People interpret cartoons as they do dreams because they often want them to have deeper meanings. And ironically, instead of being something imaginative, cartoons have been suspected to have a very dark side. Here are seven fan-based theories that make us think twice about our favorite animated classics:
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland is by far the most controversial cartoon of all. The theory was widely circulated right after Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane wrote the song “White Rabbit”. The theory, simply put, states that Alice is on an acid trip.
Slick later claimed in Q magazine that the song targeted parents not children. She also said, “They’d read us all these stories where you’d take some kind of chemical and have a great adventure. Alice in Wonderland is blatant; she gets literally high, too big for the room, while the caterpillar sits on a psychedelic mushroom smoking opium. In The Wizard of Oz, they land in a field of opium poppies, wake up and see this Emerald City. Peter Pan? Sprinkle some white dust — cocaine — on your head and you can fly.”
Here’s another interesting theory about Peter Pan. Ever wondered why the boys can’t grow up when they fly? Well, basically because Peter kills them.
In one chapter of the book, author J.M. Barrie wrote, “The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.”
“Thins them out”? Now we know what Neverland refers to…
The theory about Snow White is not really a “theory” since it doesn’t need a brainiac to decipher. In the original adaptation, the Evil Queen, who’s Snow White’s step mom, wants to cut out Snow White’s lungs and liver so that she can cook and eat them. Fortunately, Disney later modified it to cutting out Snow White’s heart. Either way, do not trust step moms, right?
Toy Story 3
Now picture Roman Polnski’s Pianist acted out by a cowboy, cowgirl, space ranger, piggy bank, and two potato heads. Voila… you get Toy Story 3.
Yes, Toy Story 3 is actually about the Holocaust.
In a nutshell, Buzz finds a sanctuary in an attic after Woody pulls some toys and says, “We’ve lost some friends”. Later, they are all thrown in an incinerator before going to a new homeland. Need I say more?
We all know this one. Lion King is the typical kind of cartoon that portrays good vs. evil, protagonist and antagonist, and a hero that must triumph over the villain at the end.
In order for Scar to rule, he kills his brother Mufasa, and in order for Simba to rule, he kills his uncle Scar. Yet Scar is the only one who gets to be the bad guy.
“The Lion King is capitalist propaganda. Underlying this innocent wildlife lesson is a stark analogy with the hierarchical capitalist system. The lower classes are the grass that support the antelopes of the middle class. The upper class happily feeds on the middle class while the lower class scavenge off the scraps of decaying waste and leftovers produced by the ‘lions.’ Yeah, in this system, the lower classes quite literally eat shit. That’s the circle of life.” — Flicks
This theory is so popular. But — reality check — it’s invalid.
Aladdin has been widely known for portraying stereotypes about Arabs. We see Jafar and whine about how Arabs are portrayed as terrorists. But tell me, oh so wise people, why was Jafar the only one stereotyping Arabs while the whole cartoon is also about Arabs? You know Aladdin? His name is originally Alaa el-Din and he comes from the fictional Arabian city of Agarabah and is, obviously, an Arab. Jafar is just the antagonist in an Arabic country amongst many other Arabs.
This theory was actually confirmed by Spirited Away’s director Hayao Miyazaki, so it isn’t really considered a theory anymore. Bluntly put, the film is about prostitution and slavery and Miyazaki confirmed, saying, “I think the most appropriate way to symbolize the modern world is the sex industry. Hasn’t Japanese society become like the sex industry?”
The award-winning movie’s main setting is in a brothel where ghost-like creature called No-Face keeps offering Chihiro money and tokens. Is No-Face trying to buy Chihiro? Now we know the answer.
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