Disney is loved everywhere. Its empire spans the globe, and its movies are ingrained in all our childhood memories. No matter how old I get, there’s a certain nostalgic delight that comes with rewatching all of the old animated classics (the newer ones just aren’t quite the same). At the same time, watching these childhood faves through the lens of an adult (whatever that’s actually supposed to mean), I can’t help but question a few (now) obvious things. Let’s take a look at a few of the most glaring Disney plot holes that might leave you scratching your head when you rewatch the golden oldies.
How does Pocahontas speak fluent English?
Pocahontas is the only classic Disney Princess to be based on a real person – which of course comes with a lot of complicated baggage that’s glossed over by the film entirely. Let’s ignore the fact that hers is a weird tale to choose when creating content for kids at all, and get straight to one of the film’s biggest mysteries: Despite John Smith being the first white person Pocahontas has ever laid eyes on when he sails from England to explore the New World, they have very little trouble communicating. Conveniently, Pocahontas already speaks his language.
Of course, a movie for kids can’t only be about the language barrier between two lovers from different worlds, nor would it have made sense for all the dialogue to be in an extinct Native American tongue, but surely it would have played a much bigger part in the whole experience? Is there some kind of 17th Century Duolingo we don’t know about?
WTF is Cinderella’s shoe size?
I get that Prince Charming didn’t have access to social media to search for his mystery Princess, but how does using her shoe to find her make any sense at all?
The prince tries the glass slipper on every woman in the land, until it finally fits on the foot of his beloved. For this to even be plausible, Cinderella would either have had to have monstrously massive feet, or the tiniest feet in the world. At the very least she’d have needed a whole bunch of extra toes, but nowhere in the film are we given any indication that her feet are so remarkably different from the foot of every other human woman.
Furthermore, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be keen to try on a shoe that every other girl in the country had already worn – no matter how handsome the prince that comes with it.
And what’s going on with those shoes, anyway?
I’m so confused about these glass slippers ( I mean, come on …slippers??). First of all, who thought it would be a good idea to make shoes out of glass? Who signed off on this concept? That just sounds like it’ll end badly.
Secondly, if everything turned back into their original forms when midnight struck and the magic wore off – the carriage turned back into a pumpkin and all that – why didn’t the glass slippers do the same? What made this impractical footwear immune to the laws of magic?
AND! If the damn magical slipper things fit her so perfectly that she and her weird feet could be identified by them, how did one fall off in the first place?
Did Prince Charming just have really bad eyesight?
Before we can end the Cinderella tirade, we need to discuss the fact that despite being head-over-heels in love with Cinderella, the prince has no clue what her face looks like the next day. He literally scours the country, shoving the foot of every woman he finds into this single grimey and clearly oddly-sized shoe, in an effort to find a woman he can’t even recognise.
This leads me to the conclusion that either this whole story takes place before the invention of prescription lenses to fix the prince’s horrible astigmatism, or he was blackout drunk when he “fell in love” – an experience some of us can relate to
Did Ariel forget she can write?
One of the main plot points in Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the fact that, when she meets Prince Eric, Ariel is unable to speak.
Like John Smith and Pocahontas, though, they somehow just manage to get along and form a lasting romantic relationship despite not being able to communicate. The only frustrating thing is that they would have been able to communicate – substantially better at least – if only Ariel had picked up a pen.
We know that she can write, since she did so earlier in the film when signing the contract with Ursula that causes her to lose her voice in the first place. It would have made sense then for Ariel to grab a piece of paper (or a stick on the beach!) and tell Eric what was going on. At the very least, Eric could have offered that as an option – but perhaps his mind was clouded by the fact that he’d just discovered a semi-naked babe who was willing to go home with him.
I think Disney has some explaining to do
Is Mrs Potts a bad mother?
No Disney classic comes without plot holes. Even a much-loved tale like Beauty and the Beast is rife with unanswered questions. For example, why does Mrs Potts only seem to like one of her kids?
We’re told in the animated classic that Mrs Potts has around a dozen children, all turned into matching teacups as a result of the curse on Beast. And yet, at the end of the movie we’re all elated when Chip turns back into his human form but we and the film itself ignore all Mrs Potts’s other offspring.
What makes Chip more special than all her other kids?
Does Belle have super strength?
Belle is a smart, loveable, and strong female character. Emphasis on strong.
At the film’s turning point, Belle flees from Beast’s castle and is attacked by wolves in the forest. After showing up and saving her from the animals, Beast is rendered unconscious.
But then something weird happens. In one scene he’s knocked out cold in the snow, and in the next, we’re shown him (still passed out) on the back of a horse, being led back up to the castle by Belle.
How did the dainty, bookworm Belle manage to get him up on the horse in the first place? Does she have a superpower we aren’t aware of? And if so, would this not have played a bigger role in the film?
There are more pressing questions about Belle – perhaps about her romantic attraction to a large Chewbacca-like lion creature who conveniently owns a giant castle – but we’ll ignore those for now.
Is Beast the victim of child abuse?
Speaking of the Beast. The timeline in his origin story raises a few questions too.
The witch who curses Beast allows the rose to bloom until his 21st birthday – and her curse began ten years before the film takes place. That means the enchantress cursed Beast as punishment when he was a mere 11 years old.
11-year-old boys are often unruly, but it seems like cruel and unusual punishment to curse one like this no matter how badly he misbehaves. Not to mention the trauma of the whole thing will likely stick with him and lead to serious consequences in his future, even after he’s turned back to his human form.
Between the trauma of his formative years, his lack of human company for an entire decade, and Belle’s potentially gold-digging motivations, I’m concerned for the future of their relationship.
Is Buzz a big fat liar?
Buzz is a weird one. In some scenes he has these massive delusions of grandeur and appears to believe that he isn’t a toy at all, but instead that he’s on a mission to save the galaxy.
Then, in others, he goes stiff just like all the other toys when humans are around. Why would he bother to do this if he believes he isn’t a toy? We know that the toys can communicate with the humans, because Woody does so later when he reprimands Sid.
Knowing this, it would be more fitting for Buzz to have continued on his galactic quest even in the presence of humans. Is this flip-flopping between acting like a toy and refusing to believe he is one a sign of multiple personality disorder or is he just full of sh*t?
Was Mulan just another bro in drag?
My favourite new theory, and one I developed while researching whether the tale of Mulan was based on a real person, is that Mulan was in fact just another male soldier, who discovered along the way that he actually really enjoyed wearing dresses.
It just doesn’t make sense that Mulan spent years living and fighting alongside her male companions without any of them realising that she was actually a girl. Surely after all those years of being in such close proximity and getting to know each other, her fellow soldiers, used to seeing her as a man, wouldn’t suddenly realises she’s not a man just because she dons women’s clothes.
More likely, they’d just be a little perplexed as to why their buddy was showing up to battle in a skirt. And really, what’s wrong with wanting a little more breathability on the battlefield?
I could go on for days about my favourite Disney plot holes, but for the sake of everyone reading this, I’ll leave it at that. Comment and let me know some of your favourites, and keep an eye on our reviews section for more on upcoming Disney releases.