While Disney has been releasing much-loved animated movies for over 80 years now, the 1990s were a particularly special time in the studio's history. Nicknamed the "Disney Renaissance," this was the decade in which some of their best work came into our lives. Think The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin—to name but a few! We 90s kids were lucky enough to grow up with these incredible films, and many of them still occupy a special place in Disney fans' hearts.
However, just because we love the Disney movies of the 1990s doesn't mean we're blind to their flaws. No film is perfect, and Disney's animated flicks have their fair share of plot holes, confusing storylines, and generally nonsensical elements. A lot of their characters are seemingly devoid of any logic—both heroes and villains—and there are too many "convenient" plot resolutions to count. We still adore these films despite their issues, but hey—that doesn't mean we can't laugh at them from time to time! Try as we might, we also can't help but be a bit confused by some of their wackier features.
Here are just some of the things we've noticed about 1990s Disney flicks that make very little sense. Some of them are glaringly obvious plot holes, and others are difficult-to-notice goofs that might well ruin your childhood. You have been warned! You'll never be able to see your favorite 90s Disney movies in the same way again...
25 Scar's Confusing Plan
In The Lion King, Scar's main villainous goal is to overthrow his brother, Mufasa, and usurp the throne of the Pride Lands. There's one little thing getting in his way, though: Simba, Mufasa's son, who's next in line to inherit the title of King. To fix this little "issue," Scar could've ensured that Simba got trampled by wildebeest alongside his dad.
Instead, though, Scar lets Simba live!
Sure, getting his nephew to run away was a less violent solution to the succession issue... But didn't Scar consider that Simba might just come back one day? Apparently not...
24 Listen With Your Heart?
Question: how is it that Pocahontas, who has literally never seen an English person before, suddenly becomes fluent in John Smith's mother tongue by "listening with her heart"? Yes, a language barrier existing between these two characters would have been a bit inconvenient for the movie, but still! Can Pocahontas really learn an entirely new language in an instant simply by "listening with her heart"? While this is by no means the most problematic thing about Disney's Pocahontas—that would be the racism and generally icky colonialist vibe of the whole thing—it's still pretty annoying.
23 Seeing Some Of The Future
The Fates may only be minor characters in Disney's Hercules, but they're prominent enough to become the center of one of the film's many plot holes. These three sinister sisters have the power to see the future... But only when it suits them, apparently. They're able to tell Hades that his plan to overthrow Zeus will fail if Hercules fights, but are then totally shocked when Herc successfully rescues Meg's spirit from the Underworld. Like... Did they not see that coming? What parts of the future can and can't they see? So many questions...
22 Belle's Stockholm Syndrome
This is a pretty common criticism of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, but hey—we're going to have a rant about it anyway. Why are we expected to find Belle and the Beast's love story cute and romantic when it's clearly just a very extreme case of Stockholm Syndrome? Belle shouldn't be marrying Prince Adam when he returns to his human form.
In reality, she should be seeking psychological treatment.
However, Disney totally glosses over this fact, and instead goes with the "isn't this cute" route. No, guys—it is not cute at all!
21 Woody's Memory Loss
In Toy Story 2, we learn that Woody—Andy's beloved cowboy toy—is something of a vintage collector's item. He was created in the 1960s, following the success of a TV series about his rip-roaring Western adventures. Question: why does Woody seemingly recall literally none of his past? He's presumably been the toy of various children since the 1960s, but he can only seem to remember belonging to Andy—and he doesn't seem to realize that he was created so long ago. Does he have some kind of memory loss? Is he okay?!
20 Jafar Has No Logic
Just like The Lion King's Scar, Jafar—the big baddie of Aladdin—seems to have no logic skills whatsoever. The guy is a powerful wizard who can use mind control with his staff. Why doesn't he just force Aladdin, Jasmine, and co to do his bidding?
Plus, he could easily "get rid" of Aladdin if he wanted to.
Why does he opt to trap or banish him to various places instead, all the while leaving Aladdin with the means to free himself (in the shape of a Magic Carpet or Genie's Lamp)? It makes no sense!
19 It's All Greek To Me
We all know that Disney films don't always stick to their source material. However, the lengths to which Disney's Hercules totally warps Ancient Greek mythology is ridiculous. For example, in the movie, we see Herc doing some of his famous Twelve Labors—like defeating the Hydra, and slaying a lion—while also finding time to flirt with his love interest, Meg. However, in the original mythology, Hercules has to complete these labors as penance for slaying Meg and the couple's child. Yep, sorry everyone—your childhood was a total lie! These two didn't live happily ever after!
