4 Times Disney Got The Science Right (And 4 Times It Didn't)

Little nuggets of good science in our favourite childhood films.

As made up, magical children's entertainment, maybe it doesn't make much sense to hold Disney movies up to scientific scrutiny. You know, what with a lot of it being magic and all. That said, there's a surprising amount of scientific accuracy hidden away in some of your favourite childhood films, whether intentionally or by sheer chance. Seeing as we spend so much time picking them apart it might be nice to recognise some of the stuff they got right for a change. But, as scientists we know that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, so we'll also be taking the opportunity to flag up some more of our favourite scientific inaccuracies. Just to keep balance in the universe, you understand.

8. Inside Out: Surprisingly Accurate Anatomy

Disney Pixar sensation Inside Out had children and parents alike bawling their eyes out (oh, Bing Bong), but is was also a surprisingly faithful depiction of the goings on of the brain. Okay, there isn't literally a little control room filled with people inside your head (if there is, you might want to see a doctor), but the basic principles are pretty spot on. The idea of "sending memories down to long term" during the nightshift is a nod to the process of memory consolidation during slow wave sleep. The actual "headquarters" itself is basically representative of the limbic system. This includes structures such as the orbitofrontal cortex, which is involved in decision making, the hippocampus, which is instrumental in the creation of new memories, and the amygdala, which is involved in lots of emotional processes. This is all connected up to the rest of the brain via the fornix, a fibrous bundle of nerves that connects the limbic system to the rest of the brain, particularly memory, much like the systems of tubes and tunnels that transfer memories in the film.
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