Disney movies are highly regarded as some of the best family entertainment available. The studio has received acclaim for strong stories, compelling characters, and immersive environments that inspire children and adults alike. Over the last few years, Disney has set records for box office revenue and created new classics that are loved by people around the globe.
In fact, Disney movies are almost always number one at the box office during their opening weekend. It's also pretty common for their movies to stay at number one for subsequent weekends. However, that doesn’t mean that Disney is perfect in its execution. Even the most beloved movies in Disney’s arsenal of films have glaring plot holes that frustrate viewers. Fortunately, even the movies with the most glaring plot holes are entertaining. That’s the magic of Disney.
It’s also worth noting that these are children’s movies and there are plenty of things that defy reality, so a simple missed plot hole shouldn’t be enough to ruin these movies for anyone. Regardless, it’s hard to ignore these moments as they arise, even for those who can suspend their belief going into the film.
Here are the 15 Most Frustrating Disney Movie Plot Holes.
15 Tangled - Hair Color Change
The story of Rapunzel is well known, so it was no surprise to see Tangled as well as it did when it released in 2010. The storyline is funny, the acting is impressive, and the overall feel is fun and engaging. Overall, it was exactly what viewers expect from a Disney animated movie.
However, as the movie comes to a close, Rapunzel cuts her hair off in an effort to keep anyone from exploiting its magic the way her faux mother had done for years. Interestingly, as she cuts it, all of her hair (including what she had already cut off) turns brunette.
While this is certainly a metaphorical moment of her hair losing its magic, it’s still confusing as to why all her hair changes color. What would have happened if she had cut only a small portion of her hair? Would the color still have changed or remained blonde?
14 Cinderella - Shoe size
As Cinderella runs from the prince at the ball just as the clock strikes midnight, she leaves behind a single glass slipper. For Cinderella, the night of enjoyment and love is nothing but a memory, as she is once again relegated to the life of a servant.
However, that all changes when the prince arrives and places the glass slipper on her foot. When it fits perfectly, he recognizes Cinderella as the woman he met at the ball. Even though this is supposed to be a magical moment, it’s hard to accept the idea that Cinderella is the only person in the kingdom with that shoe size.
There could easily be dozens, if not hundreds, of women with the same or similar shoe size that the slipper could fit. It’s entirely possible that the prince could have met multiple women who fit into the slipper and he wouldn’t have recognized Cinderella.
13 The Lion King - Scar leaves Simba to the Hyenas
In order to take over Pride Rock in The Lion King, Scar puts in motion an elaborate plan to kill his brother, Mufasa. Part of that plan includes killing Mufasa’s son, Simba, so the prince lion won’t become king instead of Scar.
However, Scar leaves the killing of Simba to a few incompetent hyenas. Scar could have easily done the deed himself, as he was present at the stampede that kills Mufasa. In hindsight, this turns out to be Scar’s downfall.
This begs the question, why in the world would Scar leave such an important part of the plan to a few hyenas? This makes less sense when the villain is already shown to have no qualms about killing family members.
12 Beauty and the Beast - Mrs. Potts' other kids
Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful love story that’s so beloved, the live-action version crushed the box office and quickly rose to become one of Disney’s most successful films. However, even a classic like Beauty and the Beast isn’t without plot holes.
One of the most frustrating parts of the movie is the outcome of Mrs. Potts children, aside from Chip. In the film, Chip gets enough screen time that viewers are able to build a relationship with him. It’s no surprise that audiences are elated when the boy cup once again becomes his spunky human self.
However, what about Mrs. Potts’ other cup children? In the animated movie, it’s revealed that Mrs. Potts has around a dozen other children who are also living as cups throughout the curse. What ever happened to those cup children when the spell was broken and everyone turned back to their human form?
11 Big Hero 6 - Teleportation Portal Experiment
The majority of the plot in Big Hero 6 hinges on the loss of Abigale Callahan, who was thrust into a portal as part of a teleportation experiment.
In the movie, Abigale is believed to be dead, which leads the government to shut down the experiment. This leaves Abigale lost in the void between the teleportation portals. What’s most frustrating about this is that the government was so quick to shut down a multi-million dollar project with incredible potential because of the loss of a single person.
When it comes to government projects, especially something of this magnitude, it would be expected that human life may be lost -- much like the exploration of space. A single lost life probably wouldn’t have caused the government to shut down an experiment of this nature in real life.
10 The Little Mermaid - Ariel can write
One of the most important plot points in The Little Mermaid is Ariel’s inability to speak when she meets Eric. This is due to a curse from Ursula. Ariel's resulting mute situation leads to her being unable to communicate with Eric. As a result of this, they manage to build an awkward but lasting relationship.
However, it was shown earlier in the film that Ariel knows how to write, since she does so when signing the contract with Ursula. Following that logic, it would have been perfectly believable (and expected) for Ariel to write out her thoughts and situation to Eric, who could then read and respond.
The fact that Ariel doesn’t spend that much time searching for a way to effectively communicate with Eric likely means there will be troubles in their relationship going forward.
9 Aladdin - A fake prince
In the movie Aladdin, Aladdin’s first wish with the Genie is to be a prince. This isn’t surprising, considering his all-consuming goal to get Princess Jasmine to fall in love with him. However, toward the end of the movie, as Aladdin is considering using his last wish to set Genie free, Genie mentions that he can make Aladdin a prince again instead.
This is confusing because it brings up two potential issues: was Aladdin just a fake prince before with his first wish? He wished to be a prince, not to act like a prince or dress like a prince -- and Genie granted that wish. So why would Genie need to make him a prince again? If that were the case, at what point did Aladdin stop being a prince?
Viewers would think that once Aladdin is made a prince, he’ll always be one unless the Genie takes it away somehow. It’s a small part of the plot, but one that’s still frustrating viewers to this day.
