Hidden Images and Messages in Disney's "The Little Mermaid"
Disney's Famous Easter Eggs
Hidden images and Easter eggs are everywhere in movies. Disney animated movies are no exception to this practice. The studio is famous for adding hidden images to its films. Here are some of the best secret images from the classic film, The Little Mermaid.
Phallus in the Palace
Okay, okay. We might as well get it out of the way first: the famous "penis" in The Little Mermaid movie poster. This is one of the most famous and one of the most debated Disney "goofs" (No pun intended).
The story goes like this: A disgruntled artist, working on the film, was fired. But before he left, he got his revenge by drawing a penis in Tritan's castle. The phallic image went unnoticed by Disney and soon, children across the world, were bringing home VHS tapes with this "artwork."
Disney claims that the "penis" was not the result of an angry former employee and simply states that the image was just a coincidence.
So is it the work of a disgruntled employee? Or is all of the ruckus simply people's wild (and perverted) imaginations getting the best of them?
Close-Up of the Alleged Phallus
Sign on the Dotted Line
Always, always read a contract before signing it! I think this is where Ariel made her mistake because if she had just read it, she would've realized that it didn't even make sense! Were the artists high or just lazy when they wrote out the words for Ariel's contract? It starts off normal: "I hereby grant onto Ursula, Witch of the Sea..."—but then it just starts turning into jibberish.
The artists also happened to hide a Mickey Mouse head amongst all the jibberish. And this is one of the rare hidden Mickeys that actually has a face instead of just the shape of the head and the ears.
Ariel Signing the Gibberish Contract
The Perverted Priest
It seems like penises are starting to become a theme with the Little Mermaid. Yet another highly debated image is during Eric and Vanessa (Ursula)'s wedding scene: the Priest seems to be the happiest out of everyone. If you look closely, it appears that the Priest is getting a boner throughout the ceremony. The "bump" comes and goes throughout the scene, but is clearly visible.
Disney came out saying that the "bump" is nothing more than the Priest's knee(s). Looking at the picture below, it's debatable. When I first saw the bump, I was skeptical as to whether the "bump" was his knee or a hidden joke left by an. But after looking at the smaller picture within the picture below, it appears that he has two "bumps," further supporting the knee theory.
However, again, I leave it up to you to decide. Either way, the artist probably should've been more careful.
Quite a Crowd!
In the beginning of the movie, Triton's daughters put on a concert for their father. During Triton's big entrance into the theater, you can see quite a few special guests if you look closely:
- Mickey Mouse (to the lower left)
- Donald Duck (to the lower left)
- Goofy (to the lower left)
- Someone wearing Mickey Mouse ears (to the lower right)
These next three I have yet to find, but there has been speculation that they are also present in the scene. Maybe you'll have better luck finding them than me.
- Someone with a Mickey Mouse balloon
- Kermit the Frog
- Walt Disney himself! (A balding man in a brown suit)
King Triton's Entrance
Royal Guests for a Royal Wedding
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn would be proud of these two wedding crashers: The King and the Duke from Cinderella. These two make their appearance during Eric and Vanessa's (Ursula's) wedding scene.
Please let me know in the comments if I missed anything in The Little Mermaid and if you have ideas for which movie I should do next!
More by this Author
We've all sat there, rewinding the movies, pausing them, going frame-by-frame to find hidden images left for us by Disney artists. This installment will point out some of the secrets to "Aladdin."