Monday, August 19, 2013

Darkness, Disney Style!

I've been watching classic Disney cartoons while I work, I just put them on mute and try to keep track of the plot from the visuals alone, which gives my brain something work on while I type, ha ha.

Disney is usually considered very wholesome and family oriented, but I have to say that I see a cruel streak running through the subtext of a lot of these, particularly the Donald Duck cartoons for obvious reasons. Even Mickey has a mean streak though, especially the early ones that Walt worked on himself, Mickey has a lot of latent bitterness, which he takes out on others.

The image above comes from "Truant Officer Donald" in which Donald tries to round up his hookey-playing  nephews and get them into school. This is probably the most nightmarish image I've ever come across in a Disney cartoon, taken out of context it tells a dark story, it almost seems psychotic.

Later in the same cartoon, Donald has Huey, Dewey, and Louie tied together by their throats, whipping them along with the end of the rope. Family friendly, hhm? You can check out the toon yourself below:

Truant Officer Donald


  1. The older cartoons often have a darker streak than the later much sweeter versions. Probably why I prefer them. :)

  2. I'm more of a Fleischer man myself, particularly the early Betty Boop/Bimbo/Koko the clown toons from 30-32, which are very surreal and beautifully weird.

    I can't help that note that while the Fleischer cartoons might have been more risque' with sexuality and drug humor, and they don't have anything to match the violence impulses simmering under the surface of the Disney toons.