beneath the surface.
We know that when Beast was in his human form, he was a good looking guy. We’re given this information thanks to the portrait of him in the rose room. However, there’s something wrong with this picture. How could the artist have known what Beast, also known as Adam, looked like as an adult if Beast was cursed as a child? Did the artist have some kind of fortune-telling abilities? That’s the only explanation.
20 Why Didn't Ariel Just Communicate With Eric Through Writing?
The Little Mermaid might have been Disney’s saving grace when it came out in 1989, but there are a whole lot of problems with this movie, not least the fact that Ariel gives up her voice in order to be with a man. We see Ariel spending most of the movie in mute frustration, but if you think about it, this really could have been avoided.
Earlier in the film, we see Ariel signing Ursula’s contract giving away her voice, so we know that Ariel can write. Why then didn’t Ariel just scribble down what she wanted to say to Eric? This would have saved a lot of confusion for both of them.
19 When Did Mike And Sully Really Meet?
Monsters Inc. opened up a whole new world of delight and wonder for Disney Pixar audiences, and the friendship between Mike and Sully is definitely the best part of this particular Disney franchise. The two odd-couple monsters are clearly best buds, and we were given a whole movie about how they met at University in the prequel Monsters University.
However, despite the prequel giving us the supposed origin story of their friendship, in Monster’s Inc., Mike says to Sully: “You’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade.” But how could this be if they didn’t meet until they went to college? One of the writers clearly got their timelines all mixed up.
18 How Did Prince Charming Not Recognize Cinderella Without The Glass Slipper?
Here’s another bone to pick with Cinderella: how in the world did Prince Charming not recognize the woman he supposedly fell in love with? Cinderella and he spent the entire ball dancing and flirting with one another, so this really does make us wonder how it took a glass slipper for him to finally recognize his one true love.
Was he not actually looking at her during all the time they spent together at the ball? We know Cinderella had a drastic change of clothes from her usual tattered dress to her evening gown, but her face was certainly the same. Prince Charming clearly has the memory of a goldfish.
17 How Did Belle Get Beast Back To The Castle After The Wolf Attack?
The turning point for Belle and Beast’s love story is arguably the scene where Beast defends Belle from the wolves attacking her after she’s made a run from the castle. Beast takes on a whole pack of these wild animals in order to save Belle and her horse from being eaten alive and in the process gets badly wounded himself.
We know that Belle gets Beast back to the castle safely, but how in the world did she manage to lift him back on to her horse in order to do so? We only have to look at Belle next to Beast to see how tiny she is and how large he is, so did we miss the part where Belle was gifted superhuman strength?
16 Why Did The Ocean Make Moana’s Mission Harder For Her?
Moana is one of the loveliest Disney movies to be released in recent years, telling the story of a young Polynesian girl who is charged with a mission to help save her people from starvation. The ocean itself chooses Moana for the task, so why is it that the water makes her journey so difficult for her when she first sets off?
The ocean is depicted as being sentient, so it clearly can make choices and move through its own will. It’s strange then that we see Moana being knocked about in her boat when she first sets sail, the water’s currents making her mission all the more difficult. Did the ocean do this to teach Moana a lesson about perseverance and self-belief? That’s the only explanation we can come up with for this one.
15 If Elsa Makes Ice At Will, Why Does Kristoff Sell It?
Frozen was a colossal success for Disney, capturing the hearts of countless fans with its message of love and acceptance and its soundtrack of incredible tunes including the unforgettable song, “Let It Go.”
While we have quite a number of questions regarding the movie’s plotline, one of the biggest mysteries is why we see people still selling ice at the end of the film. By the end of Frozen, we see that Elsa has made her future brother-in-law Kristoff the official ice master of Arendelle. But if she can make ice for free with her hands, why is she still having people pay for it? This sounds like straight up nepotism, and definitely wouldn't make life easier for her kingdom’s people.
14 If The Seven Dwarfs Mine Diamonds, Why Are They Still Poor?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a Disney classic that’s been watched for generations, and part of its massive popularity is definitely down to the seven dwarfs. While Snow White could rightfully be accused of being a little helpless and annoying, Sneezy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and the rest of the guys are just pure fun.
