Is Disney Really “PG”?

1 Nov

Almost anywhere you go, someone, somewhere has seen, heard or talked about Disney and its empire.  Disney is advertised to children, for children and said to be children appropriate.  However, underneath their cookie cutter, family friendly exterior, Disney is actually rather perverted.  We have all heard the phrase “sex sells”, just not usually when it comes to PG content.  As research and images have shown, Disney is no exception to this phrase and has actually placed several “adult” images in children’s movies.  However, much of this “adult” material is not easily seen, unless you know to look for it.  Disney has been accused of placing “hidden” or subliminal messages into their movies in hopes that the images will subconsciously enter the mind and improve sales. However, not all of the images are hidden.  If we look at the images of young Disney stars such as Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, their music videos, attire and even some themes in their music is not child appropriate, though they are two of Disney’s best selling musicians.

Through the use of “hidden” or subliminal messages Disney is portraying to society the notion that sex sells.  Disney has actually recalled over 3.4 million copies of movie sales due to these accusations of inappropriate content in their movies to the youth.  Though Disney will say that these pornographic or sexualized images were placed into the movies in post-editing, their name remains on the video sale and there is no proof of these accusations.  This idea of Disney as being PG and child friendly seems to be an inaccurate statement.  For example, in the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, there is a shot where Jessica Rabbit jumps out of a taxi, and if we slow down the frames and freeze them, we can see a revealed woman with her skirt open.  Though this lasted for only a few frames, it was still a “hidden” message of sex in the movie.  Further, movies such as “The Lion King”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Rescuers”, “Aladdin”, and others have been found to contain adult content inappropriate for children.  If sex sells and Disney is selling sex, it is no wonder they are such a profitable company.

There are advocacy groups and YouTube Videos both protesting and showing these sexualized images in children’s movies.  There are numerous videos showing, for each Disney video, where the sexual images are and just how many there are that we miss if we don’t know to look for them.  Some have argued that Disney cannot sell sex to kids because kids do not know what the word “sex” means or to look for a phallic symbol or cannot comprehend that an image of a naked women is perverted.  However, there are advocacy groups out there with group discussion pages for those who have issues or complaints about the way Disney films portray stereotypes, racism, classism, sexism, genderism, all other ism’s, and perpetuate prejudice and rewrite history.  Disney it turns out is not PG and has gone from selling hidden or subliminal messages in their DVD and VCR sales to overtly sexual images of their actors and singers.  It has been said that Disney can sell sex to kids through people like the Jonas Brothers, but its okay because they wear “purity” rings and can make more money selling and advertising sexualized images to children.  In case you are not convinced that Disney is selling sex, take a look below.

Lets look at some of the Images from Disney movies that contain these “hidden” messages.

The Little Mermaid – Released November 17, 1989

Is the Priest a little to excited?

As we can see in the above image, the Priest who is marrying Arielle and Eric (the Little Mermaid and the Prince) appears to have an erection, though it has been argued that the bulge is actually the knee of the Priest.  This image was edited out of the new releases of the DVD.

There appears to be a phallic symbol on the Little Mermaid's Castle

On the cover art of the DVD/VHS release of the Little Mermaid, we can clearly see a phallic symbol (male genitalia) as apart of the castle. Not exactly child appropriate.

The Rescuers – Released June 22, 1977

If we look in the window, we see the image of an exposed woman

As you can see in the image above, the movie features two frames of an actual topless model. The can be found in the scene when Bernard and Bianca fly through the city. You would need to freeze the film to see the image.

The Lion King – Released June 24, 1994

The dust spell out the word "SEX" in the night sky

As we can clearly see from the image above, the word SEX is spelled out in the night sky as Simba is looking out over the cliff remembering his father.  However, as YouTube videos have shown, the word sex appears in many of the scenes from the movie.  There are numerous subliminal messages in this movie.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – Released June 22, 1988

Jessica Rabbit Exposed in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

As we can see here, Jessica Rabbit is exposed.  This image occurs after she jumps from a taxi. However, the image is only a few frames long so in order to see this you would have to freeze the movie to look for it.

These are not the only Disney Movies where Subliminal Messages are shown.  In the movie Pocahontas which was released June 23, 1995, the word “Sex” appears many times just as in the movie The Lion King.  Further, in the movie Aladdin which was released November 25, 1992, there is a scene where Aladdin is on the balcony and you can hear him say “good teens take off your clothes”.

—Now after seeing some examples of Disney’s “hidden” messages, ask yourself, is Disney selling sex to children?—-

Pilkington, Brett , Mike Porowski, Steve Raszka, Haley Rinas, Jami Rosier, and Zack Sams. “Hidden Sexual Messages Found In Disney Movies .” bgsu.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2010. <www.bgsu.edu/departments/tcom/faculty/ha/tcom103fall2003/gp13/gp13.pdf>.

Hannahhhhhhh. “6 Subliminal Messages You Never Noticed in Your Favorite Disney Films.” Cinemaroll | film making, from the viewers’ perspective. N.p., 6 Oct. 2008. Web. 21 Oct. 2010. <http://cinemaroll.com/animation/6-subliminal-messages-you-never-noticed-in-your-favorite-disney-films/&gt;.

SubliminalMessage. “Disney Subliminal Messages.” HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2010. <http://hubpages.com/hub/disney-subliminal-messages&gt;.

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2 Responses to “Is Disney Really “PG”?”

  1. afertel689 November 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    I can’t understand why Disney would put these images in their films. It’s so hard to notice unless you really step back and analyze it, so what’s the benefit? It’s not keeping parents interested, because they’re probably not even noticing it. There are other ways to create children’s films that are also entertaining for parents. The first example that I think of is “Shrek.” I remember seeing that sometime in middle school with my brother who is much younger, and my dad, and we all laughed and enjoyed it. My dad definitely caught onto some of the more mature jokes and references, but it didn’t phase my brother who was only in elementary school – it wasn’t offensive to anyone, it simply kept us all entertained. It seems like Disney thinks they have something to prove when they insert these subliminal messages, but I’m just not sure to what they are alluding.

    • effie724 November 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

      I have heard of Disney selling sex, but never seen the examples explicitly. Some of these images, like spelling ‘SEX’ out in the star dust in Lion King are so blatant and I can not believe that the entire corporation allowed that to happen. Why does Disney insert these subliminal messages? What is there incentive here? Like stated above, some more recent Disney movies contain comical/sexual references, probably aimed at entertaining the adults/parents bringing their children to the movies, so at least Disney’s motives can be understood here. The type of sexual undertones in the more classic films like Pocahontas and Aladdin are just bizarre and unnecessary.

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