We hear you kids in the back: “Disney is nothing but kiddy bullshit! There’s no way Kingdom Hearts can be hardcore with Mickey Mouse in it.” Really, mister? Then you have no sense of history and you’re about to get some. Wipe away those knee jerk images of princesses and dancing cats - we’re about to expose the bloody, black powder underbelly of Disney’s hardcore legacy of sheer brutality!
WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS SENSATIONALIZED IMAGES USED COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT (Enjoy!)
Okay, not really. The truth is that the animated shorts that gave life to Mickey, Donald, and Goofy were meant to appeal to everybody. They premiered in theaters long before there was even such a thing as an R rating. Sure, it bowled the little ones over with some colorful song and dance, but you also had jokes about alcohol, tobacco, guns, death and taxes. Something for the kids, something for the adults. You could go as far as to call Disney the Pixar of its day!
Above: This Disney movie has a higher onscreen body count than Commando, Gladiator and Total Recall
People forget that some of these cartoons originated SEVENTY YEARS AGO. As the times changed, certain Disney aspects became… less timeless. As each new generation experienced them, we can assume new parents got a little more tired of explaining to their kids why they shouldn’t set bears on fire, buy war bonds, and never, ever wear blackface. Offending scenes were trimmed, entire films got locked in the vault, and eventually their original appeal became all but a memory.
So, if today’s yoga addicted, SUV-driving adults want to toss out several decades worth of violence, murder and mayhem because they can’t handle it, that’s fine – but we’re certain you gamers can take it.
Today we look at death by hanging as monstrous and barbaric, but back then the purveyors of fun at Disney saw its comedic potential! Just look at how many times it’s happened to Donald:
Hockey Champ | 1939
Dumbbell of the Yukon | 1946
Above: Hey, wait! Donald’s only thinking about hanging a baby bear. That doesn’t count!
Wait for it…
Whoops, sorry… here it is:
Above: There we go!
Tarzan | 1999
But for a truly gruesome hanging, you need look no further than one of Disney’s more recent films: Tarzan, an animated film packed with grisly imagery… Did we just call a ten year old movie recent?
Above: WAAAAH! Baby Death!
Say what you will about the company being a bunch of callous pussies, at least Disney didn’t shy away from Edgar Rice Burroughs’s source material.
Above: Parenting FAIL?
Oh, but the hanging! Tarzan’s hanging scene stands as one of the more horrifying deaths ever depicted in a modern G-rated movie. The film ends with a climatic brawl between the titular ape man and Clayton, Slayer of Beasts. While caught in some vines, Clayton begins to slash blindly at Tarzan with a machete. Carelessly disregarding any thought to his own safety, Clayton inadvertently weaves himself an organic cat’s cradle… for his neck. Oh, goodness
Alice in Wonderland | 1951
Man, there’s a lot going on in this film. So, when Disney took a break from animating musical numbers around obsessive compulsive psychopaths, hookah smoking, magic mushroom consumption, and other family friendly imagery brought to you by the mind of a pedophile, they spun a cautionary tale of indulgence and curiosity known as The Walrus and the Carpenter. Although, most would remember it as a comedic depiction of eating babies.
Above: Ain’t they cute?!
The cigar smoking Walrus lures the bonnet shelled scamps away from their ocean bed dwelling grandmother with sing-songy promises of a world unseen. Tra la la.
Of course, one shouldn’t set a course for youthful adventure on an empty stomach, so the Carpenter whips together a swanky dining establishment. All seems promising… Until the kids find out what’s on the menu.
Is all hope lost for the adorable oyster babies?! Surely, some hero will swoop in and rescue the younglings in the nick of time?! There are kids in the theater!