However, despite their innate likability, it has to be asked, what do the seven dwarfs actually do? We see them going to work in the diamond mines every day, so we know that this could be a potentially lucrative living. So why is it that they’re all still living together in a shack in the woods? Surely they could afford a better home, right?
13 If Woody Has Been Around Since The 1950s, Shouldn't He Be Used To Kids Growing Up?
In Toy Story 2 we discover that Woody is the product of a 1950s TV show called Woody’s Roundup. It’s safe to assume then that by the time Woody makes his way to Andy in the 1990s, he could already (definitely) be considered an antique.
It’s strange then that Woody is so taken aback when Andy clears out his toys and begins to grow up without his childhood playthings. Surely Woody has gone through the process of a child growing up and moving on, right? It’s also strange that considering how attached to Andy Woody is, the toy hasn’t ever mentioned any of his previous kid owners either.
12 If Rapunzel’s Family Really Wanted To Find Her, Why Didn't They Look In The Tower?
Disney’s 2009 film Tangled is based on the classic fairy-tale Rapunzel, telling the story of a baby girl who is taken away from her royal parents by a wicked woman called Mother Gothel. The parents, when told, are distraught of course, and even hold an annual festival in honor of their long lost daughter.
The thing is, if Rapunzel’s parents were really that concerned with finding their beloved baby, wouldn’t they have tried to look everywhere for her? Mother Gothel keeps Rapunzel locked away in a tall, isolated tower. Even if they didn’t know for certain if someone was being kept inside, wouldn’t they have at least checked to make sure their daughter wasn’t being held captive there?
11 Why Didn’t Cinderella’s Glass Slippers Transform Back To Their Original State?
For such a beloved, classic Disney movie, Cinderella certainly has its fair share of problems. Another one of the more baffling plot holes in this movie is the fact that Cinderella’s glass slippers don’t transform back to their normal state after the clock chimes midnight.
Everything else from her dress to her carriage magically turns back to their original forms when midnight strikes, but somehow the slippers remain made out of glass. Of course, this very fact is a pivotal plot point of the movie, but it doesn’t really make sense that these would remain in their transformed state when everything else went back to normal.
10 How Did Mulan Keep Her Identity A Secret In The Army When She Was Clearly Not A Man?
Mulan is a wonderful movie about girl power and is a refreshing antidote to many of Disney’s films about helpless princesses waiting around for a man to save them. Mulan literally saves China, so there’s not much to really criticize here. The one aspect of the film that is slightly dubious however is how Mulan managed to fool everyone in the army into thinking she was a man.
Surely she was living in close proximity to the other soldiers and she most certainly would have had to have had a medical examination before joining up too, right? There are plenty of people who can pass as a different gender, but we definitely have our doubts about Mulan being able to do so.
9 Why Does Buzz Lightyear Act Like A Toy When He Believes He Is Real?
Although Toy Story is an incredible movie, one of the things that never quite sat right was Buzz Lightyear’s confusing sense of self. When we are first introduced to his character, Buzz is completely deluded in thinking he’s a real Space Ranger. We see Woody trying to tell him he’s a toy, but he gets super defensive about this, insisting he’s not a child’s plaything.
However, while he’s still certain that he’s not a toy, he still acts like a plaything, even going so far as to freeze and remain motionless when Andy or another human enters the room. If he was so sure he wasn’t a toy, then how did he know how to act like one and why did he comply with these toy rules?
8 Simba Is A Lion, So Why Isn't He Trying To Eat Timon And Pumbaa?
The Lion King is one of Disney’s most popular movies, and it’s no wonder it’s had such an enduring legacy thanks to its great story and incredible songs. Every little kid absolutely adored Simba and it was easy for children to sympathize with his narrative ark from immature cub to a confident leader of the animal kingdom.
The thing that doesn’t quite make sense is how Simba didn’t immediately feel the urge to eat Timon and Pumbaa and instead made friends with them. The issue of the animal food chain never arises in the film, but surely Simba would have seen his father Mufasa being a carnivore, so why hasn’t he taken after him in this regard?
