disney movie plot difficulties thread

With three children under five in the house, I find that many afternoons the TV has been commandeered by what seem to be agents of the late Walt Disney. I also find myself watching a number of these movies, and now have some questions about their content:

(note, despite these questions, I really am almost 30, or at least that’s what I tell myself…)

a) ** The Lion King ** - Where are all the other male lions? Do lions really have such a low male to female birth rate? Or do they expell every male lion who isn’t the king?

b) ** Toy Story ** - This is sort of a weird question. New toys (like Buzz Lightyear) seem to not know they’re toys right away. Buzz thinks he’s a real space ranger. But if that is so, then why does he let Andy play with him as a toy? And if you say that he is sort of “programmed” to act that way, then how can he ever act unlike a toy around humans (which occasionally they do?)

c) ** A Bug’s Life ** - When Hopper dumps all those pellets on the grasshoppers in Mexico (?), does he end up killing them?

I can give an uninformed response to a). I think lions expel all males from the pride after they reach a certain age and start becoming competitors for Big Daddy. They then must fend for themselves until they can displace the head male of another pride. Actually, since there’s only one breeding male in a pride, they would all be sons of the “king”, wouldn’t they? But yeah, if the King had been around for as long as the film implies, there should have been plenty of other heirs to the throne by then.

Some theories on b) were given here. Post-traumatic stress disorder or somesuch thing.

No idea on c). Never saw that one.

You know what’s always bugged me? The ending to Aladdin. It’s been a while, so my memory’s shaky, but here goes. Basically, Aladdin has one last wish and has to choose between becoming a real prince and freeing the genie. He makes the obvious Disney choice and everyone’s happy. BUT, it had been established earlier that when the genie gets transferred to a new owner, the new owner gets three wishes. The Princess and her family all still could have had their three wishes if they wanted, so all Alladin had to do was give it to one of them after he’d had his wish, and they could have freed the genie. Kind of stupid, really.

Upon seeing *Tarzan, I couldn’t help but wonder what brain addled leopard would attack a silverback gorilla. There’s a reason why mature gorillas have no natural predators.

Yes. The idea of that scene was to remind us how ruthless and dangerous Hopper actually was, because he hadn’t really demonstrated it effectively before then (or afterward) apart from simple intimidation.

I seem to remember that being mentioned on the commentary of the DVD.

Don’t get me started on the physics of flubber!


Lion King! You had to bring up the Lion King!

You notice how the usurper king, Claw(?) Scar(?), whatever his name was, is such a bad leader that he makes the weather bad?!!?

No matter how wise, strong, brave, sensible you are, if you’re female, you’re screwed! Unlike humans, lion “queens” can’t act as regents in this imaginary patriarchy. The queen gets tossed aside because only a male can rule, ever, under any circumstances.

When your king is so bad that he brings on a drought(!), as a subject all you can do is moan about it, not take any actions or anything. It’s not as if there isn’t a perfectly good queen or princess handy.

The whole concept of the lion as the king of beasts is so old and so far from anything approaching what happens in nature. In real life, the females of the pride do all the hunting for themselves and the young 'uns. The males bestir themselves occasionally to impregnate the females and once in a blue moon drive off a competitor male, unless that guy gets the better of them.

And I hate the giant Disney chins!

Have you noticed that in Toy Story 2 all of the toys are “real” characters except for the “Woody” collector toys? – all of the Woody collectables in “Chicken Guy” Big Al’s apartment (aside from Jessie, Bullseye, and the Prospector, of course) are inanimate toys that Woody can play with. The “Snake in his Boot” isn’t a self-aware snake, it’s just a piece of plastic. The giant Woody head you throw the balls at to knock the teeth out of can’t talk back – it’s just a big plastic head.

I guess the Disney/Pixar folk just thought it would be too weird for Woody to interact with a giant version of himself. Or just wanted to show the sort of marketing and spinoffs Woody had generated without the extra trouble of having them be sentient characters, as well (would Woody then have to sabe them from being shipped to Japan, too?).

These are a little off topic, but I started the thread, so if anyone asks, I ok’ed it:

a) The Little Mermaid – Is it just me or did Ursula look exactly like Madeline Albright?

b) Dumbo – The movie came out in 1941, but the Elephants on Parade sequence looks like it was from around 1969. What did the average person watching this scene in 1941 think?

