Top 15 Subliminal Messages in Disney Animations
If there’s one thing we love more than Christmas pudding, it’s Easter eggs. And not just the chocolate-y treats. We’re talking about hidden little in-jokes or references to things stashed away in movies. If you’re observant enough you might spot them. But there’s only so much that you can really do with regular feature films. But in animation? The sky’s the limit. You can draw anything, after all… Just ask Walt Disney. Well, okay don’t. He’s dead, after all. And frozen or not, you’re not going to get an answer any time soon. But ask a Disney animator (who’s alive) and they’ll confirm it. There are hidden, subliminal messages in almost all Disney films. We’ll prove it for you…
Let’s start off with a little bit of Disney Pixar. Toy Story , to be precise – the one that kicked it all off. You can see Woody holding onto a license plate that reads ‘A113’. In fact, 13 out of the 14 Pixar movies made to date have it secreted away somewhere. Why? Well, ‘A113’ is the number of a classroom at The California Institute of Arts where a lot of the animators who now work for Disney Pixar studied graphic design and character animation.
Here’s the first of many similar hidden messages in Disney and Disney Pixar flicks. There are frequent references to past films and franchises in newer movies. Here we see one of the fish from Finding Nemo pitching up as one of Boo’s toys in the film Monster’s Inc. Finding Nemo only came out two years before, so the nod wasn’t quite as subtle as it could have been, but still…
Here’s Disney’s 1999 film Tarzan, which starred Tony Goldwyn, Glenn Close, Minnie Driver and Brian Blessed in voice roles. But just look at that tea set. Recognize it? Well, you should do! It’s the same set of cups, jug and teapot from Beauty & The Beast. Albeit this set is slightly less, you know… alive.
There has long been a kind of conspiracy theory surrounding the slipping in (oop, pardon!) of sexual innuendos and flat out sexual messages into Disney movies. It’s supposed to be subliminal, but lots of people claim to have found them. This example from The Lion King is often sighted as a prime example. And you can see why. Some Disney workers have fought the claim by claiming that it says ‘SFX’. But we’re not buying that!
“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way“. So says the character of Jessica Rabbit in the live action and animation mixed movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? And if that’s true, then we can’t blame her for flashing her panties to the camera here, can we? So who can we blame? Exactly. The people with the pencils in their hands. These Disney animators are sly.
The Three Little Pigs from way back in 1933 was a short film featuring, you guessed it, three little pigs. And a wolf. It was also known as ‘The Silly Symphony’ and it won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Can you spot what’s weird in the shot above (the giant red arrow might help…)? Yup. The picture. Why would pigs frame a picture of sausages in their house? It’s just masochistic.
Here’s another subliminal message which looks a little rude from the animators over at The Lion King. We’re looking at the main marketing for the film, the famous poster. Is this a lion we can see? Or the rear end of a lady just wearing panties? Or both? We’re certain the people responsible knew exactly what they were doing here!
Remember Ariel? The Little Mermaid? She appeared in one of Disney’s best-loved ever animated movies. Millions of young women out there remember this film fondly. But just how many of them recall seeing Goofy in a crowd scene? And how about Donald Duck? And the king of Disney himself, Mr. Mickey Mouse? They made brief little cameos. You’ve got to have an eagle eye, though!
Rumors have been abound for decades and decades about the private life and political inclinations of the head of the studio, Mr. Walt Disney. He might seem friendly when he’s played by Tom Hanks in movies like Saving Mr. Banks, but in real life? Apparently his sympathies lay to the right. All the way to the right. The far right… As demonstrated by this surreptitious swastika on one of the 101 dalmatians.
Did you know that Apple kingpin and technology wizard and legend Steve Jobs was a founding member of Disney Pixar? Well, you do now. In tribute, every time a Pixar movie shows a computer screen of any kind, there sure to tip their hats in Apple’s direction by making the machine Apple and having the thing a Mac or iPhone, iPod or iPad. And here’s proof!
Another secret and hidden element to The Little Mermaid here. No sight of goofy, Mickey of Donald here, though. This subliminal element is a lot more sinister. It’s in the vein of The Lion King with it’s sexy secret Easter egg. Here we see an elaborate golden palace. With a less elaborate, but much more rude, phallic symbol hidden away. Creepy. And this stuff is supposed to be for kids?!
The priest in the wedding scene of The Little Mermaid has our ecclesiastical friend enjoying himself just a little bit too much… He may well have become… How can we say? ‘Tumescent’? He’s fully extended, if you follow our trail. Packing heat. The mermaid may be little but the minister’s package is anything but in this controversial scene.
Toy Story again here. This time nodding to another film from the Disney back catalog. We see Mr. Potato Head here reading a book. And what is it about? Bugs, by the look of it. The lives of bugs. Dang, what’s that movie about the life of a bug called again…? Hmmm. We forget. Antz, is it? Yeah, maybe that was it. Seems a good title for a film about a bug’s life.
The Disney cartoon flick The Rescuers is an innocent kiddies movie, isn’t it? Well, quite. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But what’s that in the background, at the top? Something which you wouldn’t expect to find in a children’s film at all… A picture of a naked woman! This has set tongues wagging for years. And rightly so. How very, very strange. Bad mice.
The Lion King was released back in 1994. Can you believe that? 21 years ago… Just a couple of years later the Disney studio released Hercules. And who should turn up? Not quite the lion king himself, but his brother, Scar. It’s blink or you’ll miss it stuff, so viewers had to keep their eyes peeled. But the more eagle eyed out there would have picked up on him.