Animated Disney films are funny, beautiful and touching – but they’re not perfect.
If you look a little deeper or think a little harder, you’ll notice that each movie is stocked with little mistakes.
Sometimes there are continuity errors, in which objects appear, disappear, or move out of nowhere. Other times there are factual errors, in which previously confirmed ideas don’t add up. There are also audio errors, plot holes, character issues, geography goofs, and more.
Nearly every movie from every movie studio – both animated and live action – have a few problems sprinkled in. But there's no reason to fret — movies are difficult to make! Most of these mistakes go right over our heads, anyway.
Does it really matter if the drummer in Lilo & Stitch magically changes out his instruments? Is it really such a big deal if the fish in Finding Nemo shouldn’t be floating in baggies above the water?
Although ultimately these little details don’t make or break a movie, they’re certainly worth noting. After all, many of these movies were worked on for three – five – even seven years, yet no one noticed that things were done a little wrong.
So here we are now, ready to take you on a journey through some of the Disney cartoon movie mistakes that you might not have noticed. Yes, there are so many that we’ll barely scratch the surface with this list.
Grab some popcorn and get ready for a show; It’s time to dive into the world of Disney animated movie goofs.
25 Tangled: Flynn’s Shackles Disappeared
It took Disney over 70 years to give Rapunzel her own movie, but when they did, it was sure worth the wait — The film was nearly flawless. Nearly, is the key word here.
Remember the dramatic climax in which Flynn cuts Rapunzel’s hair with a shard of glass? Flynn is wearing giant metal shackles around his wrists during this scene. When the shot moves in closer to show him pushing the hair away from her face, though, they're gone. Makes so much sense, right?
24 Moana: The Footprints Washed Away?
Early on in Moana, we see the island princess as a kid by the ocean. The water is pretty magical, but we’re still not sure that can explain why Moana’s footprints instantly vanish.
Moana walks closer to the lifelike waves, leaving a trail in the sand behind her.
The shot changes, but when it does, the footprints are no longer there.
There’s little logic behind this move. Her imprints were too deep in the sand to have faded on their own, and the water was in front of her – not behind.
23 Beauty And The Beast: Adam’s Age Doesn't Add Up
This mistake is actually pretty obvious if you do the math.
Prince Adam was cursed after turning away the enchantress when he was young. If he didn’t find love by his 21st birthday, he would remain a beast forever. By the time Belle meets him, he’s been a beast for around a decade. The problem? That means he would have been turned into a beast when he was around 10 or 11.
This doesn’t make any sense. The opening scenes suggest he is much older during the incident with the enchantress, and the ripped up portrait Belle finds of him in the castle depicts him as an adult, as well.
22 Monsters, Inc.: They Can Control Time?
The monsters at Monsters, Inc. can go anywhere in the human world by simply walking through a door. How cool is that?
What doesn’t make quite as much sense is their ability to shift time.
There’s that one scene where our heroes are chased through multiple doors in the warehouse. They find themselves in places including Paris, Japan, Florida, and Nepal.
Problem is, a 24-hour time map didn’t seem to be in place. Florida and Nepal, for example, are on opposite sides of the world – so it was a little strange when it was night in both places.
21 Pocahontas: The Shadows Are Wrong
One scene in Disney’s Pocahontas shows the Indian princess and her best friend, Nakoma, walking toward a group of guards at night. As usual, the two are paired up with Nakoma dragging Pocahontas along by the hand.
You’ll see their shadows during one of the establishing shots – and if you look closely, you’ll notice that their shadows aren’t holding hands like they are.
Animation’s tricky, guys. If this was the biggest detail the film’s artists overlooked, then the movie didn’t turn out half bad in terms of animation.
20 Frozen: Another Problem With – Yup, Shadows
“Love is an Open Door” is the only romantic duet between a Disney heroine and villain. Although no one actually likes Hans, the montage of scenes is still pretty magical – especially because we’re still waiting for Anna and Kristoff to share some grand musical number together (keep your fingers crossed Frozen 2 will give us this).
Anyway, at one point during the song, the couple dances at the top of a lighthouse. Their shadows can be seen on the sail of a nearby ship, but there’s one thing missing – and that is the floor.
The sail shows them floating mid-air. And no, shadows aren’t supposed to work that way.
19 The Incredibles: The Dates Are Inconsistent
The Incredibles – the animated superhero movie that came out far before Marvel was blowing up every box office – was supposedly set in some fanciful version of the 1960s. Everything suggests this from the cars, to the clothing, to the houses.
