Since time immemorial, the internet has been awash with suggestive rumours about the supposedly murky underbelly of the world’s most famous animation house. These rumours would have it that Uncle Walt was running a debauched house of lurid and lewd behaviour, populated with clandestine perverts with the subliminal objective of hiding inappropriate, sexual images in Disney films. And if you take the time to look at his works, there is some evidence that those rumours might well be true.
There was almost certainly a tradition of Disney creatives sneaking things into productions, perhaps as a contemptuous response to Disney’s insistence on sole creative credit, but none of that actually made it into films and cartoons, and no-one really seemed to care until Disney bought Miramax and Christian groups started to object to their alignment with more adult materials.
Since it’s a firm favourite internet activity, we’ve been looking hard enough and we’re celebrating the ten greatest examples of supposedly raunchy imagery hidden in Disney animations.
1. Baby Herman’s Rogue Finger
Given the consciously adult material of Roger Rabbit, and the very much intended jarring effect of the juxtaposition of that material and the traditionally “childish” medium, it’s not altogether that shocking to discover that the Bob Hoskins starring noir-pastiche had a bit of a grubby collar.
Rumour has it the Best of Roger Rabbit laserdisc was hastily pulled off shelves when Disney realised the fleeting in-jokes and adult references that Spielberg apparently encouraged and that wouldn’t have been visible on VHS could be discovered with far greater ease thanks to the advances of technology.
Those references – as well as Donald Duck’s alleged use of the N word towards Daffy Duck – are nothing compared with this Baby Herman rumour, which suggests that the foul-mouthed little wretch indulges in a little adult activity when he invades the skirt of his “nanny.” Walking under the skirt, Herman can be seen extending a single finger, before emerging looking excited, as in the image below. Dirty boy.
There’s never been an official explanation, though the images seem to speak for themselves, especially in the general context of the rest of the film’s history.
The finger was edited out of the DVD release of the film, somewhat unsurprisingly, as you can see below – the first image is the new cut, and the second is the original…
This article was first posted on November 29, 2012