September 10, 2013

5 Historical Inaccuracies in Classic Disney Movies

One of my largest pet peeves is historical inaccuracies. It is generally known I am unable to watch shows like The Tudors because of the overall wrongness of it. Maybe I'm supposed to get past that, but I can't because history is awesome and changing it to make your story more sexy...or fit with what you want irks me. Disney has done this a lot, and has also been fcriticizeforit. Look, I realize the writers and animators are taking "artistic" liberites and catering to a younger audience who really doesn't give a shit as long as there are singing animals and everyone is happy with rainbows shooting out their ass in the end, but it's almost laughable how wrong they can be. This is the extreme side, some of these are little things so, no, I'm not calling for a boycott of Disney because they got an outfit wrong. That's only a crime against fashion.

5. Sleeping Beauty: Are you having sex on the dance floor?

At the end of the movie Sleeping Beauty, our hero and heroine, aka Prince Philip and Princess Aurora, aka the best Disney couple of all time (in a matter of severely biased opinion) share a victory dance because the Princess was awaken from the curse, the evil fairy is dead, and that dress is FABULOUS.

It's so iconic and romantic. Nothing could possibly be wrong with it, except for the fact that in the during the time period Sleeping Beauty takes place...

Because a GIF is a credited source

...the 14th century, THAT dancing would be more or less considered THIS

"Awe yeah baby, I'll prick you with my spinning needle"
Waltzing, or even just ballroom dancing dates only from the eighteenth century, and most medieval dances in Europe were circled dancings, court dances, or line dances of some sort. Nothing to the point of touching body parts or, gasp! holding a waist. Even when waltzing was first introduced it was seen as scandalous. Of course, those 18th century critics had no idea what was coming, because I'm fairly certain in the my children will be friends with at least one kid who was conceived from his parents "dancing" to a Flo Rida song...

"Shawty had them apples in her basket, and friends made of fur...MADE OF FUR!
The whole forest looking at her!"...

4. Hercules was a demi God and he killed his wife and kids...OPPS

The Disney version of Hercules is the story of a young, naive man who used to be a god, but then went to be raised with a human couple after a botch kidnapping/murder that really only left him with super strength, you know, NBD. It was all some plot of the god of the underworld, Hades, to be able to "rule everything" or something, because that is every single villains end goal, obviously. Hercules was the only person who would defeat him according to a prophecy, so he tried to have him killed.

Wrong movie motherfucker!
Anyways, Hercules is an outcast as a human because he's considered a freak and he can't live with the gods because his skin doesn't have a gold tint to it. Life is not fair, bro. I guess the story is how you should "Go the Distance" and go from "Zero to Hero"...and the price of fame and what is really important in life...

like getting some sweet mortal ass

All jolly and good. Except for the actual Greek mythology story is kind of actually different...like really different. Like for example, it wasn't Hades who wanted to kill Hercules, it was Hera, who in the Disney movie was the loving BIRTH mother. In mythology, Zeus (Herc's dad) had many affairs with mortals, Hercules being one of the results of that, and Hera was just his jealous stepmother.

"Bitch, I'm fabulous"
So, correct, Hercules was not able join the Gods on Mount Olympus, but not because he lost all his god juice as a baby. He was just a demi god from birth and lived the  playa life on earth. He only got to live with the Gods and be granted immortality when he died from a botched love potion attempt, so basically a reversal of the movie.

Also, he had a wife named Megara...which I'm pretty sure there's a nickname for that (god dammit, make the connection). However, due to his bitch step mom (again), he took a drive to crazy town and killed Megara and their three children...but it's good because he then performed his 12 labors to make up for murder...you know how it is

how else do you live the play life?

3. Aladdin is Politically Incorrect

I'm not some huge PC advocate, and this is the only one that's not necessarily "historically" inaccurate, but more playing on stereotypes. In the titles song "Arabian Nights" the orginal lyrics are

"Where they cut off your ear
If they don't like your face.
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home"
I mean, yeah it's a little violent for a childrens movie but it also plays off a stereotype and impression western culture has that the Arabic world is full of uncultured, violent barbarian killers. Now, the middle east may be a violent place now and has been in the past as well...

But you know, it IS a place rich in history and the birthplace of three major religions, blah. blah. This isn't a political statement or teaching you to be tolerant about other cultures. It's the fact that Aladdin gave off a vibe of the setting being some crazy place where they cut someones hand off for stealing an apple or some shit because that's how it's "done" it the Arabic world. 
"Shawty gave the apple to that kid"
It pissed people off and didn't sit well with a lot of people, because that type of scene was only in a movie taking place in the "barbaric" middle east, and not in other Disney movies that have a setting where it probably was perfectly acceptable to cut off someone's hand for stealing. Then again, it is a Disney movie, it is not a REAL place...because it should be all butterflies and rainbows AND WHY IS THERE EVEN DISCUSSION ABOUT CUTTING OFF BODY PARTS? 

And we aren't even gunna talk about the sequels

2. Mulan is a clusterfuck of history that sounded "good enough"

Take three ingredients: The main character, Mulan,The Imperial City, and The Huns. Mix it all togethervand you have a Disney movies about a kick ass girl who joins the army and becomes a hero...and SHES A GIRL DID YOU KNOW THAT GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING GUYS CAN DO TOO?!?!