Back in Mr. Incredible's office, though, there’s a whole other story. Some fans have reportedly spotted the date September 16, 2002, on one of the newspaper clippings reminiscent of Mr. Incredible's glory days on the wall. The animators were probably trying to reference some important date, but it sure doesn’t allow the Parr family's world to add up.
18 The Little Mermaid: The Statue Reassembles Itself
The Little Mermaid is chock-full of little animation mistakes.
When Prince Eric’s dog, Max, licks Ariel’s cheek, she wipes the wrong one.
When Carlotta brings a platter of food to the table in the dinner scene, the handle magically changes in a new shot.
Most obviously, King Triton absolutely demolishes the stone statue of Prince Eric early on. It’s clearly all in crumbles. Boom. Gone. Yet only a few minutes later, Ariel caresses the statue’s face which has seemingly reassembled itself. Makes sense?
17 Snow White And The Seven Dwarves: Self-Fixing House
Why did the dwarves need Snow White to care for them when their house was magic enough on its own?
In one scene, the dwarves frantically run down the stairs, and when Dopey pulls at the door handle awaiting them at the bottom, it breaks off.
Fast forward to the next time the dwarves open the door because as it turns out – the handle is magically there again. Gasp!
We’ll give Disney a break on this one. It was the studio’s first full-length animated feature film, after all.
16 Up: Where Did Russell Come From?
Up is one of those memorable films that managed to put entire theaters into tears just moments after it began. One of the most puzzling parts of this film, though, happens right after Carl’s colorful house lifts into the air.
Every angle of Carl’s home is shown floating away through the city and into the sky, but then he hears a knock on the door as soon as he’s getting comfortable: Russell.
This kid is great and all, but where did he come from?
How could he have ended up on the doorstep when he clearly wasn’t there before? How did he not fall off? The logic isn’t there.
15 Finding Nemo: Saltwater Bags Should Have Sunk
At the very end of the film, all the fish from the dentist’s office have seemingly escaped. They've done so by rolling out the window in plastic bags.
Sure, they can’t figure out what to do next as they bob in the water. Who would know what to do? The bigger problem is that logically, they shouldn’t be bobbing above the water.
Get out a plastic bag now. Fill it with water, then drop it in a giant bucket of water. Is it perfectly floating above the liquid below it? No? Point proven.
14 Cinderella: Her Dress Becomes Sleeveless After The Wedding
Cinderella’s wedding dress wasn’t that memorable. This is probably because when you think of this Disney princess, you picture her in her iconic sparkly ball gown, or maybe even her blue and brown maid’s uniform. If you go back and watch the movie, though, you’ll notice that her wedding dress is actually pretty unique. Why? It changes.
When Cinderella gets married, her wedding dress has long sleeves. As she’s riding off into her happily ever after with the prince in the final shot, though, the dress instantly has short sleeves. Unless she got out some scissors and snipped away the fabric when we weren’t looking, we don’t have an explanation for how this happened.
13 101 Dalmatians: Roger's Random Moving Hat
This continuity mistake happens only around nine minutes into this dog-filled favorite.
Roger’s out walking Pongo when he leaves his hat on a bench. All of the sudden, Pongo charges forward, dragging Roger behind him. Roger gets tangled in the dog’s leash alongside his future love interest – Anita.
As he meets this lovely lady, he pulls his hat on and off of his head as a sort of ruffled greeting. This wouldn’t be a problem, except it got to him – how? Last time we saw his hat, it was off chilling on a bench. I guess it isn’t there anymore.
12 Aladdin: The Tiger Is Missing Something
Jasmine’s sidekick animal friend, Rajah, is always on her side – especially when unwanted suitors are visiting the kingdom.
In one scene around eleven minutes in, Jasmine’s tiger friend yanks a chunk of fabric off the pants of one of the suitors. His trousers become exposed, and the shot changes to show Rajah holding fabric in his mouth. The fabric should be purple like the pants, but it’s actually pink with red hearts – just like the trousers. Oops. I guess this one wasn’t thought through.
11 The Lion King: The Lions' Changing Eye Colors
Have you ever noticed that Simba’s eyes change throughout the movie? In brighter scenes, his eye whites tend to be yellow, but in darker ones, they look more white. This was probably intentional, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Nala has eye problems of her own.
The centers of her eyes seem to shift in color as she gets older.
When she’s young, they’re more green, but when she’s older, they’re bluer. A totally different scene when she’s an adult, though, depicts them as being vibrant green – so what’s the deal with that?
10 Robin Hood: Prince John’s Rings Change
The archery contest is one of the more memorable moments from Disney’s 1973 version of Robin Hood. It’s colorful and very lively!