18 Impostor Syndrome
Don't get us wrong: we love Disney's Mulan, and we adore its feminist message of female strength and empowerment. We do, however, have one major issue with the movie's entire premise. How on earth did nobody realize that Mulan was a woman? Her entire act as a man was completely unconvincing—the poor thing might as well have worn a sign that said: "I'm faking it." Plus, there are certain aspects of her womanhood that Mulan would find pretty difficult to hide: her "monthly visitor," for example. Did nobody wonder why "Ping" bled for a few days each month?
17 Use Your Eyes, Hades!
At the very beginning of Disney's Hercules, Hades tries to have his young nephew "got rid of," to prevent Hercules from growing up and becoming his downfall. However, this plan doesn't succeed: Herc merely becomes a mortal instead. For the next couple of decades, he lives happily on Earth with his adoptive parents, while Hades believes that Hercules is no longer alive.
Thing is, isn't Hades the literal Lord of the Dead?
Wouldn't he have noticed that baby Herc's spirit never arrived in the Underworld? Either Hades is criminally unobservant, or we've just discovered another plot hole...
16 Nala, I Am Your Father
Fans of The Lion King, prepare to have your childhood ruined. You know how Simba and Nala go from being childhood best friends to madly in love fully-grown lions? Well, one thing that Disney doesn't mention in "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" is the fact that these two lovebirds are probably related. During Nala and Simba's childhood, there were only two male adult lions in the pride: Mufasa and Scar. One of these two has to be Nala's father, meaning she's either Simba's half-sister or his cousin. SO MUCH NOPE.
15 Aladdin's Fool-Proof "Disguise"
Is every major character in Disney's animated movie repertoire inexplicably unobservant? Apparently so, if Aladdin is anything to go by. The whole "princess falls for a pauper" storyline in this film is cute and all, but there's no way that Jasmine wouldn't recognize Aladdin when he takes on his "prince" identity.
He's just stuck a different outfit on and gained an elephant or two.
His face is still exactly the same, his voice is identical, his personality is just like that of the "beggar" that Jasmine met... Come on. She's a smart woman. She'd know what was up.
14 Just How Old Is The Beast?
In the original animated version of Beauty and the Beast, a lot of things about the Beast's backstory were left unhelpfully ambiguous. For one, the age of this cursed prince—both at the time he angered the Enchantress and during the film's events—is unclear. We know that the Beast is 21 when he meets Belle, and it's noted that the curse has been present for a decade. Does this mean the Prince was just an 11-year-old kid when he was transformed? If so, why is there an adult portrait of him in the castle? Strange...
13 Mulan's Unnecessary Sacrifice
Not to totally discredit the entire point of the movie Mulan, or anything... But there was really no need for the titular heroine to go to war in her father's place. It's made pretty clear in the "I'll Make A Man Out Of You" sequence that soldiers who don't meet the army's exacting standards will be sent home. Since Mulan/Ping almost gets the chop because she's a little bit uncoordinated, it's pretty clear that her father would be excused from service because of his prior injuries. The guy can barely walk!
12 Simba's Malnutrition Issues
Let's get real here: Simba definitely shouldn't have survived the events of The Lion King. As if it's not enough that Scar didn't get rid of him when he had the chance, the poor cub should have had a pretty awful time of it while living with Timon and Pumbaa in the jungle. Those two seem to have no concept of what the appropriate diet is for a young lion, and happily feed Simba their own diet of bugs. Did somebody say "major malnutrition issues"? Simba didn't stand a chance—unless he eventually ate Timon and Pumbaa, of course.
11 Is Belle The Incredible Hulk?
While Beauty and the Beast is generally pretty questionable plot-wise, there's one particular scene that's especially nonsensical. Remember the sequence when Belle runs off into the night, and the Beast comes and saves her from some wolves? Poor Beast ends up getting injured and is unable to walk. Belle—a presumably average-sized young woman—somehow musters up the strength to lift a huge, hulking Beast onto his horse, and leads the way back to the castle. How does she manage that? Is she secretly the Incredible Hulk?! She must have superhuman strength...
10 Lioness Logic
You've got to feel a bit sorry for Simba at the end of The Lion King. When he mysteriously returns from the grave to rescue all of the lionesses of Pride Rock from Scar's evil clutches, they don't thank him. Instead, they actually start to believe the lies Scar spins about Simba being responsible for Mufasa's passing. Really? Why do they choose to believe a lion who's been showing evil tendencies for years over their Prince, who was a literal child when Mufasa perished? You'd think some logic would set in here, and Scar would be the one under suspicion!
