‘SNL’s Best Disney Spoofs, Ranked
Popular children’s stories are easy to spoof — if nothing else, add a little sex and voila! Hilarity. That’s why Saturday Night Live loves to goof on Disney, finding some classics so nice, the show has parodied them twice. But some of those satires are smarter than others. Here’s a ranking of SNL’s best sketches based on time-honored Disney movies…
‘The Little Mermaid’ (Tina Fey Version)
Fey’s crack at a Little Mermaid parody (Reese Witherspoon beat her to it) is a whole lot of meh. The song parodies are listless, for starters, almost impossible with Kenan Thompson on board, but here we are. And the writers’ decision to build the sketch around a current event — the unknown location of Osama bin Laden’s body — ensures that this Disney spoof will elicit a big “huh?” in the years to come.
‘Cinderella’ and ‘Peter Pan’
Both of these Disney sketches rely on tiny, green-screened Aidy Bryant getting busy with disproportionately large characters. Tonkerbell is the funnier creation, but when special effects are the joke, it usually means there’s not much comedy to be found elsewhere.
‘The Princess and the Frog’ and ‘ The Little Mermaid’ (Reese Witherspoon Version)
These are pretty much the same sketch, except gender-switched. Wait a minute, Frog — you have frog genitals? Wait a minute, Ariel — your hoo-ha is all mackerel? It was funnier the first time when Witherspoon and Will Ferrell explored the obvious; by the time Chris Redd and Zoe Kravitz tried it, we’d already got the joke.
The DVD release of Frozen 2 allowed SNL to play around with the film’s “deleted scenes,” a random series of observations about the original’s lack of diversity, possible gay coding and Disney princes' bad habit of kissing princesses as they sleep. Maybe they should have picked one satirical point and carried it through?
‘ Aladdin’ (Adam Driver and Kim Kardashian Versions)
It’s sorta weird that SNL not only decided to do two Aladdin parodies within a few seasons of one another, but both featured the flying carpet scene. The Driver version with Cecily Strong is funnier, but the Pete Davidson/Kim Kardashian rendition became iconic for launching one of comedy’s weirdest romances.
People tend to be divided on Anne Hathaway, but her Julie Andrews is a wow. This sketch is yet another example of sexing up innocent Disney films — it’s an easy mark, funny enough but it gets tired when you’re watching these parodies back-to-back. Upping the ante: Giving Mary Poppins a communicable disease. Even better: Bert’s one-man band instruments provide jolly accompaniment to a fatal diagnosis.
Beauty and the Beast
A simple yet ingenious premise — from each character’s perspective, their romantic partner is downright beastly. Cheers for recognizing the inherent irony in the original’s premise and calling it out. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
This is a funny poke at Disney’s money-grab strategy of churning animated classics into live-action features. The Rock (do we really have to call him Dwayne?) shines as a pistol-packing Bambi out to exact revenge on his mother’s killer.
The Real Housewives of Disney
Why spoof one Disney princess when you can parody at a whole houseful of them? Freed from having to retell a fairy tale, this reality show send-up allows the show’s talented cast to reimagine childhood favorites as catty competitors. My favorite is Kristen Wiig’s “f*cking mess” of a Cinderella.