Disney animated films are some of the most expensive, detailed pieces of art ever created, employing thousands of people and years of work, so surely someone on the staff before us must have wondered…
You don't know this one? Really? Okay, weirdo...Cinderella is forced to do the cleaning for her evil stepmother and two vile stepsisters, berated and belittled at every opportunity, only keeping her sanity by making clothes for mice, dancing with birds, and waiting for her godmother who is a magical fairy to appear. This finally happens just when the local nobility puts on a ball for all the eligible bachelorettes in the land, hoping that they're wrong about their son's sexuality and he'll strike it off with one of the ladies. The fairy godmother transforms Cinderella's rags into a beautiful dress, her mice friends into white horses to draw the carriage made from a pumpkin, does up her hair and takes off a few layers of grime and puts some glass slippers on Cinderalla's dainty feet. The only caveatte is that this will all disappear at midnight. Cinderella goes to the ball, meets the prince, and they fall in love, but she has to run off when the bells strike twelve, leaving a shoe in her haste. Resolved to find her and simultaneously indulge in his foot fetish, the prince visits every lady in the land to determine who fits the slipper and will become his bride. He finally reaches Cinderella's house, slips on the shoe, and they live happily ever after.
Whoever wrote this story did not have any experience in footwear, to the point where they must have never worn shoes or even heard of the mysterious concept before coming to America.
Let's start with the obvious: a glass slipper. Glass - otherwise known as the material that shatters into ten kajillion pieces when you drop it on the ground or even grip it too firmly. Let's assume that Cinderella is fairly petite, raised solely on a diet of scraps and unencumbered optimism. Even if she's only a hundred pounds or so, she might be light enough to distribute the weight evenly over each foot, if she walks very carefully. However, the second she sets her foot down wrong that glass will shatter and leave her tooties a bloody mass of incisions. Dancing will be out of the question, and racing down stairs to escape is a sure means to self-mutilation and death.
But maybe the name is descriptive, not literal. Maybe people back then didn't know about clear plastic or plexigass and so just called them "glass" slippers. And maybe the prince isn't completely off-put by the sight of feet squished together into a tube too small for them - which is basically what any heel is (and those are heels, honey; slippers don't add an extra two inches). Even so, Cinderella should be incapable of walking to begin with.
Think about this: if you are a lonely young maiden with a size 7 foot, and you get the offer to become a rich princess engaged to a handsome prince if you can just fit a size 6, you're more willing to force something too big into something too small than anyone has ever been since Pam Anderson met Tommy Lee. In the original Brothers Grimm story, one of the evil stepsisters was even willing to cut off her own toe and the other her own heel to fit the shoe, only given away by the pool of blood that collected inside them (and the fact that they're clear, so you can see that there's totally a toe missing).
And Cinderella has an entire kingdom of equally desperate women to compete with. That ball was huge, and that's just the ones rich enough to afford gowns and get invited to those types of parties. Unless this was the very first house the prince happened to stop at, the chances are that someone out there can squeeze into Cinderella's shoe if they try hard enough.
The only alternative is that she has tiny feet. Freakishly tiny. Tiny enough to make a geisha's foot look like Doc Martins. Her feet would have to be ridiculously miniscule enough that a ten year old girl couldn't slip them on first and pretend she snuck into the ball wearing a lot of makeup. Baby feet, in other words, just a little nub so her legs come to two sharp points. In which case, she still should be able to walk without prosthetic devices.
Surely the belle of every ball.
In Peter Pan, Wendy Darling and her two brothers meet a impish immortal boy who take them to Neverland so Wendy can be mother to him and the other Lost Boys. Neverland is a magical land where no one grows up and matures enough to wonder about the Oedipal nature of their relationships with women, filled with mermaid and fairies and Indians and other mythological creatures that never really existed. There are also pirates, led by the evil albeit foppish Captain Hook, who hates Peter for feeding his hand to a crocodile. Peter and Wendy go on many adventures, none of them really interesting enough to remember the details of twenty years later, until eventually Wendy and the boys go back home and Peter lives on happily ever after until he eventually gets played by Robin Williams and dies of shame.
