After some clever jokester realized that some Disney freeze frames can lead to some...unexpected results, a meme arose commanding that no one, under any circumstances, should pause a Disney movie for fear of landing on one of these unexpected moments.
Well, I'm here to tell you that these often disturbing but always hilarious stills are exactly why you SHOULD be pausing Disney movies.
Not only do you get the satisfying chuckle from the inevitably dopey expression, you also get to see the process of animation in action. Before moving on to examples, let's break it down!
Squash and Stretch
While these can lead to some of the greatest reaction shots ever, the strange moments you can land on are far from accidents. The hilariously awesome stills come from a fundamental animation principle called "squash and stretch," which adds a sense of movement and flexibility to a character or object
For particularly comedic scenes, the effect can be enhanced or exaggerated to really drive home a visual joke. When you pause on a frame that appears visably altered, it's there between the "alpha frames" to subtly enhance the animation. Disney Legend Glen Keane, who worked on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and many others, perfected this technique, allowing one smooth, continuous motion when the movie is playing.
Thanks to Keane and this animation principle, we have this phenomenal list of fascinating Disney freeze frames.
1. The many faces of Abu
Abu's eyes were so much bigger than his stomach that they multiplied.
"Mooooooooooooooom, the MEATLOAF!"
3. Who's the fairest of them all?
Definitely Eric. There's no question.
4. Violence is never the answer
Unless your face reacts like a jiggling jello mold. Wanna see this punch in all its glory? Of course you do, and I'm happy to oblige.
This terrifying image is courtesy of Hercules. Don't worry, you didn't need to get any sleep tonight.
Dramatic scenes are much more effective with an extra mouth in the mix.
7. Mr. Fantastic?
Despite the potato quality here, the fact that Tarzan's face is the same size as his torso meant I had to include it.
8. The classic spit take
Now with extra lips!
9. Stretched too thin
Aladdin's defense mechanism is to lose all body mass and become a limp sack of skin.
10. Stop hitting yourself
This scene from Tangled has especially pronounced stretch and squash effects when you watch it in motion.
11. Why the long face?
This still is from Mulan II, and it needs to be seen by everyone.
The best part of this phenomenon is that many of these movies were drawn by hand, meaning that the animators were responsible for creating the derpiest Disney faces in existence.
Moral of this story: ALWAYS pause Disney movies for a chance to catch your own hilarious freeze frame. Who knows what surprise you'll find?