Thursday, June 12, 2008

Subliminal Messages?

In the fourth day of Cartoon Week, I have decided to look at what can only be described as the 'mistakes' of cartoons.

Throughout the years a number of Disney films have been accused of sticking in random objects or messages in their films that most closely resemble sexual images or audio.

I will now submit a few examples that I have found:

In The Lion King, when adult Simba collapses on top of a hill he lands on a patch of dandelions. These dandelions let off a bunch of pollen that travels into the air and appears to form the word 'SEX' (see picture). According to the animators of The Lion King the letters actually formed are 'SFX', which is short of special effects. They say that it was sort of a signature they put into the film - it has since been removed entirely in newer releases.

Another example is found in Aladdin. When Aladdin visits Jasmine at her castle, he is met by her trusty guard tiger, Rajah and they 'wrestle' on the balcony. In a lightly sounded audio, you can clearly hear the words 'Come on, take off all your clothes'. The original audio was supposed to be 'Come on, good kitty', but the other version made it into the film. It has since been removed and replaced with, "Come on, down kitty'. Disney has stated that it is something that might have accidentally been grafted onto the soundtrack.

A film with a couple of hidden accidents is The Little Mermaid. On the original artwork that was released with the film, a point on King Triton's castle appears to look like a penis. The company admits it's mistake, and chalks it up to a late night rush job by the animator. The second 'accident' in the film is of the priest at during Eric and human Ursula's wedding appears to have an erection during the scene. The priest is of small stature, and it is possible the animator was trying to show the priest's knees. Both incidents have since been removed from later versions of the film.

Finally, and possibly the worst, is in the film The Rescuers. In the scene where Bernard and Miss Bianca are flying through NYC on Orville - an image in the background appears to be of a nude woman. It is very brief and not clear when the film is in regular motion, but with the pause ability, it is indeed a nude woman in the background. This has also been corrected in newer releases.

So, is Disney specifically placing these messages into their films? Are people just too sensitive and making innocent pictures and objects into a sexual innuendo? Are animators just getting bored and seeing what they can get away with?

There are many questions, and possibly ones that just won't ever be answered. I feel that some of these can possibly be mistakes - such as The Lion King or The Little Mermaid. I can see that is possible for those to be mistakenly viewed as sexual. But, The Rescuers is absolutely not a mistake. There is no denying a naked woman's picture is in the background. And it didn't get there by accident.

I am not really sure that any of these are affecting our children, however. Most children who are watching these films are not even aware of what these images are yet - so technically it shouldn't be affecting them. It is also way too quick for most people to see - just those that are actually looking for it.

These instances are quite comical to me in a way. But, now that I am a father and I know my son is going to be watching these movies, has my stance changed? Probably a little. If in fact he does happen to see these images and asks that question - it's too early for him to know the real answer.

I am a strong believer in the fact that censorship is a terrible thing in America. But, people need to know where to draw the line - these are children's films, and these images/audio should not be mixed in.

1 comment:

  1. The only one I didn't know about was the naked woman in The Rescuers. That's hilarious :P . Maybe it was Tyler Durden just having some fun.