Disney movies are no exception to this – there are a ton of supposed plot holes in the various different films, ranging to why a character didn’t do this to a narrative hole that doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, like many plot holes, there is often an explanation for them. Usually, you can find an answer to these by scrolling through the comment section on any blog/video/social media post – but who really has time to look through all the comments?
Today, I decided to look at six (yep, one extra today!) famous plot holes and give my own explanation on them. But being that it’s Disney, I asked my very good friend Morgan S. Comnick to join me today in giving her opinion as well! So I hope you’ll join both of us in todays blog, Top Six Disney Plot Holes Explained – I choose to do six as one was going to be an honourable mention, but I decided to add it in as the explanations were so good.
Just a quick warning, SPOILERS ahead for various Disney films!
Right, off we go!
Beauty and the Beast (Animated)
As you probably know, in the original animated film, an Enchantress (luckily not the one from Suicide Squad) cursed a Prince for being a douchebag. He was turned into a beast and the whole of his castle was also cursed. The curse would last until he learned to love and be loved, but if he did not do this until his 21st year, where the last petal of the enchanted flower fell, he would remain a beast forever. Considering the events of Beauty and the Beast take part ten years later, and if you take the description as read, this would suggest the boy was around ten or eleven when he was cursed. This begs the following questions; why did the Enchantress curse a child? That’s kind of a dick move, even if the Prince was also being a little ****. But if so, why were there pictures of the beast as a young man in the castle? And if he was a child, where were his parents? And most of all, why doesn’t anyone remember anything?
The live action Beauty and the Beast actually answers all of these questions. In this film, the Prince is shown to be a young adult (his parents having died), who was very hedonistic. When he was cursed, he stayed at this very age – as did his servants. The enchantress also put a spell over the rest of the village so that they can’t remember him. Finally, it did not specify a time period, only that it would last until the last petal fell.
For this reason, one can presumably apply the same logic to the animated film. As far as the 21st thing goes – well, I think Morgan has an answer for that. Morgan?
Oh! This one bothered me so much as a kid! I am glad the live - action cleared this up.
My thoughts, growing up, was that maybe since the castle is in this little almost snowglobe of a realm, with its own weather (the live-action kept this as well), maybe time sped up when compared to the rest of the world. The prince looks to be about 18 in the painting (if that is recent, of course) and Belle has been confirmed to be 17, so at least the ages match up. Maybe a year in the castle equals around 3 months in the village, that leading up to his 21st birthday (Adam AKA The Beast). And since, excuse my terms here, animals like the ‘Beast’ and objects do not have a concept of ‘time,” (Strange enough for Clocksworth), they may not have noticed. And the Enchantress is very powerful and mysterious on her agenda, us learning that more and more in the live-action.
I am not sure if this is cruel or merciful!
Maybe the Enchantress is just a massive b*tch?
The Little Mermaid
In The Little Mermaid, Ariel has to sacrifice her voice to Ursula as part of a deal to get human legs, so that she can meet Prince Eric (we’ve all been there, am I right?). But, as is always the thing in these Disney films, it turns out to just be a plan from Ursula to get control of Triton’s trident.
The question on everyone’s mind is, if Ariel couldn’t talk, why didn’t she just write a letter to Eric? She is clearly seen signing the scroll, so couldn’t she have written him a letter?
Morgan, would you like to go first this time?
Certainly, sir! My thought on this is a language barrier. You see, almost everyone is at least taught to write their name, even if they cannot really read or write in the mer-kingdoms. Since she is a princess, being able to sign legal documents in an array of ways is a need. And Ursula really didn’t give Ariel time to look over the contact before thrusting the magical, distracting glowing pen of evil intent. So, we are not sure if she really can read or how good at reading she is. And when he finally asks her her name, she is in a rag on the beach or on a boat, with no way to write it. And with the time limit, who has time to freak out about finding a pen just to write “Ariel?” The staff would not have the time to really help her with that as well.
