5 Horrifying Details Hidden in Classic Children's Cartoons

#2. The Velveteen Rabbit: Revenge by Inferno

Via Wikimedia Commons

Margery Williams' 1922 children's novella is perhaps one of the gentlest and most innocent childhood fables ever created. Tender and haunting, it teaches that the predations of time are unimportant when someone truly loves you and you engage with life fully, and also that toys are dickholes.

The story is simple. A toy rabbit, relentlessly mocked by the "better" toys for being made of velveteen and fluff, overcomes the odds and becomes his boy's favorite toy -- just in time for the boy to contract scarlet fever. The unnamed rabbit that we'll call Velvie stays faithfully by the boy's side while he's bedridden, and when the boy recovers, the doctor tells his parents that they must burn everything he's been in contact with -- including his toys. So the parents send the boy on a wonderful seaside trip, and while he's away, they secretly burn all of his stuff, because adults are lying bastards who can't be trusted.

But Velvie is saved because, as he sits waiting to be immolated, he cries a single real tear, which causes the Fairy of Becoming Real to appear and fly him away to live in Rabbitland and discover the true joy of being a Real Rabbit: nonstop procreation.

David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
"Alright, line 'em up!"

The Atrocity:

First of all, you should know that the book explicitly shows that the toys are capable of experiencing physical sensations -- they don't like to be bustled around by the maid, but they do enjoy being picked up and held. They're also capable of experiencing the entire range of human emotions, including grief and intense fear. But while there's something unsettling about conscious beings trapped inside inanimate bodies, deeply dependent upon the affection of an easily distractable child who will inevitably grow up and leave them, that's not our point -- go watch Toy Story 3 if you want to blubber like an inconsolable baby about that.

Consider this: The boy was sick for weeks, during which time he inevitably grew bored and probably played with every single toy in his bedroom. So when the doctor wrote out his incendiary prescription, he was effectively passing a sentence for everyone Velvie had ever known to die a slow and excruciating death by fire. In the feature-length animation, we even see the other toys -- the ones who were mean to Velvie -- about to be fed to the flames:

This is how Freddy was born.

But don't worry, kids, because the fairy saved Velvie! And that's precisely our point: She only saved Velvie. Did the fairy use her powers of flight to rescue any of the other toys? Did Velvie use his new powers of Realness to snatch a few of them away from danger? No. We're not sure whether fairies are jerks, whether Velvie breathed deep of the sweet, toasty smells of payback, or both -- but however it went down, we're guessing that in their final moments, all those other toys were wishing they'd treated the gentle little plush rabbit with more kindness almost as much as they were wishing they lacked the ability to feel pain.

The moral of this story, kids? Don't nobody fuck with Velvie.

#1. Rampant Cannibalism in the Classic Disney Universe

Via Disney.wikia.com

The classic Disney cartoon universe has traditionally hosted two types of animals. The first type includes human-like animals such as Goofy and Mickey Mouse who wear clothes, pay taxes, and speak in some kind of coherent human language. The other type more closely resembles actual animals -- Pluto, for example, runs around naked, eats whatever he happens to find laying on the floor, and sniffs the crotches of random strangers, just like your average real-world dog (Goofy, on the other hand, only pulls that shit in fanfic).

That important distinction is why we can see a picture like this ...

Via Disney.wikia.com
And the scene before it, where they fucked it to death.

... and accept it as something other than cannibalism. Sure, maybe it's a bit odd, but it's not, like, Dahmer odd, you know? Because Donald and his nephews are some kind of highly evolved duck-people, while the duck on the platter is just your run-of-the-mill edible kind, right?

The Atrocity:

The problem is that Disney doesn't play by its own rules, and if you pay attention to all the times the "anthropomorphic animal versus non-anthropomorphic animal" rule gets violated, it starts to paint a quite disturbing picture -- that is, a picture of your most beloved childhood icons participating in the widespread hunting and farming of other members of their own species who are just as intelligent as they are, capable of understanding everything they say, and, hell, can probably even all talk.

For proof, just look up any Disney short that depicts the characters hunting or farming -- it's not hard, there are quite a few of them. Take this one of Donald, Goofy, and Mickey hunting a non-pants-wearing turkey for sport, for example:

Not only does the turkey understand English, know how to use a gun (clearly, the most dangerous game is turkey), and outsmart his hunters, but he also clearly expresses awareness and fear of his own death when he pleads for his life. You see where we're going with this, right? If meat animals display human mannerisms and thought patterns, and the classic Disney characters occupy a universe in which meat farms are common, all signs point to cannibalistic bloodshed on an industrial scale.

But wait, it's OK to eat anything that can't talk -- we learned that in kindergarten. Pigs may be able to play video games and recognize themselves in a mirror, but as long as they can't converse with us, it's all bacon sandwiches, baby. Perhaps you need to see, say, a duck of the Donald variety hunting another talking duck in order for the ghastliness of the situation to truly set in. Something exactly like this:

Via Disneyweirdness
"I'll be back around dark. If you tell the police, I'll slaughter your family."

Holy shit, there you have it -- that's Donald's wacky cousin Fethry heading out to hunt him up some fully sentient ducks. We're not sure why the duck in the lower right-hand corner has that shit-eating grin on her face, given that she's basically trapped inside a horror movie. Then again, if you lived under some bizarre caste system in which one of the castes was "food," perhaps you'd greet death with a daft smile, too.

For more reasons to never let your children watch television, check out 5 Old Children's Cartoons Way Darker Than Most Horror Movies and 7 Horrifying Moments from Classic Kids Movies.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Sci-Fi Gadgets That Are Really Just Everyday Objects.

And stop by LinkSTORM to discover why Finding Nemo is the most sinister movie of all.

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