ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, there aren't too many things in life more widely-beloved than Disney. Between the near-constant stream of iconic movies, shorts, TV shows, and Disneyland itself, the 'House of Mouse' has long been a cornerstone of almost every childhood.

I mean, The Lion King alone is enough reason to love them, and there're a hundred more icons where that came from.

With that level of cultural spread, though, comes another side to Disney. A side that is, usually without meaning to, hiding a dark, secret underbelly, both in the movies and the legendary Disneyland itself. Here are six of the most disturbing...

Like, for instance:

1. That Time Donald Duck was a Nazi

Yup, way back in 1943, Donald Duck starred in an animated short named Der Fuehrer's Face. As a Nazi.

Now, in fairness, the short was actually a World War II propaganda piece, in which (spoilers) Donald eventually realizes that the whole thing is a dream.

But still tries to give the Statue of Liberty the Nazi salute.

Not pictured, because this is scarring enough.
Not pictured, because this is scarring enough.

Because, yes, that was a thing, and now I can't unsee it.

Unsurprisingly, Disney keep the short pretty firmly under wraps, despite it winning an Oscar in the year it was released...

Disneyland itself, though, isn't exactly free of controversy...

2. There's a Real Skull on the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

Specifically, that one, right there, in the headboard.

That skull and crossbones is an actual, factual set of human bones - as Disney staff themselves are happy to confirm.

No word on whose bones they actually are, though...

However, there've been much bigger troubles than that at Disneyland...

3. The Happiest Place on Earth Has a Sex Crime Problem

Specifically, at least 35 different Disneyland employees have been arrested since 2006 for sex crimes involving children.

The only thing that makes that horrifying number seem ever-so-slightly less horrendous? According to Ernie Allen, president of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

"It's hard to imagine any company that's done more, that cares more, that's trying harder on these issues and part of the reason is Disney recognizes that it's a magnet, it's a magnet that is sort of America's symbol for children."

Though that doesn't make it any less appalling...

Comparatively, the fact that...

4. Woody in Toy Story Was Originally Evil

...seems pretty tame by comparison.

That said, though, Woody was originally intended to be a bitter, cynical and cruel ventriloquist's dummy, who the other toys eventually threw out of the window.

So it wasn't quite what we ended up seeing on screen.

Unlike Beauty and the Beast, where we totally saw that...

5. The Beast Had a Room Full of Murder Victims

Specifically, the mysterious (and forbidden) West Wing of the Beast's castle, which was full of destroyed furniture.

Furniture that was, presumably, once a number of whimsical singing characters (and one-time members of The Beast's entourage), who the Beast straight up rage-murdered.

They were the lucky ones.
They were the lucky ones.

And, of course...

6. The Rescuers Actually Features a Topless Woman

That's right, 1977's The Rescuers originally included a shot of a naked woman in a window - which was apparently added in by an unknown person during the post-production process. And, unlike the images above, those breasts were very much un-blurred in the original movie.

The best part? Disney didn't realize until 1999, when they recalled 3.4 million copies of The Rescuers.

But, even so, that means that for twenty years, Disney was heavily promoting a movie which featured some pretty full on female nudity.

Something tells me Uncle Walt would've been livid...

What do you guys think, though?


Which dark Disney secret do you think is the most shocking?

via Cracked, Youtube

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