Pretty much every '90s kid grew up watching Disney films such as The Lion King, Aladdin and Mulan. Whether you wanted to go on adventures with Aladdin and Jasmine or hang out with Mulan, Disney films were the staples of our childhood and we all have fond memories of watching those movies over and over again until the VCR tape was worn out.
Now that we're adults, we can't believe some of the plotlines and songs that were included in the flicks. If you were a die-hard Disney fan as a kid, then you'll enjoy reading our list of the 15 horrific realizations we had after watching those movies now that we're adults.
15 King Triton Was Totally Right
As kids while watching The Little Mermaid, we were totally on Ariel’s side. After all, she saw Prince Eric for the first time while sneakily observing a human ship and she fell head over fins in love with him. OF COURSE they should be together! King Triton was just an old grouch who didn’t want his teenaged daughter to be happy.
As adults, we re-watch The Little Mermaid and we’re shocked that we ever agreed with Ariel. Of course King Triton was right! How stupid could Ariel be—she didn’t know anything about Prince Eric. He could have been some creeper, and she wouldn’t know about it until AFTER she married him at the end of the film. Let's not forget that Ariel is like, 16 years old in the movie and Eric is probably much older. Who does that? Who even thinks that is safe? At least date the guy for a few months before you settle down, girl! Get to know him first and make sure he’s a decent fellow before you decide to trade in your fins for a pair of human legs.
14 Claude Frollo Was A Total Misogynist Who Was Lusting After Esmeralda
As kids, we didn’t think much about Claude Frollo’s motives for trying to kill Esmeralda in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, since much of the symbolism in his iconic song, "Hellfire," went right over our head. We just kind of assumed that because he was a villain and didn’t like the Romani people, he wanted to kill her.
Re-watching that movie as an adult and now we’re like HOT DAMN, FROLLO WAS SUCH A CREEPER. Not only was he lusting after a young woman when he was old enough to be her father, but the innuendo in "Hellfire" makes us wonder how on Earth we missed that as kids while watching the film. All we can say is that Frollo is a creepy jerk that was also emotionally and verbally abusive to poor Quasimodo. At least he got his just desserts at the end of the film!
13 Governor Ratcliffe Was Advocating Genocide
Throughout Pocahontas, Governor John Ratcliffe kept making sneering remarks about how much he hated Powhatan and his tribe because he did not consider them to be civilized like the English.
During the song "Savages," Ratcliffe and his minions basically gloat about wanting to kill Powhatan and the rest of his tribe. They also advocate for the genocide of every single Native American in the country and think of them as something other than human.
Given the absolutely awful treatment of Native Americans at the hands of the white settlers and later on, at the hands of the United States government, it is horrifying to re-watch Pocahontas as an adult and see how Ratcliffe was advocating for the genocide of an entire group of people. As kids, we knew he was evil, but he is even more terrifying now that we see how much of a genocidal maniac he really was.
12 Gaston Was Totally An MRA
Okay, while watching Beauty and the Beast as kids, we figured out pretty quickly that Gaston was a self-absorbed jerk who didn’t care one whit about Belle’s thoughts or opinions.
Now when we re-watch the film as adults, we’re chilled by the fact that Gaston basically gaslighted Belle and tried to manipulate her. We can’t help but scream “BELLE RUN FAR, FAR AWAY” when we get to the scene where Gaston tries to throw her book in the mud.
We also can’t help but get totally grossed out when Belle tries to tell the townspeople that the Beast isn’t some violent monster and Gaston instantly twists her words to make it seem like SHE is the mentally ill one because that is the classic sign of an emotional abuser. Just ugh. Gaston was totally skeevy and we can’t help but wonder if the three young women who were sighing over him in the beginning of the film were his first victims.
11 Why Did Snow White Go With The Prince?!
While watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, we were always happy when Prince Charming finally stumbled upon the sleeping princess’s coffin, and kissed her so she’d wake up. It was so heartwarming for us to see that Snow White FINALLY got her happy ending: she found her true love and the evil Queen was finally defeated.
What were we thinking as kids? That ending was SO creepy. How the heck did Prince Charming even find her body? What even possessed him to think “wow, that’s a pretty dead girl, let me kiss her.” Just no.
And Snow White went with him! Girl, what was wrong with you? It’s not like she knew the evil Queen had been defeated, so for all Snow White knew, he could’ve been an agent of the evil Queen. Besides, it’s not like she knew anything about him, so it’s really creepy that she trusted him sight unseen and likely got married to him.
