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Post Reply Disney Controversy
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Posted 6/4/13
Much as I don't much like this whole argument about Disney movies are so perverted and inappropriate (because people don't focus on the good parts of the movies and the whole argument is based on interpretations), there is one movie that you can't deny is very mature and has sexual themes, but everybody misses it.

If you've ever seen The Great Mouse Detective you'd know what I mean by mature. There is a lot of alcohol and smoking (mostly cigars) and one fairly sexual scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP8QdFttugg Alcohol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2IctxaCPqw Song is titled "Let Me be Good to You"

My point here is that the whole Disney inappropriate argument is all about interpretation and the argument is twisted to fit people's opinions, but the one movie that is so obviously mature seems to always be skipped over. I just find it ironic.

Now, there are other mature themes in Disney movies that are a little more obvious, like the cross dressing comments in Mulan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8SE87FClV0 (Fast forward to about 1:50). Or The Hula Song from Lion King (taken out later) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBE_T-K8nhY

But things like the original Little Mermaid VHS cover or the SEX dust particles in Lion King can be debated as to whether or not they're true, accidents, or were meant to be something else (I read that SEX was supposed to be SFX and that the Little Mermaid cover was rushed at the end and the artist wasn't paying attention).

The reason I say the argument about mature themes and jokes being in Disney movies and cartoons is invalid is because kids don't notice them when they're younger. I go back and watch shows and movies I watched when I was a kid and notice jokes I never caught when I was younger. So, these parents freaking about their kids being influenced by this stuff shouldn't really worry because it goes over their heads. I mean, that's not to say kids won't repeat what they see and hear, but the stuff you see in kids movies and cartoons isn't that bad anyway. I just don't think children should be sheltered. They're going to start to see and hear inappropriate things at some point anyway, and if they expect the world is modest and clean, they'll be pretty shocked.
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Posted 6/4/13
I've heard the rumors about the little mermaid and the lion king but never really gave it any thought, or even went back to double check. The way I see it, I used to love those movies when I was younger and some of which I will still watch. In the cases of the hula dancing in the lion king or the cross-dressing in mulan I see it as entertainment. The lion king being aimed at young children has songs dances and a slew of other things that a younger audience finds entertaining, having a hula dance in it never bothered me, and to be honest I never made anything of it. The cross-dressing in mulan sets up the story and doesn't imply anything bad, after all one of the messages in mulan is about finding who you are even if it means going against what society has dictated for you.

PS, it may help to set the mood for this forum if we knew what got your attention to the issue, as I feel that many may not see it as an issue.
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Posted 6/4/13

WednesdayBookLove wrote:

Much as I don't much like this whole argument about Disney movies are so perverted and inappropriate (because people don't focus on the good parts of the movies and the whole argument is based on interpretations), there is one movie that you can't deny is very mature and has sexual themes, but everybody misses it.

If you've ever seen The Great Mouse Detective you'd know what I mean by mature. There is a lot of alcohol and smoking (mostly cigars) and one fairly sexual scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP8QdFttugg Alcohol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2IctxaCPqw Song is titled "Let Me be Good to You"

My point here is that the whole Disney inappropriate argument is all about interpretation and the argument is twisted to fit people's opinions, but the one movie that is so obviously mature seems to always be skipped over. I just find it ironic.

Now, there are other mature themes in Disney movies that are a little more obvious, like the cross dressing comments in Mulan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8SE87FClV0 (Fast forward to about 1:50). Or The Hula Song from Lion King (taken out later) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBE_T-K8nhY

But things like the original Little Mermaid VHS cover or the SEX dust particles in Lion King can be debated as to whether or not they're true, accidents, or were meant to be something else (I read that SEX was supposed to be SFX and that the Little Mermaid cover was rushed at the end and the artist wasn't paying attention).

The reason I say the argument about mature themes and jokes being in Disney movies and cartoons is invalid is because kids don't notice them when they're younger. I go back and watch shows and movies I watched when I was a kid and notice jokes I never caught when I was younger. So, these parents freaking about their kids being influenced by this stuff shouldn't really worry because it goes over their heads. I mean, that's not to say kids won't repeat what they see and hear, but the stuff you see in kids movies and cartoons isn't that bad anyway. I just don't think children should be sheltered. They're going to start to see and hear inappropriate things at some point anyway, and if they expect the world is modest and clean, they'll be pretty shocked.


