Disney might direct a good portion of its material at a younger audience, but that doesn't mean they don't cater to the adults as well. In fact, there are quite a few different moments in famous Disney films that went over our heads as kids, but hit us in the face as adults.
Whether it's something as simple as some risque humor hiding right under our noses or a situation understood by only older audiences, Disney has a way of putting in some elements for adults as well as kids. Have a look at some of these scenes and sequences and see which ones your younger self didn't catch.
10 "He's a Tramp" Is a Torch Song About Tramp's Love Life
Though most of the "scandalous" material is only hinted, Lady learns the fun and friendly Tramp isn't exactly as straight-laced as she is. In fact, he's been around the block with one or two fine canines in his day. As if Peg's little jazzy number didn't hit the nail on the head enough.
As kids, we probably thought this meant Lady wasn't Tramp's first choice. As adults, however, we can probably infer he wasn't exactly his second, third, or fourth romantic partner either. We're kinda starting to understand how he got his namesake, now. He's a tramp, but we love him.
9 "Let Me Be Good to You" is a Burlesque Act
While we're on the subject of Disney songs with sensual overtones, let's talk about this scene we're shocked Disney got away with. In The Great Mouse Detective Basil and Dr. Dawson sneak into a thug pub looking for a lead to Ratigan. The show they get treated to gets a little hot and heavy for Disney.
To the untrained eye, this isn't much different than the saloon gals you can see in your typical western. The lyrics, however, definitely get subtly racy. Especially when the lead mouse "takes off her blues" and proceeds to strip off her blue skirt. Good luck trying this again, Disney.
8 Hercules's Oedipus Joke
This one probably didn't make us flinch as kids, but once we had an English or drama class, it's suddenly a whole lot funnier. After Meg convinces Herc to get away from hero duties for a night, we find them walking through a statue garden talking about their date, apparently going to see a famous play.
"That play, that Oedipus thing. Man, I thought I had problems" is a reference to Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. For those non-theatre kids out there, Oedipus is cursed to kill his father, marry his mother, and go blind. All which he does before curtain call. Probably not a character we'd ever see in a Disney adaptation.
7 Timon Nearly Swears
We can understand not fully catching this one, only a certain few minds probably did the first time. Now that we're adults, however, we can't unhear the almost-swear when Timon finds Pumbaa about to be gnawed on by a hungry Nala. Truth be told, it's still pretty funny.
In a sort of blink-and-you'll miss it moment, Timon is trying his best to pull Pumbaa from the roots of a tree when he shouts the line "Geez, why do I always have to save your--" before promptly screaming. Even with just the first syllable, we know what he's thinking. Smooth move, Disney writers.
6 Sid is a Leg Man
This isn't a line or even a song with some risque elements, but a design choice that's definitely something mainly adults would understand. We're all familiar with Sid Philip's collection of Mutant Toys. He could be a possible psychopath or a budding artist, but we took a second look at one of his creations, Legs.
Two Barbie doll legs on either side of a plastic fishing rod might just look like another one of this kid's messed up creations, but it could also be a visual joke on the word "hooker." It's certainly one us older audience members missed growing up. Some designer at Pixar must be having a laugh.
5 Cruella Throws Major Shade
Glenn Close's portrayal of Cruella DeVil is perhaps the most shining moment of her career. If she isn't terrifying some kid that happens to be watching, she's entertaining the adult audience with her outrageous attitude and dark sense of humor. And when she visits Anita and Roger at their home, she's an absolute beast.
After insulting Roger's video game designer career, she throws some major punches when he reveals that they're expecting a baby and the dogs are expecting puppies. She replies with "You have been a busy boy, haven't you" Definitely a little extra even for Disney.
4 Pete and PJ's Relationship
When Goofy and Max are taking a rest at a roadside motel, Goofy unwittingly driving to a Powerline concert, they run into Pete and PJ. When Pete overhears the Powerline plot, he drops the news on Goofy, leading to one of the most intense scenes in a Disney flick like A Goofy Movie.
The scene at the pool really gets under our skin, not by just how serious it is, but by the exchange between Goofy and Pete. When Goofy remarks that he trusts and loves his son Max, Pete retorts with "My son respects me." To which Goofy gives a cold reply. That makes us wonder if Pete and PJ's relationship is steeped in fear, not love.
3 Sinister Minister
Already from the first few minutes of the film, we already know Claude Frollo is more than just your average bad guy. The fan community has even gone as far as labeling him as Disney's most realistic villain because he's a man in power using it for evil thinking he's doing good. But it's the scene in the cathedral that gives the major red flag.
The scene with Frollo sniffing Esmerelda's hair definitely sits wrong with kids, but its the adults who know full-well what he's imagining. Hunchback of Notre Dame is possibly Disney's most adult film, and Frollo is one of the reasons why.
2 Mushu's Commentary
Now that we've gotten the shadier business out of the way, let's lighten things up with the comedy stylings of everyone's favorite temple guardian, Mushu. Most of the dragon's character comes from Eddie Murphy's performance, but his routines have the reputation of being a little more than PG-13. Especially when Mulan decides to take a dip in the pond.
If you didn't catch "There are a couple of things I know they're bound to notice" as a kid, don't feel bad. More than likely, we did too. Rewatching the film nowadays, it's probably one of the more unappreciated lines in the film.
1 They Are Good at Multiplying
Consider this as our honorable mention, but we had to put it on our list. Zootopia is loaded with great one-liners, but this is one we can't believe Disney got away with. When Judy tries to weed information out of slick-talkin' Nick, the verbal jabs fly until she delivers the line about bunnies being good at multiplying.
The look on Nick's face says it all. Something tells us that look isn't about being nailed for tax-evasion, but thinking "did she really just say that?" We're right there with ya, Nick. But it's still a great line.