Neverland is located "second star to the right, and straight on till morning." M. Barrie surely meant this as a bearing measurement, but Disney treated it literally: the kids actually fly to that star.
Now, we're not debating whether or not it should be possible to reach an M-class planet light years away in a single night. Children are using pixie dust to fly: this is one of those situations where "magic" is a perfectly acceptable answer.
But we do wonder how the pirates reached it.
Peter explicitly tells Wendy and the others that you have to fly to reach Neverland. Possibly it is another dimension. It definitely acts by a separate set of rules: no time in our world has passed while Wendy is gone, for instance. Maybe Tigerlily and the other Indians reached it using...I dunno...Indian-ness, or maybe they were always the locals who just happen to parallel Native American stereotypes. That still doesn't explain where the pirates came from.
Hook and the others aren't local. They can't be Lost Boys grown up, since not growing up is the defining characteristic of Never-Neverland down to its goddamned name. They came from somewhere, and relatively recently if M. Barrie's works are to be believed since Hook's name was known and feared by several other pirates listed by name. But then, if you go by Barrie's work, Neverland is a magical island, not a separate planet or parallel dimension like Disney implies. The one thing that makes a pirate a pirate is being on a boat, and one thing boats are not widely known for is their powers of flight. And wherever they came from certainly doesn't have fairy dust. Given Disney's portrayal of Neverland, there is no way Hook, Smee, or the Jolly Roger itself should ever have been able to make it to port.
Unless possibly powered by steam. Steam enables all.
Pinocchio chronicles the exploits of a puppet brought to life by a blue fairy with the quest of being a real boy. He acts with as much logic as you would expect a being whose head is literally made of wood and whose conscience is an annoyingly persistent insect. Pinocchio leaves the father who loved him, becomes a show business slave, then narrowly avoids real slavery by being turned into a donkey for drinking and smoking. Then, because the plot doesn't sound enough like someone recounting their dreams after eating too many burritos before bed, Pinocchio must save his father who has been eaten by a giant whale. Eventually he becomes a real boy instead of a horrible immortal golem and lives happily ever after.
Several, as the admittedly snarky summary above indicates, not the least of which is a third act blatantly lifted from the Bible. But let's focus on what is probably the most memorable scene, as well as the only thing close to a morality tale you can take away from this story, and look at Pleasure Island.
In the second act, Pinocchio and his pal Lampwick visit this island, where children are encouraged to smoke, drink, gamble, and all sorts of things that seem awesome when you're six as long as no one utters the words "Megan's Law." Unfortunately, all the children who partake in the things that make adults act like jackasses get a far more literal punishment: they actually turn into donkeys. Then they are sold to the salt mines and circuses by the island's evil master, the Coachman.
What's the point of this, exactly?
Sure, it makes a great morality tale, but from a matter of pure profit the Coachman must be in the red every month. Donkeys are not great beasts of burden to begin with - refusing to do what they're told is sort of their defining characteristic - and salt mines and circuses aren't known for their largess. So he can't be getting paid much, and there's a lot invested in this. Forget the basic amenities that attract kids in the first place like cigars and liquor. There are land costs, repair bills (part of the fun is wanton destruction of property) and employing people to serve these kids until they transform then herd them when they do. To say nothing of the kickbacks. When a little kid goes missing - especially little blonde girls - the media goes freakin' nuts! Can you imagine if enough kids routinely went missing in an area that the Coachman was able to produce a steady income? Parents would be rioting in the streets for the mayor's head. The payoff to officials to allow this travesty to exist must be enormous, far more than the profit margin.
Step 1: turn kids into donkeys. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit!
The only explanation of which we can conceive is that this is actually a quietly approved eugenics program, a means of weeding out orphans and children who won't do as they're told. In which case, the Coachman is probably receiving compensation from the Axis powers. Keep in mind, this movie did come out in 1940, and Pinocchio is an Italian name...