This is an incredibly loaded question/statement and I'm slightly confused as to what you're really trying to say/accomplish here... just a general rant about a parental choice you disagree with? Whether children should intentionally be exposed to adult themes to spare them the harsh realities of life later? Discourse about whether the Disney movies' proverbial nip-slips are legit or just conjecture? I don't really mind taking a bite of all 3 even.

First, though a very intelligent man once told me to never give advice, I feel compelled to... suggest... to you that reservation of judgement when it comes to other people's parenting styles is usually the wisest course of action in life. What seems odd to you may not be odd to me and vice versa. Some kids are better able to handle older situations in tv and movies... some, on the opposite end of the spectrum, want NOTHING to do with what they perceive as scary. My son has access to all my Disney films but chooses to watch gentler, easy-going, not-so-strife-filled programming on Netflix instead.

The Blues Clues Revolution really changed children's programming and adult perceptions of what a "children's" show should be. Shows for young children are expected to be clean and devoid of profanity, violence, and relatively innuendo-free, but that's not to say there aren't millions of parents who think nothing of letting their children watch watch whatever the child wants and that's their business, however much my personal sensibilities disagree with that theory.

Second, becoming a parent involves a maelstrom of decisions and there is no guarantee the one you choose is the right or wrong one. Finding Nemo TRAUMATIZED my son when he realized what happened to the Mom. Most kids probably wouldn't care or really think about it. How was I supposed to know he'd react like that?! I didn't, but I do now, and no, my son is not mature enough to watch the bulk of what children his age watch. My child is sensitive, sweet, caring, and naive to a fault. I wouldn't change him for the world. Does the world at large suck? Yeah, sure it does sometimes. He's got a whole lifetime to learn how to hate if he chooses to, I just don't feel the need to prematurely expose him to things beyond what he's mentally capable of handling.

Third, I do, in fact, still own the offending Little Mermaid cover, and I went looking for the phallic tower on the cover as a teen and couldn't locate it. NOW however, as an adult... no... that's not an accident, seriously. XD Sticks out like a sore... well... *clears throat and continues* Got Lion King on VHS with SEX/SFX in the sky, whether it's true or SFX was just an easy cover story will probably remain the stuff of myth forever. Additionally, I recall there was some sort of quiet comment made in Aladdin that was inappropriate as well, but I didn't see it in the theater nor did I own it as a child, so I don't know how valid that one is.

If you're asking if there's a problem with really subtle adult innuendo being snuck in to kid's movies so the tortured parents stuck watching it don't off themselves in the theater? Nah, that's just good politics, I had NO idea as a kid. Perfect example: the pirate in the Goonies. THAT ONE, I did NOT get until my husband pointed it out like 2 years ago. XD bwahaha

So I don't really see where there's such a "controversy" here. I don't really hear other parents crying foul about old cartoons. Older Disney films are MUCH different than the Disney films of today. They feature many characters and habits that are very much considered taboo today such as smoking and drinking characters, (Pinocchio, anyone?) but I think parents still allow their children to watch these films because of the moral lesson that was the result of such behavior. Regarding your assertion that The Great Mouse Detective is intentionally "skipped over," perhaps the reason /is/ the excess of bad habits portrayed within, coupled with a decided lack of stronger guiding morals to warrant the bad behavior? Not all films, even Disney's, will necessarily withstand the test of time.
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Posted 6/4/13
I see what you mean by not all children are able to handle mature content. I'm not trying to say that all kids should be allowed to either cartoons with mature themes/jokes or mature, adult movies, but I personally am not going to intentionally shelter my kids from content unless they do show me they're not ready. This doesn't mean I'll let them watch any Kevin Smith movies (Jay and Silent Bob) in elementary school as those are way too mature. I think in the end I'd let them choose what's too mature and what's okay (to an extent).

It's not really a matter of sparing them the harsh realities, but trying not to tell them the world is different from what they see on TV. Honestly, it doesn't matter what the content matter is, children need to be taught that almost nothing they see is an accurate representation of the real world. My 10 year old sister has a very unrealistic idea of what high school is like thanks to Disney Channel. If TV is clean and profanity free, then they'll come to expect the world to be that way, but it isn't.