8 Beauty and the Beast - Belle's super strength
A major turning point in Beauty and the Beast is when Belle is fleeing the Beast’s castle and she gets attacked by wolves. Just as she is about to be torn apart by the rabid creatures, Beast shows up and takes on the pack, defending Belle against certain death. However, his actions drain his energy, leaving Belle alone in the woods with a horse and an unconscious Beast.
In one moment, the movie shows Beast on the ground knocked out cold and the next he’s laying across the back of a horse as Belle leads them back to the castle. How did Belle manage to lift the lumbering Beast off the ground and onto the back of the horse?
Even if she was creative and had the horse lay down beside the Beast, it still would have taken a considerable amount of strength to hoist him onto the horse. It’s a simple issue, but one that leaves many viewers confused.
7 Cinderella - Shoe size
As mentioned previously, a crucial part of the plot in Cinderella is when she loses her glass slipper after fleeing from the ball. However, the fact that the glass slipper is still intact is a bit of a mystery.
Fairy Godmother’s warning to Cinderella is that the spell would end at midnight, changing everything back to their original form. That should include the glass slipper, right? In fact, the glass slipper that Cinderella is wearing when the clock strikes twelve turns back in to her poor, pauper shoe. Why then, did the glass slipper on the steps not change back like everything else?
There are viewers who have pointed out that it wasn’t attached to Cinderella at the time of the change, or that Fairy Godmother wanted it to remain so the prince could find Cinderella again. However, if that was the case, then it’s back to the silly idea that a prince would use a single shoe to try and find his date from the previous night.
6 Pocahontas - The natives speak English
When John Smith and the other explorers arrive in the New World, they discover a new civilization that is less technologically advanced than them. Interestingly, they discover that these new people, including Pocahontas, speak the language of their mother land: English.
If this is indeed Pocahontas’s first encounter with people from across the ocean, how did she learn well English enough to communicate with them. Additionally, even if explorers had come to the land before Pocahontas’s time, how did the English language persist so well?
While Pocahontas and John Smith need to be able to speak to one another to make an interesting movie, it makes absolutely no sense from a historical perspective. This is a common problem with setting an animated movie in real world events.
5 Toy Story - Woody's memories
As Disney fans start to take in the details of Toy Story’s world across the trilogy of movies, a glaring plot hole begins to emerge. Why doesn’t Woody ever mention his previous owners - or seem to remember them period? And why doesn’t he realize where he came from (i.e. an old children’s show)?
In Toy Story 2, it’s revealed that Woody has been in Andy’s family for years and that he comes from a 1950s television show. If that’s the case, then there’s no doubt that Woody had an owner before Andy, even if it was within the same family.
It is then revealed in Toy Story 3, when Andy gives his toys to Bonnie, that Woody won’t forget Andy when he is transferred to a new owner. This confirms that there’s no reason for Woody to have forgotten his owner before Andy.
4 The Black Cauldron - Weakling Horned King
In The Black Cauldron, the Horned King is an imposing antagonist with a singular goal: obtain the black cauldron so he can rule the world with ultimate power. The plot is thick with potential, but is quickly riddled with plot holes as viewers make their way through the movie.
The most glaring plot hole is the fact that the Horned King is said to be extremely powerful and has a massive army at his disposal. However, in the end he is unable to wield much magic and he is easily defeated by a simple farm boy.
Granted, the story is meant to have the figurative David versus Goliath storyline. However, the fact that a being so powerful is actually so pathetic makes the conclusion of the movie less impactful.
3 The Black Hole - Telepathic robots
Disney’s The Black Hole isn’t as easily recognizable as the studio's other movies, but it still contains one of the most confusing plot holes to date. In the film, humans mingle with robots. While that isn’t a far-fetched idea, it’s the way that one character in particular communicates with robots that generates the plot hole.
Kate, one of the movie’s characters, can communicate with robots telepathically. Traditionally, telepathy has been known as the transfer of thoughts or ideas from one person to another via their minds, without the use of words or actions.
Where this causes problems in The Black Hole is the fact that robots don’t have brains. They are simply hardware creations that have coding running their “thoughts.” So how exactly would one communicate with a computer chip telepathically?
2 Beauty and the Beast - Beast's age
It’s obvious that Beauty and the Beast has quite a few plot holes and some are more frustrating than others. The most confusing aspect is why a witch would curse an 11-year-old boy, regardless of how he acts toward her.
The Enchantress reveals that the rose would bloom until the prince’s 21st birthday, and that the curse took place 10 years prior to when most of the movie takes place. That means the Beast is 21 during the majority of the film and was a mere 11 years old when cursed.
Anybody who has met an 11-year-old child knows that they should not be made to live under such demanding expectations. Beast clearly lacked the maturity required to be a prince, but his punishment is so much harsher when you realize that he was so young when it happened.
1 Toy Story - Buzz's delusions
One of the most well-known plot holes in all of Disney lore has to do with Buzz in Toy Story. The Space Ranger is adamant that he isn’t a toy and insists that he is instead on an important mission to keep the Evil Emperor Zurg from taking over the galaxy.
However, if Buzz is so sure that he isn’t a child’s play thing, then why would he go stiff like the other toys when Andy or other humans are around? This plot hole is easily missed by children who are more interested in the excitement of the story and the hilarity of the characters, but for adults this can become mildly infuriating.
In fact, Woody shows at the end of the film that toys can talk to humans if they want to when he berates Sid. Knowing this, it's then quite plausible for Buzz to have simply started talking to Andy the moment the boy walks into the room. Buzz's actions and ideology just don't add up.
Are there more frustrating plot holes in Disney movies that you've noticed? Let us know in the comments!