In Hercules, the god Hades, Lord of the Underworld (How ya doin', nice to meet'cha) has a plan to take over Mt. Olympus from his hated brother Zeus. The only hitch in the plan is a prophecy that Zeus's son could upset the whole thing. Hades sends two minions to turn Hercules mortal and kill him; the minions mess up (as minions are wont to do), so that not only does Herc live, but he retains his god-like strength even though he's lost his immortality. Years later, when Herc learns that his difficulty fitting in is because he's a lost deity and not a nerd with super-strength who never built web slingers, he decided to become a hero so he can earn a place in Olympus with his missing mater and pater. Hades keeps trying to kill him, which just makes him a bigger hero each time. Finally Hades uses his affection for Megera to remove Herc's strength, sets about his plan to release the Titans (none of whom, incidentally, are the Kraken) until Herc sacrifices himself to save Meg, becoming a true hero and attaining god-hood and stopping Hades and just in general living happily ever after.
Greek mythology had fourteen major Olympian gods in its pantheon and hundreds of minor gods and demigods. There is also much redundancy: Death itself is the purveyance of Thanatos, while the eldest Fate Atropos actually determined the time of death.
She's the old, cronish one...er...
Hades himself is the god of underworld. He's sort of the big cheese of the death gig; all the other death gods would answer to him. He is one of the six original children of Chronos, he is powerful enough to bind nature's daughter to him six months out of the year. He'hot shit, in other words, especially when it comes to elements that are under his command. Death is his domain. So from the very first, this whole movie is flawed.
Hades sent minions to kill Hercules, and, being THE god of the underworld, he should have maybe noticed when Herc never actually showed up. Sure, Hades is portrayed in the movie as a snarky opportunist who hates dealing with the dead, but he's also invested enough in his plan to raise the Titans to get the Fates to help him out. Plus, he hates Zeus, and the chance to torment the son of his hated rival would probably appeal to him. There's no understandable reason he wouldn't want to take five minutes to see the disembodied spirit of the deceased Hercules and maybe pee on it before continuing with his master plan.
We already went over this in the last article, and we really don't mean to keep harping on Aladdin, but there are more holes in the story than non-Euclidean swiss cheese. Street urchin finds a friendly genie, wishes to be a prince to get the girl, fights the evil vizir who wants the kingdom for himself, wins, frees the genie, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after.
The genie's lamp is hidden in the Cave of Wonders. Only one may enter there, a "diamond in the rough," and all they can touch is the lamp.
The carpet, somehow, doesn't count.
This is immediately suspicious. By those two rules, there is only one purpose to the entire talking tiger cave: to make sure the lamp is given to one very specific person. He must first be deemed worthy by the cave itself, then resist temptation and take only the lamp. Our minds go to a Wishmaster scenario, in which the genie is a horrible danger to all reality unless treated in a very specific way which is never specifically spelled out for the user until too late.
There can be only one reason for it. Someone set it up so that the next person to get the genie lamp would be the one to free him.
That is the only qualification Aladdin presents. There are plenty of other poor thieves in Agrabah, as evidenced by the multitude of guards. Nor is the willingness, talent, and pluck to be a hero a requirement; the animated show demonstrated that Hercules is happening at exactly the same time over in Greece. Whatever makes Al a "diamond in the rough" is incerdibly non-specific. The one thing that distinguishes him from all of big blue's other masters is the willingness to use his last wish to set him free.
And here's where the logic breaks down. Think of the sheer difficulty in constructing this scenario. The Cave of Wonders, the fortune in gold surrounding it to act as temptation, the ridiculously stringent entry requirements - the only way someone could set this scenario up at all is with the help of the genie in the first place. But if you're going to use one of your wishes to help free the genie, why all the effort? Why not just use that wish to free the genie in the first place?
Or wish him to turn into a snake. That always helps.