We tend not to think too critically about Disney animated movies, especially the ones we first saw as children. At the time, we took the plots at face value, and as adults, we’re so familiar with what happens that we glaze over certain details. Even with the newer ones, there’s such a magic to a Disney film that it’s easy to be swept up in it all and not really think about the logic.
But if you do stop to think, you might discover these glaring plot holes at the center of Disney films that you had no idea have been there all this time.
1. Aladdin: Why isn’t Aladdin legitimately turned into a prince?
The very first thing Aladdin wishes for in Aladdin is to become a prince. The exact words he uses are, “Genie, I wish for you to make me a prince.” So Genie turns Aladdin into “Prince Ali of Ababwa.”
Except he’s not actually a prince. From there, it becomes a huge issue that Aladdin is lying to Jasmine about being a prince. At the end of the film, he must choose between wishing to become a prince or wishing to free Genie.
So why, exactly, did Genie not legitimately turn him into a prince? Aladdin didn’t ask to look like a prince or for people to think he’s a prince. He asked to actually become a prince.
There’s no indication in the film that Genie is intentionally being sneaky or relying on the ambiguity of Aladdin’s words. And since Genie offers to make Aladdin a prince at the end, this would seem to imply that fulfilling the original wish wasn’t out of his grasp.
Next: This is a really annoying issue with Mike and Sully’s backstory in ‘Monsters Inc.’
2. Monsters, Inc. & Monsters University: Did Mike and Sully first meet in the fourth grade or in college?
In Monsters, Inc., we learn that Mike and Sully have been friends going back to elementary school. When they’re walking to work, Mike tells Sully, “You’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade, pal.” But wait a second: In the sequel, Monsters University, we see that Mike and Sully met for the first time in college. So what’s with this line?
The director of the movie actually addressed this in an interview, and he tried to explain away Mike’s phrase as being an “old monster expression.” So saying “since the fourth grade” is basically the equivalent of saying “since forever.” But really, he essentially admitted that there’s no good reason for it. Obviously, the original intention was that Mike and Sully met when they were young, but then Pixar wanted to make a movie about college, and so they did so anyway, even though this opened up a giant inconsistency that will forever be annoying.
Next: The whole conflict in ‘The Little Mermaid’ actually makes no sense when you think about it.
3. The Little Mermaid: Why can’t Ariel just write a message to Eric?
Much of The Little Mermaid hinges upon the idea that Ariel needs to communicate with Eric without using her voice. He doesn’t realize that she’s the one who saved him earlier, nor does he know that she needs him to kiss her within three days.
But hold on. Why couldn’t she just write a message to him from the beginning explaining the whole situation? She clearly is familiar with the idea of writing on paper, since earlier in the film, she signs her name on Ursula’s contract. Even if she didn’t have access to writing utensils, she could have written something in the sand.
It doesn’t seem that she’s illiterate. In the “Part of Your World” sequence, we see that she has a library of books, and she flips through one. And it’s not like the two of them don’t speak the same language. Ariel speaks English the whole film, and Ursula’s contract is written in English.
Really, the only explanation seems to be that if Ariel wrote a message, the movie would be over a lot quicker.
Next: This notorious plot hole from the first ‘Toy Story’ is still incredibly annoying.
4. Toy Story: Why does Buzz freeze like a toy if he thinks he’s real?
In Toy Story, the film comes up with an explanation for why humans never see their toys moving. Whenever humans approach, the toys all freeze up, momentarily turning into inanimate objects. All throughout the film, every toy freezes when humans approach, including Buzz Lightyear.
But the whole idea in the first Toy Story is that Buzz thinks he’s a real spaceman and not a toy. The conflict of the film revolves around his inability to accept who he is. So if that’s the case, why does he still freeze along with everyone else?
Perhaps the freezing thing is an involuntary reaction in all toys that they can’t control. But that’s inconsistent with the fact that later in the film, the toys are able to move when Sid is around. Perhaps Buzz is just blending in with his surroundings and doing what he sees everyone around him doing. But that’s just a guess, and the film itself leaves this gaping plot hole wide open.
Next: This weird plot hole makes the villain of ‘Hercules’ into a complete idiot.
5. Hercules: How did Hades not know that Hercules is alive?
In Hercules, it’s crucial to the plot that Hades thinks that Hercules is dead. Little does Hades know that his minions, Pain and Panic, have not truly disposed of him.
But wait, how is it that Hades could possibly not know that Hercules is still alive? Isn’t he the lord of the Underworld? Isn’t keeping track of who is dead and who is alive a pretty big part of what he does?
You would think that Hades would have been keeping an especially close eye on the soul of Hercules after initiating a plot to kill him. But for some reason, the fact that Hercules is still alive goes unnoticed.
6. Beauty and the Beast: Why are all the villagers completely unaware of the castle and the prince?
Ever since Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991, fans have debated one weird plot hole. Why does everybody in the film seem completely unaware of the existence of this giant castle that’s right next to them all this time? And why don’t they have any idea of who the prince is? Does nobody take notice of the fact that all the servants from the castle have mysteriously disappeared?
This was such a common complaint, in fact, that when Disney remade Beauty and the Beast in 2017, they addressed it. In that movie, it’s established that the enchantress put a spell over the villagers, which caused them to lose their memory of the castle. One character, in particular, specifically notes that he lost something but can’t remember what it is. At the end, we find out that he lost Mrs. Potts, his wife; the enchantress had made him forget about the castle and about his wife being a servant there.
Still, none of this happened in the original, leaving the plot hole intact for the animated version.
Notes: This weird plot hole raises some serious questions about the last act of ‘Frozen.’
7. Frozen: Why doesn’t Olaf’s sacrifice count as an act of true love?
In the last act of Frozen, it’s established that an act of true love is required in order to save Anna. We’re led to believe Hans will save her, but really, it’s an act of sisterly love that thaws Anna’s frozen heart.
That’s all well and good, but wait a second. After Hans abandons Anna, Olaf comes to her aid, starting up a fire and bringing her near it. He does this in spite of the fact that it will cause him to melt and die. “Some people are worth melting for,” he says.
So why, exactly, does this not count as an act of true love? It obviously doesn’t need to be romantic love, since Anna’s love towards her sister is ultimately what works. So why is Olaf willingly giving up his life due to the love of his friend not enough? Maybe the act needs to come from a human being, but that was never established in the movie.
An alternate theory is that the act of true love actually needed to come from Anna all along. But the movie tells us nothing other than that an act of true love is what is required, and that lack of information results in this headscratcher.
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