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Disney: Silly Symphonies is code for “Just add marijuana”

I recently began a quest to introduce my daughter to all the Disney movies my brother and I grew up with, as well as watch the newer ones with her. I think she’s enjoying it, although the live-action ones confuse her… when she’s actually paying attention. (Okay, so Babes in Toyland and Pete’s Dragon were for Mommy, dammit. Don’t judge me…)

When I was watching Robin Hood with her the other day, the first time I’d seen it since my brother and I watched the VHS into dust as kids, it occurred to me that Disney pulled a lot of whatthefuckery over on our generation. I mean, serious shit that kids today would say, “Bitch, you fo’ real?” Only, they probably wouldn’t say that, because that’s a phrase that probably wasn’t even cool in my generation, but was said anyway. Insert whatever catchy thing them kids today are saying, then.

Anyway, I started thinking about Robin Hood, an offering from Disney that practically demanded a full suspension of your disbelief before continuing, and all the other movies my brother and I gleefully zombied out to over the years. I present to you a list of the important realizations I have come to after re-watching these gems from my childhood…

  • Anthropomorphised rhinos and elephants in 1150 A.D. England are completely normal, but I draw the line at accents not indigenous to the region. ~ I can buy Alan-a-Dale as a rooster with a lute. I can buy the thumb-sucking lion as Prince John and the snake with his head in a balloon as the prince’s right hand. However, I have trouble believing that there were flights between Sherwood Forest and the Bronx in the 12th century for Little John and Friar Tuck to rough it up with some imported Arkansas-accented, pot-bellied wolf sherrif and a Scottish hen with a passion for rugby.
  • Bad guys before the 1970’s had a union that strictly mandated the wearing of capes and dark colors. ~ The ability to pull off a fabulously choreographed song and dance number netted you choice pickings from the henchmen pool at the monthly meeting/goon restock.
  • It’s okay to be racist if you use animals, because then it’s clever. ~ Dumbo’s trash-talking Jim Crows certainly wouldn’t fly in a post-Brown v. Board of Education society. Also, Oriental
  • Cross-dressing a bear is an important part of any highway robbery. ~ Extra points if you include fruit and make at least one Gloria Steinem-provoking comment about women being incapable of ganking someone blind.
  • Mentally disabled rodents make excellent sidekicks. ~ It’s also important to choose bright colors when dressing them, especially if you have an overweight cat with the personality of a paroled serial killer lurking about.
  • Siamese cats are always evil. ~ They also love to eat babies. Humans are too stupid to realize this, most of the time, and often allow both to reside under the same roof. Luckily, there are cocker spaniels to act as a “Bitch, dem cats ’bout to eat yo’ kid!” alarm.
  • Fat people, prior to the 1980’s, are contractually obligated to adhere to the following stereotypes: Chaotic-good or chaotic-evil. ~ If chaotic-good, they are a bumbling, well-meaning idiot who bounces comically against walls. If chaotic-evil, they’re evil-meaning idiots who move too slowly to catch someone poking them in the butt with a sword. Cinderella’s fairy godmother was a possible exception, but damn did she seem daffy…
  • Robin Williams signed a pact with the devil to prevent him from dying of a cocaine overdose, and Disney signed a pact to get him an unlimited supply. ~ Watching Aladdin and Flubber for the first time since I was 12 and 14, respectively, I now realize just how amped up Williams must have been. Flubber also illustrated the transition Wil Wheaton made from whiny/entitled-teenage-know-it-all-prick to asshole-who’s-so-assholish-it’s-epically-cool, leaving Wesley Crusher (whom I adored, don’t get me wrong) and the doomed-to-die kid in Toy Soldiers behind to perpetually play the rude, calculating braniac who knows he’s so goddamned better than you, you almost feel dirty cheering for him.
  • All small robots have a severe addiction to soap operas and Rogers & Hammerstein musicals. ~ If the AI is female, they’re also 100% likely to fall in love with the hopeless, bumbling sap who created them and will stop at nothing to undermine his romantic plans until eventually found out. After years of this pattern, you’d think said bumbling sap would clue in and at least make their lusty fembots anatomically correct. If, on the other hand, the small robot is male, they are automatically programmed with Woody Allen’s personality. This makes it more difficult for them to procreate with fembots and make scary, Glenn Close-channeling, soap opera-addicted spawnbots.

Anyone else come to some amusing conclusions, after comparing the impressions you had of Disney movies as a kid to the impressions you have now?

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