10 Captain Hook Was A Little Too Obsessed With Peter Pan
As kids, we didn’t think much of Captain Hook’s obsession with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in Disney’s adaption of J.M. Barrie’s work. He was the bad guy, and Peter had foiled many of his plots, so OF COURSE he’d want revenge. It was only logical, after all. Ahhh, childhood innocence.
Now, we can’t help but side-eye Captain Hook because he was a little too obsessed and we wonder if he was a pedophile. That entire movie revolved around that creepy pirate captain’s obsession with a group of young boys, and it was definitely over-the-top. Sure, Peter was the one to cut off Hook’s hand, but his obsession was definitely over-the-top and incredibly creepy. Needless to say, we were thrilled when we saw Peter Pan as adults and the crocodile killed Hook. Maybe the crocodile thought Hook was creepy too and instead of developing a taste for human flesh, he was so disgusted by the villain that he thought it would be better for Neverland if the pirate kicked the bucket.
9 Was Nala Simba's Half-Sister?
We awwww’d at Simba and Nala’s relationship in The Lion King. They were just too cute together, and it was very sweet that Nala helped Simba kick Scar’s a** and re-take his rightful throne. Couples that battle evil uncles and hyenas stay together, after all.
Now that we’re adults, we wonder: who was Nala’s father?! It had to be Mufasa, because in real-life lion prides, there is usually one or two males who run the group and all of the cubs are related. Sure, it is possible that Scar was Nala’s father, but it doesn’t seem likely because when Simba visits him as a little cub, he is living in a cave away from the rest of the pride. Plus, he didn’t seem well-liked, and we can’t imagine Nala’s classy mother, Sarafina, falling in love with Scar, even if he DID have Jeremy Irons’ voice.
So the only possible explanation, given what we know about a real lion pride, is that Mufasa is Nala’s father, which makes her Simba’s half-sister. Now THAT is awkward!
8 Belle Suffered From Stockholm Syndrome
We all squealed with glee as kids when Belle started to realize that the Beast wasn’t a bad guy and looked past his gruff (and furry) exterior to see the handsome prince lurking inside of his soul. Our eyes got watery when the Beast had mercy for Gaston and announced his love for Belle before he “died.” We even clapped when Belle admitted that she loved the Beast and thus broke the curse, allowing prince Adam to FINALLY regain human form.
Now as adults, we’re shaking our heads at our younger selves because Beauty and The Beast is CLEARLY a film about Stockholm Syndrome, and it’s not romantic at all. For those of you who might not know, Stockholm syndrome is when someone in an abusive relationship starts empathizing and bonding with their abusers. That’s Beauty and the Beast to a T—there were moments Beast verbally abused Belle by losing his temper and scaring the living daylights out of her, but because she was trapped in a castle with an abusive prince, she formed twisted emotional bonds. Belle would’ve been better off telling Prince Adam AND Gaston to GTFO and live her life as an independent woman in France.
7 Peter Pan Was Blatantly Racist To Native Americans
While watching Peter Pan as kids, most of the racist imagery in the song “What Makes The Red Man Red” likely went over our heads. Now that we are adults, we’re appalled at the lyrics and the entire scene makes us squirm because it is just so blatantly racist.
In “What Makes The Red Man Red,” the Native American tribe living in Neverland heavily implied to the inquisitive Lost Boys that they were once white folks who had only turned “red” because one of their ancestors started blushing over a woman. They also used the terribly racist stereotype of an Native American saying “How” and in another moment, the movie implied that the Native Americans were sexist because they forced Wendy to fetch firewood while the Lost Boys were able to relax.
Seriously, WTF Disney. Just WTF. It is AWFUL to demean an entire race with such a terrible song.
6 In Real Life, Bambi Would Have Died
Let’s face it: as kids watching Bambi, we all bawled when Bambi’s mother was tragically shot by a hunter in the forest when she was trying to find food for her starving fawn. Thankfully, Bambi’s dad, who was the Great Prince of the Forest, took pity on his son and raised the little fawn as a single parent.
Now that we’re adults, we watch the film and sigh at our childhood naivety. In real life, Bambi’s dad wouldn’t have stepped in to raise his son after his mother was killed by a hunter. Unfortunately, Bambi probably would have either been killed by another hunter, starved to death, or he would have been hit by a car. Maybe if he was extraordinarily lucky, a kind-hearted human would have found the abandoned fawn and either taken him home or brought him to a sanctuary, but in all honesty, the baby deer would’ve died.
