Everyone loves cartoons – both children and adults. There is always a temptation by a cartoonist to slip in a bit of something extra – something only they are aware of, but thanks to scores of teenaged boys with a pause button and too much time on their hands, we are all able to see these little in-jokes. Unfortunately for companies like Disney, some of them are a little on the naughty side and they have been the root of legal battles. Here is a list of 10 naughty moments found in cartoons.
During the sequence in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame in which Quasimodo sings ‘Out There’ (one of the best songs on the soundtrack), as we pan over a view of Paris from the bell tower, characters from other Disney movies can be seen in the background. Most prominently is Belle (Beauty & The Beast) strolling along in her blue dress and reading a book of course. More sharp eyed viewers may also spot Pumbaa from The Lion King being carried by two men, a street merchant shaking out the flying carpet from Aladdin and even a satellite dish on one of the rooftops. In the clip above you need to watch from around 02:45.
When you go through the movie pocahontas and look at each scene carefully, you find it is of references to sex. In the video clip above the job has been done for you – some are pretty obscure, but others are very very clear enough to be fairly convincing evidence of intentional inclusion in the movie.
This is a more popular one. The rumour was that a disgruntled artist who was going to lose his job drew the phallic object in the castle of The Little Mermaid in annoyance over his impending redundancy. However the artist himself says that he was not about to be fired, but was forced to hurry drawing the design so that he could meet his deadline and did not realise at the time the exact shape of what he had drawn. Well he didn’t until he was contacted by a disgusted member of his youth church group who had heard about the controversy. Obviously, later version of the video had the infamous spire removed.
In keeping with The Little Mermaid theme, another popular accusation for the Disney producers came when someone noticed the rather odd shape protuding from the minister’s pelvic region during the scene in which a Ursula (disguised as ‘Vanessa’) attempts to marry Eric using Ariel’s voice. However later shots in the film show that the minister had rather bandy legs that blended in with his tunic and the ‘erection’ was actually his knees.
Another popular one. Long has been the debate over the dust cloud in The Lion King. In the scene just before Simba meets Rafiki, he tiredly flops down on the edge of a cliff, a cloud of dust rises which allegedly for a few frames spell the word S-E-X. The debate is that the special effects team put it in intending it to read S-F-X to leave their little mark on the film. I say judge for yourself but it looks like ‘sex’ to me (as in indicated in red in the picture above).
Disney characters and Warner Brothers characters interacted for the first time in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and cartoon fans cheered. However during and evening at The Ink & Paint Club, Donald Duck and Daffy Duck duet on the piano together and the relationship turns nasty when Donald allegedly calls Daffy a “nigger”. Anybody who has seen a Donald Duck cartoon should know that it can sometimes be quite difficult to understand what Donald says but thinking you hear him scowling “God damn stupid nigger” takes the cake. Closed captioning in the film says that the line is “Goddurn stubborn nitwit”, other claim it is “You doggone little…” But this is not the first time Donald has been busted for his language. In 1995, Wal Mart pulled a Disney video of Mickey Mouse cartoons from it’s shelf after complaints that Donald shouted “Fuck you!” in the episode called “Clock Cleaners”.
The scene in Aladdin on Jasmine’s balcony in which the hero is trying to brush off the growling tiger Rajah, he can apparently be heard whispering “Good teenagers take off your clothes”. The script says that the line is “Good kitty, take off and go”. The clip sounds like somebody else other than the Aladdin voice has whispered the line in but no matter which line is actually spoken, this allegation got Disney in hot water with the American Life League who used it to try and get Disney films banned, claiming they had been sneaking sexual messages to children over the years.
A cartoon heart-throb, Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Jessica Rabbit has over the years helped to turn a lot of young boys into men. So wishes came true when the claim that cheeky animators sneaked in a few frames of her without underwear during the scene in which Jessica and Bob Hoskins in a taxi that runs into a lamp-post. As she is thrown from the car, Jessica lands, causing her red dress to hitch up revealing her apparently unclothed nether regions. In some cases it has been tradition for animators to slip racy shots in films for a split second but it seems that their fun can be spoilt by young men pausing the scene in movie where Jessica Rabbit spreads her legs. Now why they would do that, I have no idea…
In 1999, Disney studios announced that they would be recalling the home video version of the 1977 movie The Rescuers because a few shots contained an “objectional background image”. During the scene in which the mousy heroes Bernard and Bianca fly through the city in a sardine tin (about 38 minutes into the movie) a photographic image of a topless woman can be seen in the windows they pass. While some of the items on this list are objectionable and some have been proven wrong, this one is pretty clear and Disney studios had to hang their heads in shame. It was confirmed by a Disney spokesperson who simply said that the tampering “was done more than twenty years ago” and the company recalled 3.4 million copies of the video that had been sold.
In the movie Beauty and the Beast we see many references to sex (as in some of the previous items), but we also see some satanic references. Pay special attention to the clip above from about the 02:55 mark to see some very blatant symbols of evil such as a skull and the sign of the horns. The latter part of the clip deals with morality and I think the narrator may be stretching things a little, but it is an interesting clip nevertheless.