What you might not have noticed is that Prince John’s rings go through a few changes starting with this scene. In one shot, he has a ring on his paw without a jewel. In another, a jewel appears. Fast forward a little more, and there are many rings. Not long after, there are none. What went on here?
9 Peter Pan: Captain Hook’s Sword Comes Back
During Peter’s duel against Hook at skull rock, the film’s pirate antagonist drops his sword as he attempts to hang on to the cliff. As he watches the crocodile come nearer, the film changes to a shot in which his sword is neatly in his sheath again.
Did we also mention that the captain’s actual hook changes sides during one scene of the movie? Usually, it’s on his left, but in one underwater shot, it decides to become his best right-hand best friend.
8 The Jungle Book: Mowgli Can’t Follow Directions
"The Bare Necessities" is one heck of a jam.
At one point during the musical number, Baloo asks Mowgli to scratch his left shoulder. Mowgli complies – sort of.
Mowgli heads straight for the center of Baloo’s back, ultimately scratching his right shoulder.
Baloo seems to be happy, so maybe he was the one who actually got his sides mixed up.
He’s a bear, after all. How high of expectations can we realistically have for him?
7 Mulan: There’s An Ink Issue
Remember when the cricket is typing out a letter for Mushu by jumping on some paper? He gets ink on his feet and goes for it. When he lands on the table, though, there’s no ink there.
A similar scenario happens with the matchmaker. She accidentally uses her ink-covered fingers to give herself some facial hair, but when she picks up her teapot moments later, no ink comes off.
Apparently the movie’s black liquid has a mind of its own.
6 Sleeping Beauty: What Century Is It?
Prince Phillip and King Hubert both refer to it being the 14th century at some time or another in Sleeping Beauty. It must be a pretty darn advanced version of the 14th century then, being that the characters enjoy a few luxuries of the 16th century.
Fireworks go off during the film, yet fireworks weren’t used for entertainment until a couple of centuries later. Additionally, the fairies are seen drinking tea at one point, but this wouldn’t have been possible due to the film’s European setting. Tea wasn’t shipped over from China until a later century as well.
5 Alice In Wonderland: Who Wrote This?
The original Alice in Wonderland was created by Lewis Carroll. But according to the opening credits of the Disney film, it was created by Lewis Carrol – with only one “l.”
Ask any reporter; That’s a huge mistake – and for no one to notice that the film wasn’t properly accredited in the first thirty seconds is somewhat mind-boggling.
But did any mistakes get made during the actual film? You bet.
When Alice shrinks after her forest adventure, the mushroom pieces she holds come to look uneaten even though she’s taken a bite out of each.
4 The Princess And The Frog: Objects Keep Appearing
Tiana is moving along to some music that Naveen and Charlotte are dancing to at a point. The shot changes, and guess what? She magically has some earrings.
During another scene, as she contemplates whether she should or shouldn’t kiss a frog, a picture behind her comes and goes.
One other major mistake? St. Louis Cathedral is seen with the Mississippi River in the background. In real life, it’s actually in front. But the closing shot wouldn’t have been as artistic the other way around, now, would it have been?
3 Lilo & Stitch: The Drum Was Swapped
Remember that scene in which Lilo is taking hula lessons? You might recall a couple of drummers driving the song along. What you might not remember is that one of the drummers seems to magically swap instruments partway through Lilo’s class. While at first both of the guys are banging on yellow hourglass-shaped instruments, the drummer on the right side of the screen all of the sudden has a red drum in a new shot. I guess if alien’s can exist in Lilo’s world, magic drum-swapping powers can, too.
2 Tarzan: An Injury Disappears
Remember when Tarzan had an intense fight with a leopard? His chest gets scratched real good. You can see the giant claw marks, that is, only until Tarzan comes out of the pit carrying the leopard. His obvious injury has seemingly vanished.
It’s suggested that the animators intentionally did this to leave evidence of violence out of the film. Maybe that choice would be considered a little extreme in today’s world, but in 1999 (when the movie came out), it seemed to work.
1 Dumbo: Elephants Can’t Drink Through Their Trunks
News flash: Drinking through your nose is not nice. The same goes for elephants, but Dumbo didn't seem to get the memo. In one scene, the little elephant drinks beer through his trunk rather than spraying it back into his mouth. Doesn’t work too well, now, does it?
The animals also have a few color issues.
Giraffes' tongues aren’t red, and baby ostriches aren’t black and white.
In Dumbo’s world, they are.
Disney animators work hard, so no matter why a mistake is in a movie, we can give them a break. Little flaws don’t make the magic any less memorable.