Disney is one of the top companies in the world. They earn billions annually, and their success is quite notable. Disney is running like a well-oiled machine, and that does not seem to be stopping anytime soon.
They have put together legendary movies and characters we all know and love. From Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Snow White, to creative new-school ones like Moana and Nemo. Disney characters are massive, as are their movies. Plus, consider how huge their parks have become!
Their company continues to thrive, and there may never be another company like them ever again. The money is rolling in like crazy, people are enjoying products they put out, and it seems like the world can't get enough of Disney.
There is so much good in Disney that there could never be bad, right? You might be shocked to find that this is not accurate. There is a lot about Disney that you might find shameful and that they may find embarrassing. They have done an amazing job of trying to bury their past as well current-day issues. We at The Gamer felt it would be best to shine a light on this. That is why we're giving you the 15 things about Disney that the company wants to bury. Enjoy.
15 The Sue Happiest Place On Earth
There have been multiple lawsuits against the characters at the Disney parks dating back to the times they opened, but mostly since the 1980's and beyond. One case happened in 2004 with Tigger, and another in 2008 with Donald Duck. In the 80's, Winnie the Pooh was sued and testified in court saying he did not intentionally hit a person he was alleged to have hit, claiming the costume design would have prevented that. Winnie won the case after a short deliberation. Sadly, his honey was only half as a sweet that day.
14 Now Serving Roast Duck
They found that there was an issue. Ducks liked to hang out on the river and were pretty much being cooked alive when the fire hit. As a result, Disney would change the plan and make an effect where the water would bubble and get a little out of control for a few minutes. This would, normally, scare off the ducks before they would be hit by the fire. It seemed to work.
13 A Scary Bit Of Authenticity
Disney would find out about this and would remove most of the real things they came across. However, it seems Disney may have left one behind on purpose. When riding you'll come across a segment involving a pirate bedroom where he has a skull and crossbones up above the headboard of the bed. This is actually a real skull and crossbones. It seems Disney wanted to be little bit authentic.
12 Walt's Painful Past
The real answer seems to go back to Walt Disney, the man who created it all. He would buy a new home for his mother and father, which may have made him the son of the year, right? Sadly, a tragic event occurred. Unknown to Walt, the furnace in the home leaked. Due to this, his parents were being affected slowly by the leak and the things it put into the air. It resulted in his mother's death, and Walt blamed himself for years over it.
11 Academy Award Winning Racism
Let's be honest with ourselves, Disney has been racist before. This is not news to many of you, but for some, we're sorry we had to be the ones to tell you. Probably one of the biggest cases of this was in the movie Song of the South. It may seem simple and innocent enough until you realize what the movie is. The movie follows Uncle Remus, who was a former slave. He tells you folk tales about the characters Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox.
The song he sings, known as “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” was beloved. It even won the Academy Award for Best Song at the 1947 Oscars. However, the material throughout the movie is controversial at best. The movie has never been re-released for home video, and it's almost impossible to find the movie today.
10 A Severe Gender Bias
This is a real rejection letter sent to a woman named Frances Brewer from Disney himself, reading:
“Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed by young men. For this reason, girls are not considered for the training school. To qualify for the only work open to women one must be well grounded in the use of pen and ink and also of water color. The work to be done consists of tracing the characters on clear celluloid sheets with India ink and filling in the tracings on the reverse side with paint according to directions.”
9 Now That's Just Mean
Funny enough, they would do it with Hanna-Barbera characters. This included the likes of Fred Flintstone, Scooby Doo, and Yogi Bear. This universe was owned by Universal Studios, and they would not only allow the use of the characters but volunteered the use of them how the daycares saw fit. This was done in response to Disney's park going up before Universal could get their park up and running.
8 They Own More Than You Think
Let's not forget, Marvel Studios is also owned by Disney and the comic company might as well be too. It goes without saying they own all the Disney channels. However, they're also in discussions to buy up FOX properties now. They also own things they do not want to promote. Like the channel A&E, which shows well-known shows like Storage Wars, and formerly Duck Dynasty.