5 Alice In Wonderland Was Basically A Drug-Induced Dream
While watching Alice In Wonderland as children, we were charmed by the adaption of Lewis Carroll’s zany tale and enjoyed watching the little girl’s whimsical adventures with friends such as the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter.
Now that we’re mature adults, we realized that Alice In Wonderland was basically one long acid trip. How else do you explain all the oddities she experienced on her journey, or the bizarre characters such as the Mad Hatter or the Queen of Hearts? There’s also the fact that at the end of the film when Alice tells off the Queen of Hearts and the mob chases her, she encounters the doorknob that she saw in the beginning of the film, opens the door and realizes she was asleep the entire time. Plus, the Caterpillar gave Alice a few pieces of mushroom that allow her to alter her size, which sounds suspiciously like a drug metaphor.
4 Pocahontas Is Based On A Lie
The entire plot of Pocahontas revolves around the pretty young heroine falling in love with the open-minded John Smith and saved him from death, only to be separated from him at the end of the film. As kids, we thought it was a heartbreaking and tragic film.
As adults, we did our research on the real Pocahontas and now we know that the entire movie was based on a lie. John Smith made up the story about Chief Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas saving him from certain death, and what’s even more awful is that it was part of a longer account that was used as a justification to start a war with Powhatan’s tribe.
Also, Pocahontas was never in love with John Smith. First off, she about 11 years old when they met and second, she wound up marrying a guy named John Rolfe when she was taken captive by the English as an adult. After she married John, she visited England and encountered John Smith. Needless to say, she was NOT happy with him and got into at least two arguments with the pompous “explorer.”
3 Lady Tremaine Abused Cinderella
While watching Cinderella as children, we didn’t really think much of Lady Tremaine and her two spoiled daughters Drizella and Anastasia. They were just mean people, and we rejoiced when the Prince realized that Cinderella was the woman he’d danced with at the ball because we knew the former scullery maid would be free from her bratty stepfamily.
When we re-watch the film as adults, we’re absolutely horrified at the verbal and emotional abuse Cinderella suffered from at the hands of Lady Tremaine. She kept constantly putting her stepdaughter down, forced her to work as a maid, and isolated the young woman from the rest of society. It is no wonder that Cinderella “befriended” the mice that lived at the chateau, they were the only living beings that she was permitted to talk to. We also wonder if the mice were really magical, or if she was only imagining their voices because she was so isolated due to her stepmother’s abuse.
2 Robin Hood Started A Rebellion
As children, we didn’t think much of Prince John in Robin Hood. He was a mean-spirited royal who excessively taxed his brother’s subject and we cheered when King Richard returned and ordered his sibling to be put into the sticks.
However, as adults, we can’t help but raise our eyebrows at the scene where the townsfolk have a festival and make fun of Prince John by calling him the “phony King of England” after seeing Robin Hood’s exploits at the archery tournament. The legendary archery basically encouraged the townsfolk to start a rebellion, and their anger overflowed when the Sheriff of Nottingham stole a coin from Friar Tuck’s church and the friar was sentenced to death. Okay, Prince John was a jerk, but wasn’t Robin worried his friends would get killed if they started rebelling against the crown? Since it was a Disney film, neither Friar Tuck nor any of the townsfolk were killed. However, in real life, the friar and the rebellious townsfolk would definitely have been killed, either in the fighting or if they were captured by the prince’s men.
1 The Gargoyles Were Figments Of Quasimodo's Imagination
In the Hunchback of Notre Dame, before Quasimodo meets his new BFFs Phoebus and the dancer Esmeralda, his only “friends” were the gargoyles Laverne, Victor and Hugo. As children, we figured that the gargoyles were magical creatures who only came to life when Quasimodo was around but as adults, now we know better: they were simply figments of Quasimodo’s imagination. After all, they never “talked” when Phoebus and Esmeralda were there, and those two characters were definitely trustworthy.
It isn’t surprising that Quasimodo had imaginary friends. He grew up isolated in a bell tower with only his abusive foster-father Claude Frollo for company. Since Frollo verbally and emotionally abused the young man since he was old enough to talk, we’re not shocked that he created three imaginary friends to talk to in between observing the Parisians walking around on the streets and ringing the bells. Poor Quasimodo! Thank goodness he finally escaped Frollo’s abuse and found two real friends that will treat him well.