7 Weird Things You Might Have Missed in Disney Movies and TV Shows

The House of Mouse has stoked its fair share of controversy over the years, and these adult jokes and supposed subliminal messages are to blame.
Not an "all convertible waitress" in sight.
Not an "all convertible waitress" in sight. / Pixar

Although Disney is known for their wholesome subject matter and broad family appeal, sometimes people notice things in their movies and TV shows that feel a little ... off.

Whether these strange inclusions were intentional, accidental Easter eggs, or just off-color jokes is all up for debate, but Disney has come under fire more than once for including some objectionable material in their kid-friendly films. Some of these odd things you might notice on-screen really are there, not just in your head (though others are a bit more open to interpretation).

Ahead, you’ll find some examples of bizarre things lurking in the Disney’s catalog, from supposed subliminal messages to jokes and product placements you might have missed.

Simba Gets Naughty in The Lion King

When The Lion King was released on home video in 1995, some viewers noticed something strange: the word sex seemingly spelled out in a cloud of dust after an adult Simba flops down on the edge of a mountain.

Some parents were outraged, with certain groups calling for the tape to be removed from shelves. However, the reality is that the hidden word is a shout-out to the film’s special effects department. “It doesn’t say ‘sex,’” Tom Sito, one of The Lion King’s animators, told HuffPost in 2015. “It says special effects. It’s SFX.” That said, Disney has since removed the dust cloud from the streaming version of the film altogether.

“We Love You, Satan” in The Santa Clause

The popular holiday film series The Santa Clause stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes the death of Santa and eventually takes up the role as Jolly Old St. Nicholas. In 2022, Disney rebooted it as a TV series on the Disney+ streaming service.

There’s a harmless yet misfortunate joke in the first season’s third episode, titled “​​Into the Wobbly Woods.” In one scene, a group of elves greet Santa with a joyous dance and a sign that has an unfortunate spelling error:  “We Love You Satan.” However, Santa points out this obvious mistake, and the elves rearrange the sign to spell out the correct message: “We Love You Santa.”

Despite being played up for laughs on the show, some parents took the joke seriously, sparking a viral backlash in 2022 towards the company. 

Apple, Inc. Product Placement in Pixar Movies

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was the majority investor in Pixar just after the digital animation company spun off from Lucasfilm in 1986. As a result, there are a number of Apple, Inc. Easter eggs sprinkled throughout several Pixar movies (perhaps as a way to grow Apple’s consumer base through clever product placement).

For example, in 2001’s Monsters, Inc., Mike Wazowski celebrates being on the cover of “Business Shriek” magazine after the success of his new business with Sulley. On the back of the magazine, you can see an ad for a new computer with the slogan “Scare Different,” a play on Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign from 1997.

Meanwhile, the character Eve (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) in 2008’s Wall-E was made to look like a futuristic Apple product. In fact, when Eve powers on, the robot makes the same sound as an Apple MacBook booting up. The company’s iconic designer, Jony Ive, helped design the probe robot. “Apple is so proprietary and so secretive that he couldn't even really allude to where the future of technology was going,” Andrew Stanton, the film’s director, told CNN Money in 2008. “The most he could do is nod his head to the things we said we wanted to do.”

And finally, there are some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Apple moments in the movie Cars (2006). During the Piston Cup Racing Series, one of the racers is a white Axxelo stock car, called “Mac iCar.” Its number is also 84, which refers to the year the Apple Macintosh launched.

Adult Humor in Cars

Speaking of Cars, the Pixar film franchise features a world of anthropomorphic cars, trucks, and airplanes that are living beings with personalities and desires. Sometimes, those desires can get a bit bawdy. While Pixar is known for featuring adult humor in their films, some might feel these tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendos are overkill.

For instance, you can spot a truck stop in Radiator Springs, a fictional town on Route 66, called “Top Down,” which advertises that it has “all convertible waitresses.” This is a bit of crude adult humor that essentially means this truck stop has all “topless” waitresses. Additionally, there are other not-so-hidden messages in the children’s movie. In another brief scene, twins Mia and Tia “flash” their headlights when they first meet superstar racer Lightning McQueen.

The Rescuers Get Risqué

Believe it or not, there was a bit of nudity spliced into 1977’s The Rescuers. When Bernard and Miss Bianca take off on top of Orville the albatross, the group makes a sharp descent before flying over New York City. During that initial descent, you can see a topless woman in the window of one of the apartment buildings.

Disney claimed that the nudity wasn’t added by their animators, but rather during the film’s post-production phase. However, while the screen appearance is brief and only lasts two frames, that was enough to make Disney remove it from future home video releases of the movie. In fact, the House of Mouse recalled the 1999 laserdisc edition of The Rescuers due to an “objectionable background image.”

Illuminati Ties to Ducktales

As the wealthiest duck in the Duckburg, we know that Scrooge McDuck is rich and powerful, but is he a member of the secret society known as the Illuminati?

In “Yuppy Ducks” from season three of Ducktales, Scrooge waits for his doctor in an exam room. In the background, an eye chart reads, “Ask About The Illuminati.” Just a harmless joke, or could it be something more sinister? The jury is still out on this one.

The Walt Disney Logo Contains What Some Believe Is the “Mark of the Beast”

The classic Disney fanfare, which is set to the melody of “When You Wish Upon a Star” and features Cinderella’s Castle, a shooting star, and a stylized version of Walt Disney’s signature, is played at the beginning of all Disney movies. However, upon closer examination, some believe that the so-called “mark of the beast” (a symbol of the Antichrist) is hidden in the Walt Disney Company’s logo.

If you take the W in “Walt,” then look at the swirl over the letter i and the curve in the letter y in Disney, conspiracy theorists argue that it appears to resemble a hidden “666.” While this one might seem like a reach, some argue that this is proof that Disney is up to some insidious business. And here we thought this whole time that the company just wanted to spread joy around the world.

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