Here at Fudge Animation Studios, we're all pretty huge Disney fans as you might imagine, but we don't just watch Disney because of our constant desire to be whisked away into a magical world of song and possibility, oh no. We watch them to be inspired so we usually end up watching a little more closely and noticing some things that non-animation geeks might miss.
Some of them are pretty obvious and not all of them rude! We were just looking for the jokes that might have gone over the kids’ heads but left Mums and Dads chuckling. Read on and be reminded of the masterful skill of Disney writers to appeal to the adults without alienating the youngsters.
Zootropolis – Breaking Baaad
We’ll start off with the most recent Disney romp, Zootropolis. For the beady-eyed of you, there is plenty to spot from Indiana Jones references to the homage of Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather made by Mr Big. Our favourite though has to be the secret lab inhabited by the rams Jesse and Walter. This Breaking Bad reference is so great because of how all-in it is – even the little suits the rams wear match those from the show!
Aladdin and the King of Thieves – Crashed the Wedding
A stampede of elephants cause the earth to shake as if there is an earthquake, interrupting Aladdin’s wedding and causing the Genie to exclaim: “I thought the Earth wasn't supposed to move until the honeymoon.” Robin Williams was a perfect match for the Genie; he’s energetic and just cheeky enough to get away with that last joke.
Cars – Lightning Flash
In this next one, two of Lightning McQeens biggest fans, Mia and Tia, approach him and tell him as such before lifting up on their hydraulic suspension and literally flashing him with their headlights, oh my. They are the vehicular equivalent of ‘groupies’ lifting up their shirts when they meet celebrities. This one becomes even more obvious when you spot the name of the “Topdown Truck Stop” bragging about its “All convertible waitresses.” I think I’ll just keep on truckin’ thanks.
Inside-out – No Bears in San Fransisco
Next up we have a joke that’s not naughty but still one of those that makes sense to the adults but misses the kids. When Fear asks if a noise they hear came from a bear, Disgust interrupts “there are no bears in San Francisco.” Anger responds with a report that he once saw “a very hairy guy” thinking him a bear, referencing the LGBT bear culture in San Francisco. Probably not the woodland kind then, I can stop hiding my honey now.
Hercules – Herculedipus
For those of you not well versed in the classics… ok that’s most of us then, you might not have spotted this one from Hercules. Meg takes Herc out on the town, including to the theatre where He says “And then that, that play, that that Oedipus thing? Man, I thought I had problems!” Yes Herc, unless you killed your father and married your mother before having your eyes gauged out and bringing ruin to your family and city I think you can reassess your definition of ‘problems.’
Finding Nemo - Here’s Brucie
Finding Nemo is one of the most colourful, exciting and well-loved Disney Pixar animations of the last decade, not exactly the kind of place where you’d expect to find the influence of the king of horror himself: Stephen King. Referencing the famous scene from The Shining, Bruce the great white has a temporary relapse during his ‘alcoholics anonymous’ style group for vegetarian sharks. He slams through a door during the chase, shouting “Here’s Brucie!” in the same style as Jack Torrance’s “Here’s Johnny.” Might want to wait for a while before letting the kinds find out that reference…
A Bug's Life – Pollination Confusion
During the circus scene, one of the Fly Brothers shouts at Francis (thinking he's a girl), “Hey, cutie! Wanna pollinate with a real bug?” This doesn’t really make a lot of sense even when you think about it as an innuendo. I guess now is as good a time as any to explain the birds and the bees, thanks Disney…
Toy Story 2 – Buzzted
A great bit of visual comedy for the grown-ups watching Toy Story 2 now. Jessie helps Buster, Andy’s dachshund out of Andy’s room, watching this display of quick thinking and dexterity causes Buzz's wings to spring out in a love-struck reaction. Oh Buzz, keep it in your jetpack, why don’t you!
The Three Little Pigs – Family Photo
Bear with me whilst I go back in time for this penultimate one, all the way to 1933, release year for The Three Little Pigs. I know that the original story itself is actually pretty gruesome, ending in the demise of the wolf in the fireplace of the house made of bricks, but Disney are keen to put the dark humour out there early anyway. Practical Pig is playing piano whilst his brothers Fifer Pig and Fiddler Pig (no prizes for guessing what Fiddler Pig plays) dance alongside him. In the background, a framed picture of sausage links are up on the wall above a plaque reading: “Father.” Too morbid Disney! I wonder how many vegetarians they converted here.
Toy Story – The Bad Side of Town
This one is probably the most subtle of the bunch, it slipped past almost everyone that I mentioned it to. Sid’s creepy hybrid toys used to give me nightmares as a kid, especially that dolls head with the spider legs, not proud of it. Anyway, this joke concerns Legs, the toy made up of… well, legs as well as a crane with a large hook attached. She’s supposed to be a cryptic symbol for a hooker. Okay maybe this one is a bit of a push but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned during the compilation of this list, it’s that you shouldn’t underestimate Disney’s attention to detail when it comes to adult jokes!
That’s it for this week! Even us with our eagle eyes might have missed some great moments though, if you've spotted some that we might have missed, leave us a comment below –any excuse to rewatch a classic!
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