Let’s be real: Disney has pretty much cornered the market on family-friendly entertainment in their many, many arenas. After all, The Walt Disney Company is the second largest media conglomerate in the world, according to Forbes, and their bread and butter is sharing magic and joy with children of all ages (and, of course, adults who love to belt out “Let it Go” at any opportunity!).
Though there are plenty of conspiracy theorists and Internet think pieces about the secretly “raunchy” things hidden in Disney movies, these theories have never had much of a leg to stand on. That’s because Disney consistently releases some of the most popular and legendary kids’ movies ever. From Fantasia in 1940 to Frozen in 2013, they have a pretty standard formula for creating wholesome, happy movies that the entire family can enjoy together.
As for what doesn’t fly in a Disney movie?
Well, there are the obvious suspects: sex, drugs, and profanity, of course. But there are a few other things that Disney explicitly calls out to filmmakers upon signing a contract with the House of Mouse, according to Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery.
In an interview with Ain’t It Cool News, Lowery reveals that the first movie he ever saw was Pinocchio, and couldn’t imagine doing a live-action remake of the beloved 1940 classic. He says,
“The scene in that movie that had the biggest impact to me was Pinocchio smoking a cigar and turning red. When you sign a contract with Disney, the things it says your film cannot have are beheadings, impalement, or smoking. Those are literally the three things you are not allowed to put into a Disney film.”
Then he jokes, “Maybe if you do all three you can get away with it. But yeah, they literally have those words in the contract as things you’re not allowed to do and that rules out Pinocchio, which has the smoking.”
So there you have it, folks. You’re never going to see a Disney princess light up a cigarette, which is actually such a great thing. Also, no beheadings or impalements… and thank goodness for that.