I didn't

Anyways, let's take the first of these ingredients...Mulan. Hua Mulan is heroine in Chines folklore from a poem ranging between 386-534 AD. That that places her time period in the dark ages/early middle ages, even with tales being told later on that elaborate more.  So, that brings us to our next ingredient...

The Imperial City. Basically, a section of what is now the city of Beijing, with it's center being The Forbidden City or the Imperial palace. This was the setting to the end of the movie where big yellow eyed Hun leader is trying to assasinate the Emperor of China. Well, the title of "Emperor" in China only existed a hundred-ish years before the first tale of Mulan, and the Imperial City has only existed since the early 1400s, and was the seat of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. That time period of about 500 years does not fit into the early middles ages timeline we set Mulan. Furthermore, the Great Wall of China, which in the movie the Huns invade wasn't built to the magnitude we know it as until the 1400s either. At best, it was a small "not so great wall".

Now I'm sure you're like "homie, Mulan isn't historical fact, it shouldn't matter what the time period Mulan is set in. It's not based on fact. It's like how Robin Hood can be a fox and nobody cares" BUT let us then take it to the third ingredient...


Otherwise known as "hunny buns"

The Huns were a nomadic peoples who originated somewhere in Russia. They can sometimes be contributed to the great migration and collapse of the Roman Empire. They were invading places and ruining empires from about the 4th to 6th century. Maybe a little after Mulan first appeared, but way before the Imperial City was the happening spot. Also, the Huns barely tapped into Asia, they originated in  central Asia (which only parts of China are SOMETIMES included in) and moved against Germanic people and the Romans. There are some who believe they may have tapped into China, and so be it...but for goodness sake...


1. Pocahontas is just wrong
I remember when I was in grade school I read this non fiction book on Pocahontas and my world was rocked forever.

So, you're saying she DIDN'T actually model for
Powhatan Vogue?
Some of the stuff that happened are historically linked, like scholars believe she did actually save John Smith's life...but again, they had to go and make everything sexy. The real John Smith, who I think looks pretty fly, doesn't nearly have as much appeal as the clean cut, blonde, strong jawed Disney counterpart.

Ginger jokes are cheap jokes

Pocahontas was also, like 12, and not the full grown, big boobied lady we see on the screen. Most likely (and god, I hope so) they were not linked romantically, and that's not why Pocahontas is an important figure in history.

Now, if you have not seen the direct to video sequel, which you shouldn't since it is so horrible you can't even watch it to laugh. It's just bad, and punny...

Anyways, Pocahontas has a new love interest, John Rolfe...and when I first saw it I called bullshit, because obviously she is supposed to be with John Smith! History, that dastardly wench, shows a different tune. John Rolfe (aka Poppa Tabacoo) was the real Pocahontas's husband (first recorded interracial marriage in America!).

"Pocahontas, more like poke a hot ass, if ya kno what I mean"
-actual quote from John Rolfe

Who she met after being kidnapped as basically a political prisoner by Jamestown officials. She converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca, and got married and through her son is the ancestor to quite a few notable Americans in history.

Of course, she also died in England at the age of 21, probably from some European disease she couldn't fight because of her immune system...so basically like every other Native American.


  1. Hahahahahaha I love this. Being honest though. Totally missed the Mageara connection. Like completely. Im about to call Teo up and get a lesson in greek mythology (psyche i wouldnt do that-ever).

  2. As a Chinese person, I'm pretty sure that the 'Huns' in Mulan were supposed to be the Xiongnu, which, as far as I know, was this group of people who attacked China once every so often. It's unlikely that they're related to the Huns, but most people think they are due to the fact that in both Chinese and English they're referred to using the same name.

  3. The Huns (Hunnu) were a nomadic people that originated not in Russia, but in Mongolia. The leader of them in the movie is supposedly Modun Shanyu, the person who made the Huns powerful, and they invaded China many many times, and in the end made a contract with them that made China give tribute each year. This was in B.C eras. The huns that wreaked havoc in Europe later on was the right wing hun empire. After a few years the huns in Central asia eventually weakened and divided into 2. The left side remained there while the right went off towards europe

  4. As previous anon said, The Huns were the name the movie used to actually be the Xiongnu. They were the ones who originated in Mongolia. There might have been two group of huns, but I don't think it is a univerSal belief that there is a connection between the Xiongnu and Huns. Thank you guys for the information, it defintely contributed to the historical context!

  5. There is no evidence directly linking the Hun's to Mongolia. And from what I understand, no one is really sure where they were from. In roughly the time period Milan was set in, I believe the aggressors would most likely have been the Mongols, under Ghengis Khan. And I am only basing this on the lax references of the Disney movie. To place the Hun's as the bad guy is silly.

  6. Mulan is inaccurated dirty racist movie.

  7. Three Words: EMPEROR'S. NEW. GROOVE. A clusterfuck of inaccuracy where they thought, "Hey, even though this is set in the Incan empire, let's fILL IT WITH MEXICAN IMAGERY AND CULTURAL ELEMENTS NO ONE WILL NOTICE HAHAHAHA"