9 Chip's Entire Existence
Now, we don't want to disturb you too much, but we still have to talk about how Chip from Beauty and the Beast came into existence. For one, that teacup seems to speak with the voice of a very young child—a child who would have been born in the intervening ten years between the castle being cursed, and Belle coming along. How did that happen when his mother, Mrs. Potts, was a literal teapot at the time?! Plus, when Mrs. Potts becomes human again, she appears to be a woman who's way past child-bearing age. How strange...
8 Quasimodo's Questionable Upbringing
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is pretty much one of the darkest, saddest Disney movies out there. Just take the song "Hellfire"—those lyrics should not have been allowed in a kids' movie!
Frollo is one creepy dude.
Speaking of which—why was he even allowed to raise Quasimodo in the first place? When Frollo came across the baby hunchback, he tried to drown him! Yet, a priest who's looking on seems totally fine with Frollo taking young Quasimodo home and looking after him. Where is the logic there? Frollo clearly isn't "good father" material!
7 The Beast's Abandonment Issues
The more you think about it, the less the Beast's origin story makes sense in the original animated Beauty and the Beast. Alongside with the aforementioned age issue, there's also the question of where the Beast's parents went. If he was 11 years old when he was cursed, he must have had a parent or guardian around somewhere, right? Are they just chilling out in the castle still, having been transformed into a bucket and a sweeping brush? Or was this kid just left to his own devices in a giant castle? No wonder he ended up getting cursed!
6 Agrabah's Pop Culture Expert
Now, this particular issue with Aladdin could just be ascribed to artistic license, but that doesn't make it any less weird. Considering the movie seems to take place many centuries in the past, how is the Genie aware of so many 20th-century pop culture references? How does he know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is when the guy is a few hundred years off from being born? Does the Genie somehow have knowledge of the future? He seems to be the only character capable of making modern-day references. It's all very odd.
5 Buzz Lightyear's Human Complex
One of the main plot points of the original Toy Story is the fact that Buzz Lightyear, a brand-new space ranger toy, believes himself to be a "real boy." He thinks he's human, and for a lot of the movie, he simply won't listen when Woody tries to tell him otherwise. Thing is, Buzz acts a whole lot like a toy for someone who believes he's a person. Even when he's first introduced, Buzz freezes like the other toys when Andy's around. Surely he wouldn't do that if he thought he was human? It's a bit fishy...
4 Tarzan's Grooming Habits
One of Tarzan's most notable physical features is his long, luscious locks that have presumably grown out after years of living in the jungle. It makes sense—it's not like they have any barbers out there to give him a trim! However, it seems that they do have shaving implements, judging by the rest of Tarzan's body.
He's entirely hairless, except on his head.
No chest hair, no leg or armpit hair—nothing. Where has this all gone? Presumably, Disney just couldn't cope with the idea of showing body hair in a kids' film. Sigh.
3 Magical Immortal Bugs
A Bug's Life has to be one of the most underrated Disney-Pixar movies out there. Way fewer people have heard of it than of Toy Story, for example, which is a shame—it's pretty great!
However, it does have one major flaw.
As you might guess from the title, most of the film's characters are bugs, creatures that generally have a short lifespan. However, ants and grasshoppers alike are shown to survive for seasons—and years—on end! In reality, Hopper and co would be long-gone by the time the last leaf fell.
2 The Definition Of "True Hero"
Question: why is Zeus' definition of a "true hero" so strange in Hercules? This god's earthly son selflessly rescues dozens of people, defeats innumerable evil creatures, and regularly puts his own life in danger—but this apparently doesn't make him a hero. In contrast, Hercules goes into the Underworld to save his love, Meg, and this is what makes him heroic. Ultimately, the only people who benefit from this are Meg and Hercules himself. Since when did saving one woman's life outweigh saving scores of innocent people in the hero stakes?
1 Do The Genie's Wishes Wear Off?
Here's a question for the die-hard Aladdin fans out there: how exactly do the Genie's wishes work? Do they wear off somehow? If they don't, then one major plot point in the movie doesn't make sense. As we all know, early on in the film, Aladdin wishes to become a prince. However, at the end of the movie, he's seemingly unable to wed Jasmine because he's not a prince. Did the fact he changed back into his paupers' clothes suddenly negate the Genie's power to make him royal? Did the original wish have an expiry date? Nobody knows!