Disney has a lot of my money. Our shelves are filled with everything from Zootopia to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and Disney’s share of my income will only grow once my kids are old enough to make the pilgrimage to Disney World.
But I’m not blind in my devotion. They’ve made some films that I won’t let my kids watch, at least until they’re old enough to discuss some of their problems. (For context, my kids are two and zero years old, respectively.)
1. The Little Mermaid
She gives up speaking. For a guy. Literally surrenders her voice.
True story: They have a store in Disney World where you can make your own T-shirt. I wanted a graphic tee with Ariel and the caption, “Never change for a man.”
They wouldn’t let me make it. They said my shirt was “inappropriate.”
But you know what’s totally appropriate? Letting your child date outside of its species.
Sometimes, history matters.
Pocahontas was twelve when she met John Smith. And Smith was more than twice her age.
Also, there’s no credible evidence that they had anything approaching a romance.
If you want to rewrite Snow White—fine, it’s a folk tale and they’re always changing to suit time and audience. But you can’t alter history to give everyone a “happily ever after.”
3. Peter Pan
Love Peter Pan. It’s one of my favorite books, and the Disney version is mostly delightful.
But “What Makes the Red Man Red” hasn’t aged well, at all.
The lyrics are filled with tacky quatrains like:
Let’s go back a million years
To the very first Injun prince
He kissed a maid and start to blush
And we’ve all been blushin’ since
And the artistic depictions of the tribe are so caricatured, it would make Chief Wahoo blush.
I’m surprised the song hasn’t been Song of the South-ed.
4. Beauty and the Beast
So the Beast kidnaps Belle. Then, he threatens to starve her if she refuses his advances. And she… falls in love with him?
Haven’t seen the live-action version with Emma Watson yet, mostly because I don’t need my childhood re-sold to me. Feel free to tell me in the comments if it’s less Stockholmy.
5. Chicken Little
Not bigoted or anything. Just so damn dull I was rooting for the sky to fall.
All my real Disney geeks know the studio made better use of the source material for a Silly Symphony in 1943.
I get that every Disney film is someone’s favorite—except for Home on the Range. And it might infuriate you to see some know-it-all lambaste part of your childhood, so feel free to explain why I’m an idiot in the comments.