Grisly Disney

Think Disney can't play hardcore? Think again

This is only “grisly” by the most timid of today’s standards. It’s not like guns aren’t commonplace in this country. However, Disney likes to keep any image of its iconic characters brandishing firearms just below the public eye in fear of sending a bad message to “The Kids.” Gamers shouldn’t be a problem.

Toy Tinkers | 1949

While dressed as Santa, Donald offers Chip and Dale a present wrapped in a giant nutshell.

Symphony Hour | 1942

Acting as a band conductor, Mickey prevents Donald from walking away from the performance in the most diplomatic way possible.


Above: “Sit your ass down… Hu-Ha!

Donald’s Penguin | 1939

Doesn’t matter how cute you are, you can’t just walk into Donald’s house and eat his fish.

Clown of the Jungle | 1947

Vengeance, thy name is Duck!

And now for one of our favorite subcategories…


The Rescuers | 1977

There’s something indefinably creepy about all Disney films made in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but this scene really takes the cake. As the orphaned Penny attempts to escape her kidnappers, the Madame Medusa fires a shotgun blast right at her head!


Above: Thank goodness she ducked

Officer Duck | 1939

As Disney’s longest running character, Pete does bad better than just about anybody. As proof in this short, when there’s a knock upon his door, he greets his caller with a hail of machinegun fire.


White Wilderness | 1958

One thing we’re not showing you today are the racial stereotypes found in the earlier Disney cartoons. They do exist, and yes, they’re extremely insensitive. Part of the purported reason they’ve been swept under the rug is that certain stereotypes have a way of becoming an accepted reality once presented in mass media. And sometimes the consequences can be deadly.

Lemmings walk off cliffs to commit suicide? Says who? Well, Disney had a hand in perpetuating that myth in one of their nature documentaries called White Wilderness. Apparently, the filmmakers had thought that to be true as well, and were then shocked to find out that the little bastards weren’t jumping once the cameras started rolling. Turns out, lemmings do not commit suicide. They migrate, and occasionally drown in the process, but it’s neither deliberate nor voluntary.


Above: “Quitcha pushin!”

But the show must go on! Those horrifying YouTube captures you see above are simultaneously real and fake. Using trick photography, a snow-covered turntable, and a few dozen lemmings, every shot in the migration sequence was staged and not everybody made it. Thanks to the film, the urban legend concerning lemming suicide persisted, we got several great games out of it, and now we’ve come full circle.

Sep 24, 2009


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