As I mentioned in this other thread, my idea is that Buzz subconsciously knows he’s a toy, so he follows all the unwritten toy rules. His delusion that he’s the real Buzz Lightyear only kicks in when he’s free to be himself.

And the impression I got is that most toys start off fully aware of their toy status – the Buzz Lightyear toys (including Emperor Zurg from TS2) just happen to be the delusional exceptions.

There’s definitely an ambiguous dividing line between toys that just sit there and toys that are sapient – forget Al’s collection, look at the building blocks and Lincoln Logs from Andy’s bedroom for examples. And then there are quick references to toys with different levels of intelligence (“We’re not preschool toys, Slinky, we can read.”), and other people-don’t-know-they’re-sapient items as well (“The lawn gnome next door says he hasn’t seen it…”).

How do I remember all this? My two-year-old refuses to eat his dinner unless he can watch a Toy Story movie at the same time. I’ve got both movies practically memorized by now…

I’m not following this, here… We see what, three male lions in the movie (Mustafa, Simba, and Scar)? And two females, right (Nala and Simba’s mom)? There’s a few other “extras”, but so far as I recall, those were the only speaking roles. So how is two females to three males supposed to be so disproportionately female?

In the final fight scene there are quite a few lionesses - I’d say ten or more.

Thank you so much for that. I’ve heard that so many times, but I always thought it was “The lawnmower next door says…” which never made much sense.

I don’t think it’s stupid at all.

Sure, Al could have squeezed as many wishes as he could have out of the genie, but that would be kinda manipulative. He began to regard Genie as a friend, and chose to treat him as such. Sure, the Genie would have played along, and he would have received his freedom, but who’s to say that his feelings would have been hurt in the process?

So Al chose not to treat the Genie like a cosmic vending machine, even though it meant a great sacrifice for himself.

Actually, I have a different problem with the plot of Aladdin. As I understood it, Aladdin’s first wish was to be made a prince, not merely to be made to LOOK like a prince. It would not have violated any of the genie’s 3 rules to make him a legitimate prince complete with a pedigree (In fact, at the end, he was getting ready to give Aladdin a pedigree before the fact that he was free sank in), so why did Aladdin spend the next 80 minutes scrambling around and trying to hide his “true” identity. He should have been a REAL prince!

I always thought that Aladdin decided to use his last wish to free the genie because if he used the last wish on himself and trusted Jasmine to free the genie, she would probably have shafted them both and moved to Paris.

I have to agree with quarx on the prince issue as well. The worst part was that Jafar had somehow un-did Aladdin’s wish simply by stripping him of his clothes (actually returning them to “commoner” status).

Not a plot issue, but I didn’t think it was appropriate for the genie to turn Abu into an elephant either. Aladdin didn’t wish to be a prince with Abu as his elephant. I would have felt ripped off if that stupid genie touched my monkey.

Finally, Jafar wished not just to be a genie, but an “all-powerful” genie. Wouldn’t that stipulate that he would be impossible to contain?

Always weirded me out…if Mustafa is the pride leader, that means he fathers all the cubs. So then Nala and Simba are half siblings? No wonder they were both initially so weirded out by the whole idea of getting together. :slight_smile:

I guess Nala could have been fathered by Scar…but by Disney logic, that would have made her partially evil incarnate.

In Aladdin, is the parrot Iago a reference to the Othello villain? In English, we’re reading the play and someone asked…hehe. :wink:

rjung, I sympathize with you about the repeated viewings – MilliCal is obsessed with The Aristocats – but you don’t expect the building blocks and Lincoln Logs to talk or anything – they haven’t got muths, arms, or egs. The Toy Story films only anthropomorphize toys that have some animal features about them. My point is that the only ones in either movie with mouths and eyes that don’t get this treatment are the “Woody Collectibles”.

that scene scared the crap out of me when i was little…it’s like a bad acid trip. considering the fact that people largely didn’t use lsd in 1941, i suppose nobody thought it was anything other than “artsy.” but i think it’s scary and unnecessary.

“Dumbo” was one of my favorite movies when I was a wee’un - I loved the circus train! - but I used to hide under the couch cushions when that scene came on. Hell, it still freaks me out.

Dale The Bold said:

No, because when the genie is describing himself to Aladdin, he makes it clear that part of the package is “phenomenal cosmic power…itty bitty living space.” So it’s at least set up from the start that any genie can be contained.

This is a sig line waiting to happen.

Zoggie said:

I always assumed so. I mean, there aren’t a whole lot of Iagos out there, are there?