Ah, classic kids movies. Full of love, laughter, happiness, and positive storylines, right? Or so we thought. When you really delve deep into our favorite movies, most of these movies have deeper, and much darker subtexts. What we seem to be innocent is really something else. P.S this might ruin them for you, so we warned! Check out these classic kids movies with some dark hidden meanings…
Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo, the lovely movie that reunites a father and son in a loving embrace. Or so we thought. At the beginning of the movie, Nemo’s mother and unborn brothers and sisters are killed – but Nemo survives. But did you know that in Latin, Nemo means ‘no one?’ The theory goes that Nemo isn’t actually alive… but is rather a figment of Marlin’s imagination, as he comes to terms with his wife and Nemo’s death. Excuse us while we go and cry…
Toy Story 3 (2010)
When you think about the darker meaning of Toy Story 3, it does kinda make sense – in a really sad, soul-destroying way. The toys in the third movie supposedly represent the Jews in World War II. The characters hide out in the attic to avoid going to Sunnyside, and when they eventually get there, they are treated as if they are in a concentration camp. Childhood ruined.
The Jungle Book (1967)
The Jungle Book was the ultimate sing-along movie – but you might think of the song, ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ a little differently after this. Mowgli is seen to represent the white man in India. With his intellect, he dominates the animals (who represent the uncolonized and uncivilized people of India). And when King Louie sings this song, he really does mean it…
Okay, Coraline was a little bit creepy in the first place – or, at least, we thought it was a little creepy. But it seems the message behind the movie is even creepier than we first thought. The movie is supposed to resemble abduction and mind control (Yay! Just kidding…) And if you think about it, it kind of makes sense. The movie focuses on Coraline in the Other World, trying to escape her mother who is trying to make her into her ‘little doll.’ And she even tries to stitch over Coraline’s eyes, so she could no longer see her reality. Erm… we’re never watching it again.
The Star Wars Trilogy (1997 – 1983)
Star Wars is another movie franchise that has been likened to the persecution of Jewish people. The stories throughout all of the movies are a classic tale of good vs. evil, and the Empire represents Nazi Germany. Palpatine stars as Hitler and the Stormtroopers are Nazi Stormtroopers. We can never watch it in the same way again…
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
If you thought Alice in Wonderland was a little bit kooky, but a lovely, honest movie, well… think again. The whole of Alice in Wonderland is laced with drug reference after drug reference. Just think about it… there’s the caterpillar who smokes the hookah, Alice drinks potions and eats mushrooms to grow bigger and smaller, and she drinks teacups full of ‘sugar.’ Well, well.
Mary Poppins (1964)
We all loved Mary Poppins. She was the nanny we always wanted – mainly because she had a super cool flying umbrella, and seemed so free-spirited. But it seems like this movie was actually created as anti-feminist propaganda. In the ‘60s, the role of the woman was to stay at home, look after the children, cook and clean. Sound familiar? During this time, society became fearful that the traditional family unit was falling apart, so created the character of Mary Poppins to instill these traditional values. Just a spoonful of gender equality makes the medicine go down, you know…
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Our obsession with mermaids stems from Ariel. How cool was she?! She loved collecting shiny objects; she has fins, she has a cool shell bra, the most amazing hair, she falls in love with a handsome prince, and has a lovely singing voice. And Ariel was the spokeswoman for teenage rebellion. She completely went against everything her father told her to do, and even struck up a deal with the devil – Ursula. But in the magic of Disney, everything worked out in the end, and she lived a happy life as a princess/human-mermaid. So the moral of the story – rebel against your parents, kids!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Oompa, Loompa, doo-be-dee-doo. Let’s think about the backstory of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Because Wonka was so paranoid about people stealing his recipes, he sacked all of his employees – including Grandpa Joe. To replace them, Wonka brought in with the little orange people, the Oompa Loompas, who come from a land far, far away. We’ll just leave it at that….
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit was set in 1974 – and we don’t have to tell you what life was like back then. The movie is seen to represent the segregation and racism in the America at the time…and there isn’t even one black member of the cast! Most of the characters in the movie don’t think that the people and the Toons should mix together. Remind you of anything that happened around then?
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
How can they ruin The Wizard of Oz for us? We all hated the Wicked Witch of the West in this movie – and that was the plan. The Witch was supposed to represent the old American West, wanting to be conquered by the new American ideals – the lion, the scarecrow, the tinman and Dorothy (don’t ask us how that ties in. No clue). The theory also stated that the Munchkins are the farmers who need saving from the oppression, and the flying monkeys the Native American’s who need to be destroyed. Oh…er….
The Incredibles (2004)
But The Incredibles was just a Superhero movie, how could it have a darker meaning? It was super cool. But it seems there could be a darker philosophy behind the movie – the Randian philosophy, to be exact. This philosophy states that the gifted and the strong (the Incredibles and the superheroes) shouldn’t mix or compromise their lives to help the weak and needy. This is shown within Syndrome – who wants to make everyone superheroes so that everyone stands on an equal tread. Hmm, we wouldn’t mind if we had super powers…
The LEGO Movie (2014)
One of the reasons we love The LEGO Movie so much is that it’s so cheery. Kinda weirdly cheery. Maybe even too cheery. One fan theory has a reason for this – the kids are all brainwashed. And when you think about it, it does make sense – the LEGO city is brandished with propaganda synonymous with Orwell. Remember, try smiling! Conform, because it’s the norm!
This one really makes us think. We all know and love Aladdin for being an Arabian adventure – but it seems that the landscape for the movie could have actually been the future. More specifically – life after the apocalypse. In the movie, Genie knows all about Tupperware, Arnold Schwarzenegger, cars and more. But how could he know that back in the day? In the official video game, there’s even an unexploded nuke and a stop sign. Well, this has changed everything.
Spirited Away (2001)
We all love Spirited Away, right? Well, this might change your mind. Sorry. One of the scenes in the movie focuses on a young girl cleaning some of the unpleasant clients in a bathtub and scrubbing the dirt and mud off of them. But this wasn’t just an act of kindness. In fact, many people believe that this act allegorizes child prostitution. In Japan, bathhouses were used as a code name and a ruse for brothels, with young girls often being forced to work there.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
How could Beauty and the Beast get any darker? The movie centers around a beautiful woman falling in love with a buffalo/bear/warthog/many animals. But we can get over this fact because it was one of our favorite movies growing up. But supposedly, there’s an even darker meaning to the movie. Howard Ashman, who wrote the lyrics for the musical numbers, was diagnosed with AIDS during the production of the movie. And it seems the movie has a lot of reference to the debilitating disease. The rose is a reference to the gradual and lonely decline in health of AIDS victims, and the ‘Kill the Beast’ song is a reference to society’s view over AIDS and its sufferers.
We love everything Tim Burton does, but his movies do have some pretty dark undertones. But the movie gets even darker when you delve deeper. The storyline is supposed to represent the circle of life and death – more specifically, death. The moral is to leave pets who die as they are – because otherwise you’d be stuck with dead/alive pet rats and cat-bats. And nobody wants those.