Who does not love Disney, the famed creator of all those movies we worshipped as kids. These heartwarming films manage to light up our body and soul even today. However, Disney has courted its share of controversies in the past and continues to do so even today. Take a look at 6 of the biggest Disney controversies you will ever come to hear about. Trust us! Reading this, you will never look at these Disney movies the same way as before.
Portrayal of Disney Princesses
Movie: All Disney Movies
Take a look at the princesses Disney has introduced to us over time and you will find striking similarities in all of them. For one, they are all drop dead gorgeous and ultra skinny – thus giving you the false impression of beauty. Then there is the fact that all these princesses are submissive to their male counterparts, thus indicating a strong sense of submissiveness that do not go down well with feminists at all.
This classic Disney toon had a bunch of crows helping Dumbo fly. All of these crows except one are portrayed as (as well as voiced by) African-Americans who are poor, smoke cigars, speak in jive and hang around with no purpose. The leader of the crows, Jim Crow, was voiced by a white actor though and Disney showed all the other crows being submissive to him, thus creating an unmistakable racist slur.
Arabian Nights Song
As if the movie was not loaded with enough stereotypical characters and images, Disney went ahead and churned out a song called Arabian Nights which had verses like ‘Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face’ and ‘It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home’. These verses sparked a huge controversy as portraying Arabs as dangerous, and were later changed by Disney in the edited version of the cartoon.
The Siamese Twins
Movie: Lady and the Tramp
This Disney classic released 10 years after the U.S.’s fight with Japan in World War II. The Siamese cats seen in this movie bore striking resemblances to Asian stereotypes, complete with tanned skin, heavily slanted eyes and thick Asian accents. The cats are seen as troublemakers in the movie, thus possibly indicating at the careless, greedy and manipulative character of the Japanese.
Movie: The Little Mermaid
As soon as The Little Mermaid released on VHS, Disney began receiving complaints about what looked very much like penises drawn on all the phalluses of King Triton’s castle. Apparently the work of an angry artist, the drawing causes such a controversy that Disney had to release later versions of the film without the phallus in the cover.
Sexually explicit content and images
Movie: Many Disney movies
Disney has come under fire several times for portraying hidden sexual images and content in its cartoons. Some it has denied, and some it has accepted and edited. But there is no denying the fact that most of these images did not go down well with viewers. Some examples include the scene in ‘The Rescuers’ where Bianca and Bernard supposedly speed past the picture of a naked woman in the background (the Playboy centerfold) and the scene in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ where Jessica Rabbit tumbles out of a car crash flashing her sans underwear nether region.
Although loved by one and all, Disney is no stranger to controversies. Over the years, the company has courted several controversies on its movies that paint a grim picture in the minds of their viewers even today.