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24 Dark Disney Things We've All Just Agreed Not To Talk About

Bestiality, kidnapping, and child abuse, oh my.

It's a well-known fact that Disney movies have some pretty dark moments.

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If you haven't openly wept at a Disney movie, are you even human?

But beyond the villain deaths and dark climaxes, there are a lot of dark things about Disney movies that we just...don't talk about.

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1. Like...are we ready to talk about the bestiality going on in Beauty and the Beast?

Belle thinking she's catching feels for a giant wildebeest during "Something There"
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Beauty and the Bestiality.

2. Also, the entire premise of the movie is Belle falling in love with her captor.

Belle in a cell
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We all just gloss over this small fact when we talk about how romantic this film is.

3. But honestly, one of the darkest things the Beast does is straight up just letting Gaston and his cronies attack the castle 'cause he's sad, putting the lives of his entire staff at risk.

Mrs. Potts asks the beast what they should do and the beast says, "It doesn't matter now. Just let them come"
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There was actually a StarKid video about this years and years ago. Like, he doesn't even tell the staff to hide or leave; he's just like, "Sure, let's let these guys come in and kill us all."

4. And there's a ton of broken furniture and cookware in the ensuing fight scene. Does this mean the servants who became those furniture pieces were dead??

Gaston and the villagers fighting the furniture
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I'll tell ya something, if I was a plate in Beauty and the Beast, there's no way in hell you'd find me fighting an angry mob.

5. I honestly find it super gross that a ton of the stories revolve around kissing unconscious girls.

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At least in Sleeping Beauty, the kiss was part of breaking the curse. In Snow White, he literally just kisses a girl who's been dead for years. Gross, creepy, and sending the wrong message.

6. Speaking of...Snow White's body would've rotted a LOT if left in a glass coffin for years.

Snow White in her coffin
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He'd be straight up kissing a skeleton.

7. This also makes me wonder what happened to Mufasa's body in The Lion King.

Simba finding Mufasa dead
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Did one of the other animals eat it? I guess that's the circle of life...

8. ...And, come to think of it, the body of every Disney villain who falls to their death.

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A villain falling into some abyss may *seem* a lot less disturbing than something bloody, but...they've got to hit the ground sometime, and someone's gotta clean up these bodies. We need a Disney movie about that guy.

9. Although, I guess you could just say villains like Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame were dragged to hell, based on the imagery.

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I can't decide which is darker.

10. I'm a huge Mulan fan and I love Mulan with Shang Li, but you've got to admit that it's pretty messed up that he basically just leaves Mulan to die.

Mulan in the snow
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He "spares" her life but then leaves her in the middle of the snowy mountains, naked and alone. I know she has her horse, but still. Would it have killed him to at least escort her to the next safe, non-subzero place?

11. Death feels like a major theme in most Disney movies. The main plot of The Aristocats basically revolves around Adelaide dying.

Adelaide telling her lawyer she wants to write her will
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She writes her will, which is kind of a normal thing for someone in middle or old age to do, but then why didn't she write it earlier? Why now? Also, Edgar seems in a rush to get rid of the kittens — almost like he doesn't have much time until the will is activated.

12. In Moana, Maui steals Te Fiti's heart and this basically slowly poisons all the surrounding islands for 1,000 years. So I'm assuming a ton of people/islands were just wiped out. Meaning Maui was responsible for the death of thousands.

Tala telling Moana about darkness falling and spreading from island to island after Maui stole the heart
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Just some casually implied mass death in a Disney film.

13. We all know Ursula's lost souls are pretty creepy in The Little Mermaid but I feel like by the end of the movie, we've forgotten about them. But like...they're still down there, right?

The souls in "Poor Unfortunate Souls"
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That's still a super-dark ending for a movie, IMO. Who cares if Ariel got married? Hundreds of mermaids are suffering for eternity.

14. Honestly, The Little Mermaid is just super dark overall, considering a bunch of the main characters are fish. "Les Poissons" is downright harrowing when you realize that Sebastian watching fish get cut up is basically the equivalent of watching a giant gleefully chop and cook a bunch of humans.

The chef singing that he cuts off the fish's heads and pulls out their bones as Sebastian watches in horror
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He also chases Sebastian around. If this scene were with humans, kids would be crying in the theater. Heck, I'd be crying in the theater.

15. Food in The Lion King quickly gets pretty dark too. All the animals seem to be able to talk and have robust personalities, yet most of them eat each other for food. The only thing protecting characters like Timon is plot.

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That's the circle of life, I guess? Still, I can't help but picture poor gazelles screaming and begging for their lives and telling the lion eating them that they have a family.

16. Speaking of The Lion King...Nala and Simba were definitely related.

All the lionesses sleeping next to Mufasa
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We don't see any other male lions besides Scar so I'm assuming Mufasa was also Nala's father. So...they were half-siblings, then. Is inbreeding not a problem with lions?

17. This was realistic but I feel like we all miss the quick moment when Rapunzel reaches out for Gothel as she falls to her death.

Rapunzel reaching for Gothel as she falls out the window
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It's honestly super sad. Poor Rapunzel had complete Stockholm Syndrome and had to watch the only person she thought loved her die. Even though Gothel had shown her true colors, Rapunzel still didn't want to lose her.

18. The whole climax of Tangled is actually one of the darkest Disney movie climaxes. Gothel is just going to keep Rapunzel chained up forever. Also, I feel like no one ever talks about the trauma of Rapunzel being held hostage for her entire life.

Rapunzel chained up with a cloth over her mouth
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I watched some of Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure and this trauma was not adequately explored.

19. There's actually so much child abuse and neglect... Like what about the Beast? It seemed like he was 11 when the curse was cast. Where the heck were his parents?

The picture of the Beast as a human scratched up
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He was all alone at a castle with a bunch of servants? And how come they never visited him or anything?

20. I also get disturbed by the fact that there are so many kids in a castle of servants. Where are their parents? It seems like Chip is the only one who's Mrs. Potts's kid.

Mrs. Potts putting Chip to bed in the cupboard
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Also, I get that they're teacups, but...did they really have to sleep in a cupboard?

21. There also seems to be a running theme of fathers who straight up hate their sons. Like Kerchak in Tarzan.

Kerchak tells Kala that Tarzan can stay but he's not his son
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Bambi's dad was also kind of a dick. He wasn't even in Bambi's life until his mom died.

22. Anyone else think it's kind of messed up that the fairies put the entire kingdom to sleep just because Aurora is asleep in Sleeping Beauty?

The fairies decide to put everyone to sleep until Aurora awakens
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At this point, they don't know about Philip or that Aurora has a true love who's not currently in the kingdom who can come save her. It seems like Aurora will just have to sleep forever, which means the rest of the kingdom will too. What if someone was just passing through and stays stuck in time while their family worries about them in another kingdom?

23. Prince Charming not even remembering what color HAIR Cinderella had is super sus. I feel like he had to be super drunk.

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Although, I guess if I had the time and resources, I, too, would try to track down some hottie I danced with the night before in a drunken haze. I guess this isn't that dark, but it definitely casts a bit of a shadow on their romantic meeting.

24. And finally....I hate to ask this, but...did Tarzan have, like, crushes on gorillas as a teenager/adult? Did he have relationships with them???

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I know, I know. It's a valid question, but I shouldn't have asked.

What aspect of a Disney film always strikes you as super dark or disturbing? Let us know in the comments!

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