I personally never had the original cover, so I was never exposed to it as a kid. Of course, anyone can do a Google search and find it everywhere. Now, when you look for it, yeah, it's pretty obvious. Although, when you're a kid, are you really looking that close at the image? Personally I always tossed the boxes aside and they'd get crushed and thrown away eventually. Plus, how many young kids (10 or younger) really know what male genitalia looks like? When they get into middle school and start getting curious and taking advantage of the internet, they probably have a better idea, but not at a younger age more than likely. And I'm pretty sure young boys look different when they hit puberty.

As far as the SEX/SFX in Lion King, I think that one is still left to interpretation and speculation, as well as the Aladdin quote. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4piZV5wPrw Again, it's hard to hear him, so is he really saying anything bad? Or are people interpreting it that way?

I wasn't really saying Great Mouse Detective is intentionally skipped, but that people speculate over many things that are interpretations and haven't been proven, but then when there are movies that are quite obvious, they get no attention. I think the problem with The Great Mouse Detective specifically is that it was never very popular, so a lot of people aren't even aware it exists, or that it's a Disney movie. The three controversies that have been mentioned are the ones you hear about the most, though there are much more mature themes and jokes in other Disney movies.
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Posted 6/4/13

WednesdayBookLove wrote:

Much as I don't much like this whole argument about Disney movies are so perverted and inappropriate (because people don't focus on the good parts of the movies and the whole argument is based on interpretations), there is one movie that you can't deny is very mature and has sexual themes, but everybody misses it.

If you've ever seen The Great Mouse Detective you'd know what I mean by mature. There is a lot of alcohol and smoking (mostly cigars) and one fairly sexual scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP8QdFttugg Alcohol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2IctxaCPqw Song is titled "Let Me be Good to You"

My point here is that the whole Disney inappropriate argument is all about interpretation and the argument is twisted to fit people's opinions, but the one movie that is so obviously mature seems to always be skipped over. I just find it ironic.

Now, there are other mature themes in Disney movies that are a little more obvious, like the cross dressing comments in Mulan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8SE87FClV0 (Fast forward to about 1:50). Or The Hula Song from Lion King (taken out later) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBE_T-K8nhY

But things like the original Little Mermaid VHS cover or the SEX dust particles in Lion King can be debated as to whether or not they're true, accidents, or were meant to be something else (I read that SEX was supposed to be SFX and that the Little Mermaid cover was rushed at the end and the artist wasn't paying attention).

The reason I say the argument about mature themes and jokes being in Disney movies and cartoons is invalid is because kids don't notice them when they're younger. I go back and watch shows and movies I watched when I was a kid and notice jokes I never caught when I was younger. So, these parents freaking about their kids being influenced by this stuff shouldn't really worry because it goes over their heads. I mean, that's not to say kids won't repeat what they see and hear, but the stuff you see in kids movies and cartoons isn't that bad anyway. I just don't think children should be sheltered. They're going to start to see and hear inappropriate things at some point anyway, and if they expect the world is modest and clean, they'll be pretty shocked.


It's not up to YOU to decide that, But the parents, Since they have the responsibility of raising their children as they see it.
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Posted 6/4/13
I'm not trying to tell parents how to raise their children, I'm just giving my opinion on mature content in Disney movies. How parents choose to raise their children is, in the end, none of my business, unless I actually witness them abusing their children (then I'll call the authorities because that isn't right, no matter if they're their children or not). I personally don't see the point in sheltering your children. This stems partly from my hatred of censorship. And I don't just mean song lyrics or editing movies/shows or anime. I mean like banning books, telling people what they can or can't say in a review (there's a lot of debate over at Goodreads about reviews being posted before books have been released about how excited the reviewer is or how much they hate the series, but it's been pretty much decided it's censorship to not allow reviews until the release date because people can use the review space/ratings however they want, plus the issue of ARC's and different release dates in different countries).