OR! It could have been a part of the contract, that she was forbidden to tell Eric on her own her name due to a bonding experience. Him guessing makes it null. As the audience, we didn’t get to see the details of the document as well and they already had to translate a German story into English for us! Too much work, even for Disney!
Here’s a “thinking outside the box” idea. What if the pen Ariel used was being controlled by Ursula? After all, Ursula’s plan kinda hinged on Ariel signing the scroll and giving her voice away, she couldn’t have left anything to chance.
Notice how Ariel hesitates in signing the scroll – and when she does, she looks distressed. Maybe she realised that the pen wasn’t under her control, but by then it was too late? After all, in the song Poor Unfortunate Souls Ursula does tell Flotsam and Jesom “…now I’ve got her, boys!” At this point, Ursula could have taken control of the pen and forced her to sign it, just in case Ariel backed out of the deal.
And, to be honest, let’s not forget that Ariel doesn’t exactly know how things work on land, considering the Seagull (I forget his name, sorry) told her wrong information about the items he brought her. But Morgan’s idea makes perfect sense. Let’s be honest, how often have you forgotten to do something simple at the time? Stress often makes idiots of us all – as Shakespeare used to say. Maybe? I dunno, let’s move on!
So… why did she not just send out Diablo in the first place? Hopefully me and Morgan have the answer!
Mine is a magical barrier. When the fairies vowed to protect her and find a place where no would could find her, my thought is there was a magical barrier placed on the location they called home since. However, be it he found her on her birthday, perhaps the barrier disappeared, and in their haste to use magic to get the party ready, they didn’t notice. Diablo also seems more intelligent than the other minions and his name means ‘devil,’ so he may also have a stronger magical sensing connection.
If Diablo was also able to turn into a human in the animated film like his live-action counterpart, she may have been worried that the King would send a group to try to track and attack (as stupid as that would be). Maleficent and Diablo would be the best line of defense other than her magic.”
Personally, I don’t think this is as much a plot hole as it is an oversight on Maleficent’s part. Maleficent didn’t know her minions were looking for a baby all this time – and when she found out she was quick to kick their asses! And given that the time frame was getting ever closer, she sent Diablo out of desperation. Yeah, she probably could have sent him out sooner – but I refer you back to my earlier point, sometimes it’s easy to let simple things fall through.
Just like when I forgot my girlfriend's birthday. That's easily done right? Right?
I'm in SO much trouble!
The plot hole that people have pointed out is that when a human walks in, the toys go limp to avoid detection. However, it’s also shown that they don’t have to do this, as they come to life when they attack Sid. So… why does Buzz do this if he doesn’t know he’s a toy?
Buzz is trying to learn more about this new ‘planet’ he landed on in order to report to Star Command. He may not have understood ‘why’ they did that, but he saw how ALL the toys did it and figured it was needed or at least a custom, so he followed suit, again, for the purpose of getting information. It could be in his nature deep down as well, by being a toy, even if he doesn’t to understand it. Plus, Andy is REALLY big compared to Buzz; I’d hide or keep myself safe too!”
As much as I hate using a “what she said” answer, Morgan pretty much sums up what I was gonna say. Nothing more to add here, so moving on.
The Lion King
Anyone who has seen this film surely remembers the utterly heart-breaking moment when Mufasa is flung to his death by Scar during a wildebeest stampede – and the devastating moment when Simba realises his father is gone. I’m tearing up just writing about it - **** you, Scar! What makes this scene even more monstrous is that Scar tries to blame Simba for it, making him run away – before he sends the Hyenas after him to finish the job. During this, he usurps Simba’s position and basically becomes a tyrant.
However, considering Scar needed Simba dead to become the real ruler, and seeing as he was willing to kill Mufasa, one has to wonder why he didn’t just kill Simba himself? Why did he leave it to a group of hyenas that even Scar thinks are idiots? Is Scar just plain stupid?
Well… no. And here’s why!
Let’s not forget that lions have a greater sense of smell than humans – and are able to sense blood quite easily. Whilst Scar was willing to kill his brother, he could cover that up as being crushed to death by wildebeests. Simba, on the other, was a different matter. If he did kill Simba there and then, the other lions of the Pride would have most likely sensed it and turned on Scar – and I’m sure Sarabi would have lost her **** at losing both her husband and son!
