There’s no doubt that sex sells, but when you’re speaking of a children’s cartoon eyebrows begin to rise and lips can even twist with distaste as the more adult themes that are considered too racy for a cartoon are introduced. Disney is, unfortunately, not a newcomer to the inclusion of sexual innuendo within their films, whether it is intentional or not. One can argue that over the years their more adult humor has been quite purposeful considering that animators take a great deal of time to insure that their work does indeed fit the quality that Disney wants. This argument can be concluded by stating that animators know very well what they are doing and whether they are bound by the storyline or what the company wants the Disney world has been, and is still very much flooded with sexual innuendos that most children thankfully do not understand.
The princesses are without question the main focus when it comes to Disney characters being seen as sexual in any way, as the idealistic princess is slim-waisted, curvy in all the right places, and undeniably beautiful. While this list features more than just the archetypal princess, the over-sexualized formula is able to be seen in the clips that are provided along with the descriptions. So with that being said, here are five Disney characters who are disturbingly sexual.
5. Ariel-The Little Mermaid
This fiery little redheaded mermaid has been a mainstay of Disney for some time now and was an instant hit when she first hit the scene. From her innocent voice to the feisty attitude she displayed, Ariel was and still is a favorite of many who grew up watching Disney. Many children likely didn’t recognize however the reality of what they were watching as they were drawn to the magical qualities of the movie that led them to an underground kingdom and then to a palace where Ariel was to meet and fall in love with her prince. The scene that truly shows just how over-sexualized this princess is however comes during her transformation from a mermaid into a human. As she signs the deal with the sea-witch, Ursula, her body begins to change until her fish tail becomes a pair of human legs and, ahem, a lower torso that is thankfully large hidden by shadow.
or children the immediate concern is that Ariel can no longer breathe underwater, though some might exclaim that she is naked without ever really understanding the implication of such a thing. Watched slowly however it is seen that one of Disney’s favorite princesses is obviously quite nude aside from her signature seashells and, for instants only, is fully exposed below the waist.
Now you might think loin cloth, no clothes, lives among apes, it’s quite natural. You would be correct in truth, as living amongst the wild and raised by gorillas leaves really no reason for clothing of any kind other than that which might protect one’s personal assets, no pun intended. Tarzan is a man who acts like an ape, and who knows nothing at all of other humans, which is more than evident once he meets the very feminine Jane. After saving her life from a rampaging baboon horde, the ape-man can’t help but be mystified by this new creature to the jungle that looks like him but talks and acts so differently. So with complete innocence, ahem, Disney, he begins to probe and tries to discover just what she might be hiding under her strange garment. Jane, proving that he is tough as well as sassy, gives him the boot when he gets a little too personal, but then does nothing but squirm when he leans in to listen to her heartbeat.
She resists a bit when he presses her ear to his chest, but only after a few moments have passed. So this is a case of innocent but ignorant behavior, but it tends to set the general mood between Tarzan and Jane, as not long after she can’t stop mooning over him, nor he over her.
Gaston is a male chauvinist. It had to be said because it is largely true and the real persona that Disney has given this overbearing and very driven individual during his development. He knows what he wants, he knows he could have any woman, but he is always after the greatest prize, which in this case seems to Belle, as she is the only woman he could not have if he so much as asked. His attempts fail, his bravado is lost on her, and every attempt he makes to impress her simply makes him look like a bigger jerk than before. He is a product of the old school in a way, expecting a woman to cater to him and bow to his will. Gaston is, in many ways, how men were in the days before sensitivity became more than just a word to describe more effeminate and “wimpy” men.
The song he sings in the tavern, along with the accompaniment of the rest of the men, simply proves that his backward thinking is his bread and butter, as his boast that every part of him is covered with hair is supposed to make him a sex symbol. In this day and age it has the opposite effect, making the audience perhaps that Belle’s father had been the inventor of Nair.
She is fully clad for the most part, doesn’t really come off as an over-sexualized character, and quite honestly doesn’t throw herself at men. Wait, back up, she does perform what amounts to a very sexy pole dance during her time upon the stage when her troop comes to town, and is even seen to be tipped in coins as she gyrates and sways to the music. So perhaps back in those days it was considered to be little more than a bout of entertainment that amused the commoners and kept them happy, but even in this day and age it is considered a striptease that never quite delivers the payout. Back in those days modesty was still a thing, at least for the dancer it would seem. The men in the crowd, including the new captain of the guard, seem to have forgotten how to behave as their tongues are seen to be wagging from their mouths.
While the head honcho seems absolutely disgusted by this display, he is soon swayed by his own desires later in the film. As he imagines the gypsy woman gyrating in the flames of his hearth it becomes obvious that despite his apparent disgust, her earlier display has granted him an itch he cannot scratch.
She has become quite the iconic character throughout the years, outshining even her counterpart, the young boy with the most speaking parts in their earliest adventures. Since her debut Tinkerbell has become almost a household name among younger viewers, and is remembered by older viewers despite their current view of the film. Many things change as we get older, and likely those watching Tinkerbell being spanked to produce more fairy dust is not an image that many of us would prefer our kids to see in this day and age. It might be something a child thinks nothing about, but in truth at this point and time it seems rather demeaning and denotes that Tinkerbell is at Peter Pan’s beck and call for everything, and we mean everything.
Despite her more PG rating now, Tinkerbell has for a long time been a very sexualized character, as her every move seems to denote her sexuality and appeal. Her tiff with Wendy only serves to make her character that much more desirable, as she goes out of her way to get Peter Pan’s attention once again and even attempts to get rid of Wendy in a fit of jealous pique. Of all the Disney characters, none have been quite as sexualized as this tiny fairy.
So if this hasn’t ruined your childhood then you’re a stronger person than most, as many people will never look at Disney the same after viewing the clips provided. Disney is sly at times about how they work in the more adult material that is incorporated into their films, but for those who really watch, it is far more evident than can be believed.