7 If Jasmine Only Had A Cloak On As A Disguise, How Did Nobody Recognize Her?
It’s a well known fact that Princess Jasmine is a free, independent spirit. We see this through the fact that she first meets Aladdin while sneaking out of her castle, dressed in ordinary civilian clothes.
However, when we look at this scene more closely, it’s clear that Jasmine’s disguise is pretty poor. In fact, all she’s done to hide her identity is loosely drape a cloak over her head. Her face is still very much exposed, and you would think that anybody who passed her would clearly be able to recognize their princess.
6 How Could Roger And Anita Afford A House Big Enough For 101 Dalmations?
From Friends to Home Alone, TV shows and films love giving viewers unrealistic visions of what kind of housing people can afford on basic or even mysterious salaries. And, Disney is no different in this.
At the end of 101 Dalmatians, we see Roger and Anita living happily with their 101 dogs, but how in the world could they afford a house large enough to hold all these animals and themselves? We know that Roger is a struggling songwriter (up until he writes his Cruella song) and we’re never actually told what Anita does for a living. Their underwhelming financial situation, therefore, begs the question, how could they afford such a house and all of its upkeep?
5 Why Did No One React When Yzma Stole The Emperor’s Throne?
Although The Emperor’s New Groove never quite reached the heights of popularity as other Disney films did, it has become a bit of a Disney cult-classic in recent years. And, while we could suspend our disbelief regarding Emperor Kuzco turning into a llama, what we really can’t wrap our heads around is how nobody seemed to care that Yzma suddenly took over the Emperor’s throne.
While some people might not have been aware that it was Yzma who got rid of Kuzco, surely somebody would have had a problem with Yzma just ascending the throne because she wanted to. This chilled out government system definitely doesn’t add up, especially not for anyone watching the film these days.
4 Why Doesn’t Charlotte Turn Into A Frog After She Kisses Prince Naveen?
Although The Princess and the Frog is a great modern Disney movie, the film’s ending doesn’t really make much sense. It’s revealed at the end of the movie that the only way Prince Naveen and Tiana can transform back to their human forms is for a princess to kiss the prince before midnight.
Charlotte, therefore, agrees to kiss the frog prince, but she ends up doing so after the clock strikes midnight. This means that Charlotte isn’t technically the Princess of Mardi Gras anymore at this point. You’d think that this would then mean that Charlotte would turn into a frog just like Tiana did, but somehow Charlotte gets away frog-transformation free.
3 How Did Hades Not Realize That Hercules Was still Alive?
Although Hercules takes some serious liberties when it comes to accurately portraying Greek mythology, it’s still a hugely enjoyable Disney film and one which is a classic for any 90s kids out there.
There are countless inconsistencies with the real story of Hercules, but when it comes to the Disney telling of it, there’s one thing that definitely seems off: if Hades is the god of the underworld, then how is he surprised to hear that Hercules is in fact still alive? Overseeing the underworld means Hades would be aware of anybody who has passed away, so surely the fact that he hadn’t seen Hercules pass through his domain would mean he’s still very much alive.
2 If Cinderella’s Shoes Were A Perfect Fit, How Did One Slip Off In The First Place?
One of the main pieces of action to happen in Cinderella is Cinders accidentally losing one of her glass slippers as she flees from the ball when the clock strikes midnight. Cinderella obviously doesn’t want Prince Charming to see her in her tattered dress and grubby normal state, so she’s forced to leave her glass slipper behind when it slips off her foot in her haste.
However, we later learn that, apparently, Cinderella’s glass slippers are a perfect fit for her feet and her feet only, so how did one slip off in the first place? Maybe one of Cinderella’s feet is bigger than the other but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that these shoes aren’t as perfect as they’re made out to be.
1 How Is Ariel So Casual When She Sees Eric Eating Seafood?
One of the smaller yet highly problematic details in The Little Mermaid is the fact that Ariel, the Little Mermaid herself, seems to be totally okay with eating and watching others eat her sea creature friends.
We know that Ariel’s best friends are underwater creatures, so when Eric’s chef serves up a platter of seafood, how does the former mermaid not completely freak out? Clearly as well as being fine with giving up her voice and her home and her family, Ariel is also chill about digging into a big helping of her best friends too.