28. The Little Mermaid’s bishop gets a little too excited
The bishop in The Little Mermaid appears to enjoy officiating weddings a little more than he should. During the scene in which Prince Eric prepares to marry ‘Vanessa’, it used to appear that the bishop overseeing the ceremony had gotten a little too excited. As the bishop stood before the soon-to-be-betrothed and says “Dearly beloved”, his groin region appeared to bulge and inflate.
To some viewers, it was a sign that this man of the cloth was taking the wrong kind of pleasure in his work. Former Disney animator Tom Sito says the ‘bulge’ is actually one of the bishop’s knees, but this didn’t stop one viewer from attempting to sue Disney over the image not being ‘suitable for use and viewing by young children.’ As a result, Disney was eventually forced to remove the offending – ahem – ‘erection’ from the film.
27. The Little Mermaid’s phallic poster
Is it just us, or does the poster and home vid cover art for The Little Mermaid look happy to see us? The art depicts the main characters against the backdrop of Atlantica, which here seems particularly phallic. Was it simply an innocent accident? Not according to longstanding rumour, which has always suggested that a ticked-off Disney animator inserted the penis intentionally after being sacked.
It turns out the rumour was just that, though. Not only was the poster artist not fired, he wasn’t even employed by Disney in the first place. The artist in question has since admitted that the artwork was a result of him rushing to complete it over an all-night design session – meaning any penises in the poster are mere Freudian slips at best.