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15 Classic Kids Movies That Send a Terrible Message

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

#1/15:

The subliminal messages are everywhere

Getty Images
#1/15:

The subliminal messages are everywhere

From beastiality to a child smoking, someone needs to put a warning label on these movies ASAP.

#3/15:

'Iron Man'

Marvel
#3/15:

'Iron Man'

Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is filthy rich. He gets to behave violently, retaliate against his ememies and not be subject to American laws. His wealth and powerful suit put him into an elite class of humans that start to look pretty darn superior to everyone else, sending the message that if you have enough money, you can do whatever you want.

#4/15:

'The Breakfast Club'

Universal
#4/15:

'The Breakfast Club'

Allison (Ally Sheedy) is a goth — so what? This movie sends the message that if you wear black eyeliner and dress different from the popular kids, you should let a rich girl give you a makeover. We would have liked to see the reverse, where Allison gives Claire (Molly Ringwald) a makeover to make her edgier, and then they form an emo band together.

#5/15:

'Pippi Longstocking'

G.G. Communications
#5/15:

'Pippi Longstocking'

We remember racing to the TV set to watch the poorly dubbed Pippi Longstocking movies. But a character like Pippi — a 9-year-old who smokes and lives on her own without any parents — would have parents cringing in horror today. CPS would be all over this situation in a hot second. Steig Larsson, the writer of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, thought about what Pippi would be like as an adult and created Lisbeth Salander. Take that and put in in your Villa Villakula.

#6/15:

'The Wizard of Oz'

MGM
#6/15:

'The Wizard of Oz'

Don't get us wrong, we love this movie, but it does send the message that if you are ugly and don't have pale skin, you are evil and must be splashed with a bucket of water until you melt away.

#7/15:

'Bambi'

Disney
#7/15:

'Bambi'

Bambi sends the message that your very own mother could be a victim of gun violence and has likely sent hundreds of children into therapy. Go ahead and retraumatize yourself by watching the death scene here.

#8/15:

'Cinderella'

Disney
#8/15:

'Cinderella'

Glass shoes on cobblestones? As if high heels aren't painful enough. The prince is so narcissistic he can't even remember what Cinderella looks like and has to rely on one of these torture pumps to find her. Really, Prince? Also, Cinderella has no ability to do anything for herself and must rely on a fairy godmother to help her. So, a young woman with delusions of a magical old lady, riding in a giant pumpkin and trotting around in glass shoes, gets the hottest bachelor in town? Now that's a reality show we'd like to see.

#9/15:

'The Little Mermaid'

Disney
#9/15:

'The Little Mermaid'

First off, the poster: A fish-lady wants to live in a giant castle with penis-shaped turrets. How did the penis-palace get past the censors at Disney? Secondly, Ariel trades in her voice for legs to find romance with a human man. She sets a terrible example for young women by changing who she is for a dude. We think that if he doesn't like her fins, well, there's literally more fish in the sea.

#10/15:

'Dumbo'

Disney
#10/15:

'Dumbo'

The leader of this murder of crows in Dumbo is called Jim Crow, most likely inspired by the Jim Crow laws that made the segregation of black and white Americans legal. What's worse is that the crows speak and act like caricatures of minstrel performers like Al Jolson, a white man who appropriated black culture and performed in blackface in the 1920s. Just not OK.

#11/15:

'Beauty and the Beast'

Disney
#11/15:

'Beauty and the Beast'

Belle literally falls in love with her captor — and he's an animal! This isn't romance, it's brainwashing, and it sends a terrible message to children that a girl can be controlled and manipulated into falling in love. Worst. Fairytale. Ever.

#12/15:

'Grease'

Paramount
#12/15:

'Grease'

We love the songs, have for years. But... Sandy, are you insane? You're super hot no matter what you're wearing, and this movie sends the message that instead of a man loving you for who you really are, you should dress up for him like you're his doll. Also, in the song "Summer Nights," the other guys ask Danny if Sandy "put up a fight," as if it's acceptable to force a girl to do something she doesn't want to. Ick.

#13/15:

'Aladdin'

Disney
#13/15:

'Aladdin'

Somebody call the PC police! Aladdin has tons of offending elements. First off, the lyrics from the song "Arabian Nights" would never fly today: "It’s barbaric / But hey, it’s home." Disney did change the song lyrics for the DVD, but still. Secondly, if you compare Aladdin to Jafar, you'll see Jafar has darker skin and presents a clear negative Arab stereotype.

#14/15:

'Lady and the Tramp'

Disney
#14/15:

'Lady and the Tramp'

These Siamese cats, called Si and Am, are presented as villains in Aunt Sarah's home. They sneak around trying to kill the other household pets. With their stereotypical Asian accents (voiced by Peggy Lee), the cats seem cold-hearted with violent tendencies. Si and Am reflect America's fear of Asians after World War II. Lady and the Tramp was released in 1950, just four years after the U.S. government forced Japanese Americans into internment camps.

#15/15:

'Song of the South'

Disney
#15/15:

'Song of the South'

This movie, set shortly after the Civil War, is the most criminal of all. Uncle Remus seems pretty darn happy to be working for the white people who had enslaved him. White-on-black cruelty like lynchings, rape and whippings seem to have no meaning in Song of the South. It's as if the movie takes place in an alternate universe where black people cheerfully exist to please white people — sort of like Get Out, except Get Out is a horror movie.

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