Bright Side

11 Historical Mistakes in Disney Movies That Were Done on Purpose

According to the real Chinese legend, Mulan pretended to be a man and went to the army with the full support of her family. This sounds a little different from what is shown in the Disney movie about her. Disney has created a lot of wonderful stories that we all love with our whole hearts and that fill us with magic every time we watch them. Many movies are based on real events or are closely connected to our history, but Disney sometimes sacrifices historical accuracy to create a true fairytale.

Here at Bright Side we love all the Disney animation, but we also want to tell you a little bit about how the history of these stories has been changes for us.

1. There was no love story between Pocahontas and John Smith.

Pocahontas was about 11 years old when John Smith and other English colonists arrived. John Smith himself was 27 years old and there was no love story between them. John Smith was captured by Native Americans, but they released him soon afterward. However, while he was there he spent some time with little Pocahontas and they were teaching each other their own languages.

She later did marry an English man, but his name was John Rolfe, and it was the first recorded marriage between a European and a Native American. Pocahontas, whose real name was Matoaka, was converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca.

2. Mulan’s parents supported her plan and no one in the army found out she was a woman.

The animated movie is based on the story of a real woman named Mulan. Just like in the movie, she went into the army because her father was old and weak and her brother was too little. However, she knew how to fight even before she got into the army since she had been learning it since she was a child. She also didn’t have to escape from her house since her family knew about her plan and supported her.

Mulan served in the army for 12 years and received a lot of awards, but no one found out she was a woman until she came back home with a bunch of people who figured it out only after she was seen wearing women’s clothes.

Did you pay attention to the fact she had a little brother? You might not remember him from the movie, but he was actually there... as a Mulan’s dog named Little Brother.

3. In Frozen, the characters are supposed to have guns.

The action from Frozen takes place in 1839 which brings us to another inaccuracy: at that time, people didn’t use swords anymore since they had already been replaced by guns. So the characters should have been armed with guns instead of swords like in the movie. However, if this was accurate, Elsa would probably have been killed. So we think swords are okay.

4. Extinct animals in Atlantis: The Lost Empire are shown for a reason.

The action in Atlantis: The Lost Empire takes place in 1914. In the aquarium you can see Coelacanths, which were believed to be extinct at the time since they weren’t rediscovered until 1938. The situation correlates with the lost city of Atlantis itself, that wasn’t believed to be true. Genius, right?

5. Tiana couldn’t open a restaurant or marry Naveen.

The action takes place in the early 1900s in New Orleans, during the time of Jim Crow racial segregation. It not only wouldn’t have been possible for a black girl (Tiana) to open her own restaurant, but she also wouldn’t have been able to marry Naveen since interracial marriages were illegal.

6. Inappropriate dancing between Aurora and Felipe

You probably remember the final scene of Sleeping Beauty when Felipe gently places his arm around Princess Aurora’s waist and they dance to their happily ever after. But at that time, in the 14th century, it was only OK to touch each other’s hands while dancing, and the way Aurora and Felipe danced would be considered incredibly inappropriate.

7. Jasmine’s clothing doesn’t fit into the era.

Although Disney usually tries to be pretty accurate, having the clothing their characters wear fit into the era, with Aladdin this was not the case. The action of the movie takes place around 4th −7th century, and Arabian girls wore way more conservative clothing then — probably even veils that covered everything but their eyes.

8. ...nor do Aladdin’s dreams.

An even more interesting anachronism in Aladdin is the fact that he’s convinced, in the beginning of the movie, that everything’s going to change and that he will live in a castle, as he says to Abu. Although that’s exactly what happened, it would probably never come to mind to a person who has been living on the street his whole life.

It’s a modern view, which appeared only around the 19th century, when it became possible to change your social status. Before that, there was absolutely no change in this way of thinking. Those who were born into poverty had no other options other than to die in poverty. They knew this and couldn’t possibly imagine a different life or even dream about one.

9. In Dinosaur, the dinosaur couldn’t possibly have been raised by lemurs.

Lemurs and all other primates first appeared millions of years after the dinosaur era. So they did not co-exist with any of them, nor would they have been able to raise one like they did in the movie. But we want to believe that the lemurs were there, even though it’s not very accurate, right?

10. Hercules’ origin is slightly different than what was shown.

In the movie, it was shown that Hercules is the son of Zeus and Hera, who were living in pretty idyllic conditions. However, according to the myths, Hercules is the son of Zeus and a mortal girl, which made Hera very jealous. She hated Hercules, made his life difficult from an early age, and it was her, not Hades, who wanted to kill Hercules.

Telling the whole truth, Megara also had a different, less fascinating story. She was a princess and the daughter of Creon, king of the Greek city-state Thebes, who offered Hercules the chance to marry his oldest daughter after he helped to defeat their rivals.

11. Hercules killed Megara and their children.

If you ever wondered why there’s no second Hercules movie, it’s probably because, according to the myth, it was no fun afterward. The myths say that Hercules later took a trip to the underworld, but when he returned, he found out that a usurper named Lycus has taken the throne and was about to murder his family. Hercules kills him and saves his wife and kids, but Hera convinces him that his sons are actually sons of Lycus. In a rage, Hercules kills his kids and Megara.

Do you forgive Disney for these inaccuracies? Which one happened to be the most unexpected for you? Let us know your opinion!

Preview photo credit Frozen / Walt Disney Pictures