7 Sweet Revenge
Walt Disney never seemed to be against getting revenge when the time came up. In a movie we know as Jungle Book, Disney asked The Beatles if they would voice the vultures in the movie. It's a small part, but the birds are used a few times in the film to some comedic love. John Lennon refused to do it, and hated the idea. Their manager loved the idea of it but this was the 1970s and The Beatles were at the height of their popularity.
Lennon even joked to get Elvis Presley to do the part instead, which he did because he knew Elvis was suffering through bad music sales. Disney took revenge on the group by making the Vultures into the group anyway. It's clear who is who, and even put hair on them exactly like the group to help in determining that. It was the last film Walt would work on before his death.
6 The Lion King Was Ripped Off Of An Anime TV Series
Numerous connections are there, I mean "Kimba" and we have "Simba." It's kind of obvious. Simba has a bird helping him out, so does Kimba. The villain for Kimba, Claw, looked exactly like Scar. Even the baboon Rafiki is copied off of a character named Dan'l Baboon. If that was not enough, the death of a parent is used as the big theme for the movie and how things go within.
5 Disney Destroyed Public Domain
For those unaware, the United States has an interesting thing called public domain. This is an area that creative arts go after their creative license goes out. So, basically, you'll see music, movies, and even characters go into this area for people to use in all places. The law in the 20's was that a creator would own the material for 56 years. This allowed people to copy it, create around it, or use ideas from it to make things of their own. Massive characters ended up here or were created from it.
In 1998, Mickey Mouse was about to enter the public domain. Disney was not happy about this. Disney and other companies lobbied to make Congress extend the copyright past 56 years. All of this was done to retain ownership of Mickey and other characters. It was extended by decades and it's likely Disney will continue to do this.
4 Famous Last Words
He also voiced or starred in several feature movies for Disney like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Strongest Man in the World. Russell would even appear in other Disney owned projects. He would become one of the top actors of his time, and still remains one of the best now-older actors in Hollywood. Still, no one knows exactly why he was thinking of Kurt at that time.
3 Uncut Content
It is quite common for movies made for children to have some adult humor in them. We have to watch with the kids, and thus, having something funny for all of us would be nice. Animators also like to do this, so they'll throw some funny stuff in to catch us as well. However, Disney might have gone a bit too far with two movies. The original Rescuers film shows a woman unclothed in a window. As the mice are riding in a sardine can, for a split second, you see a shot of someone in a window. That woman happened to be added in, and she happened to be a Playboy model.
Back in the 70s, you couldn't really tell that easily. It was later seen in home releases when they STILL used the photo in the movie. This led to a recall of the videos to remove it. Another instance of this was in the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Jessica Rabbit can be seen fully. In the original cut of the movie, you see Jessica's dress flying up to show her underwear. In animation though, she is not wearing any underwear. There was actually a theatrical version of her without any underwear. It was sure to be out of any version of the movie you might buy today.
2 Terrible Origins
Ariel in The Little Mermaid has legs that feels like she's walking on glass when using them. She also cannot have a soul and has to wait around 300 years after her death in a purgatory-like place to get one. This, due to her small human status before dying. In Brothers Grimm's Cinderella story, she sees no godmother but a tree she prays at. Along with her stepsisters doing things like cutting off their toes and/or heels to fit into the slipper. There are numerous origin stories that are downright awful.
1 Walt Disney Wasn't So Wholesome
Walt Disney was known to be an Anti-Semite. During the World War II period, Disney sympathized with Hitler and his ideals regarding the Jewish people. To be honest, the Jews did own a lot of things in Germany and did put others in hard times at points. This man was put in power due to the issues, but no one knew he would do what he did. There is still no exact number of how many died.
Due to Disney feeling connected to that world, and seemingly being racist by many during this time, he did something nuts. He created a cartoon showing Donald Duck in one of their outfits. The entire cartoon shows him praising these horrible ideals. It is seemingly done as a dream for Donald, and Disney tried to pass it off as a nightmare.