If parents want to shelter their children and censor everything they see, that's none of my business, and I acknowledge that. I don't have to agree with it though. I do also acknowledge that I can't try to influence their children either, as that is not my place.
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Posted 6/4/13 , edited 6/4/13
I don't get what the problem is supposed to be.
I grew up with all these movies and I never saw anything inappropriate in them.
Like you say, kids won't notice these things. They'll go right over the kids' heads. Kids are ignorant like that.

And I don't get why crossdressing is a "mature" subject. If anything, it'd be healthy for kids to get some more crossdressing cartoon characters to idolize.
Looks like we'll be getting at least some of it. Good thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SheZow
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Posted 6/4/13
speaking as a parent of a young one, i think something that surprisingly almost ALL children animations are guilty of, is presenting children whose parents have died. Or are missing. I think Treasure Planet is the only one where they explained that the father just simply up and left his wife and child.

I didn't really think it was that big of a deal until my daughter confused the idea with "death" with "being hurt really badly, and therefore is not on screen." and as a person who loves story plots, i wonder if such things stunt my daughter's creative growth when creating her own stories (when i hear her play with her toys, almost daily i hear her make one toy explain to another that his/her parents died. her definition of dead, anyway).

it was something i didn't think about screening for at all. it's good that they promote family diversity, but i find only the movies UP and Treasure Planet really represented that diversity in a proper way.

when it comes to violence, i admit i'm prolly more lax than i should be. i grew up with parents who didn't screen A THING so as a result i had a lot of stuff that my brain downloaded (from ages 0-6, there is a LOT of subconscious downloading of imagery and sounds, so gotta be most careful in those ages) a LOT of things it shouldn't have. so i think i am perhaps mistaking the fact that we don't show her anything NEAR to what i have seen means we're doing a good job of screening stuff ;;;;; BUT because i did grow up with comics and super heroes, it's hard for me to admit that it would be harmful for my daughter since i seemed to be okay (and plus she seems to be doing fine so far. we would definitely change it up should all the super hero violence prove to be causing some negative influences).

i would say the key advice you could give to anyone who is watching things with a kid, is that you better know the kid well. if you know the kid is gonna jump off a roof after watching power rangers, then by god, do NOT show em power rangers. with our kid we make sure she understands the things we do let her watch are only in movies, it's only fiction, and that she can't actually fly by dumping powder from a fairy's butt all over herself (good thing she'll never find that fairy but still).
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Posted 6/4/13

shotanime wrote:

speaking as a parent of a young one, i think something that surprisingly almost ALL children animations are guilty of, is presenting children whose parents have died. Or are missing. I think Treasure Planet is the only one where they explained that the father just simply up and left his wife and child.



I have noticed the same thing. In nearly all disney movies either one or both parents of the main character have passed away or they have left the child. Even if it is not mentioned the second parent is rarely shown or mentioned in the story. I do not have children but I can certainly see how this would be troubling and how a child may begin to see it as natural.
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Posted 6/5/13
Alot of people did mention even if the child doesn't consciously notice it, they pick such things up subliminally.
There also was another such controversy as how they drew Disney characters out of inappropriate parts for children.

As a kid, true I never noticed. But now when I go back to the pink elephants in Dumbo.....like whoa...whoever made that scene must've been on acid.
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Posted 6/10/13
who watches disney?
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Posted 6/11/13

swirly_commode wrote:

who watches disney?


People who watch Disney. /sarcasm
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Posted 6/11/13
Oh my god, the SEX thing in Lion King is so ridiculous. Like, if you could find that, I bet you see penises in everyday objects.

I like Disney movies, and I'm not bothered by the brief alcohol/smoking/cross-dressing scenes. Whatever. I didn't even notice them when I was a kid, and I didn't grow up to be an alcoholic/smoker.

What really bugs me is their portrayal of clear-cut good and evil, and the evil characters are always old and ugly. A lot of the princess movies also tend to portray the females as helpless beings who need a prince in their life.
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Posted 6/11/13
I'm surprises no one points out the in Pinochio, there was a scene where he gets high with some other boys and are sold into human trafficking. It's all about shock factor I guess.
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Posted 6/12/13
If you critically examine The Lion King, all you find is the most blatantly perverse classism in the form of outdated Shakespearean motifs, directed at children.

I was genuinely rooting for the Hyena.
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