Admittedly, he could have hired better troops than the hyenas, but he was trying to keep his hands (or paws) clean. And to be fair, who would have really expected a cub to survive on his own anyway? Thank god for Pumbaa and Timon!
I feel like this was a way for Disney to humanize Scar, as ironic (or Jeremy Irons) as that is. You never want a villain that is pure evil or at least does not have their own agenda, especially when they are related to the main character. This makes him more twisted and dark in my opinion.
He didn’t think that Simba would grow up and come back, showing his coxy side too. He may have been concerned of Zazu coming back any second too and reporting it. I personally think it was more about character development, giving him this glimmer of showing mercy makes his actions scarier and feel more real, making him truly the king of the Pride Rock and Disney Villains.
He's still a giant ***** though! I'm glad he got killed in Hercules! Yeah it's true, look it up!
At the climax of Tangled, Flynn Rider (best Disney hero ever!) rushes to save Rapunzel, but is wounded by Mother Gothel. Rapunzel pleads to Gothel to heal him (using her magic hair), then she will go with her and be her captive. However, Flynn refuses to let Rapunzel be a slave to her and cuts her hair off, meaning that Gothel ages rapidly and then dies.
However, some have questioned why Flynn couldn’t have waited until after Rapunzel healed him to cut her hair off, as it seems stupid he didn’t think of that before. Well, being a fan of Tangled – and believing Flynn and Rapunzel to be the best Disney couple ever – here’s why I think this “plot hole” isn’t that at all! But first I’d love to hear Morgan’s thoughts.
Why, thank you, kind sir! I think Mr. Smolder was trying to tell Rapunzel through this action that she would no longer be used to use her powers for others or against her will, an act of true devotion and respect to her. As long as she felt loved and safe and he knew he helped her get her freedom, that was all he needed to find fulfilment in his life. Even when he was bleeding out, he crawled to reach her, his focus solely on her in danger and nothing else. I see this as a true sacrifice and testament. She had never had to heal a fatal wound before, so Eugene may have worried what it would do to her. Would it drain her or worse, all that magical energy used? That is a good question.
Plus, when you lost that much blood, I can’t imagine you think clearly. The fact he had the strength to chop her hair weak, with a piece of glass, and one hand is super impressive, but Dan and I have discussed that theory before! ;)”
Ah yes, I had forgotten about that one! For those of you who didn’t read that, me and Morgan came up with a theory that Rapunzel might have given Flynn super strength. Because earlier in the film, when Flynn cuts his (left) hand, Rapunzel heals it. He then jokes about whether he’ll get super strength. If you look carefully, he uses the same hand to cut her hair in one solid motion – therefore suggesting that Rapunzel did, indeed, give him super strength. In fact, now I think about it, Rapunzel is pretty strong herself, being able to lift people up with her hair – so maybe her magic also gives them strength.
Anyway, onto my answer.
Earlier in the film, Rapunzel told Flynn that she “always keeps her promises”, so remembering this, Flynn was worried that Rapunzel would have actually gone through with being Gothel’s captive. AND there was nothing to say that Gothel wouldn’t have pulled her away the second she healed him. Flynn couldn’t take that chance.
This moment is supposed to be Flynn’s character defining moment. Throughout the film he has been shown as a selfish braggard that only cares about money. But in Rapunzel he found something else worth fighting for. That’s why he told her “you were my new dream.”
But in the end, it worked out all right for the both of them, as Rapunzel was still able to heal him. And hey, she got her hair back in the TV series, so it all worked out all right!
So there we are! Next time you hear someone bring up these plot holes, you can tell them “actually, I think you’ll find…” and you can use these! Assuming you agree with us (and if not then that’s cool too) that is! Either way, thanks for reading and thanks to Morgan for her input today!
Any other plot holes you'd like us to look at? Let us know! Peace out guys, have a good week!
All images used owned by Disney - no ownership or infringement is intended or inferred.