Disney adults are the most terrifying people on the planet and they need to be stopped
A Mickey Mouse tattoo isn’t cute, it’s weird
Picture the scene: you’re sound asleep in bed, dreaming away, when you start to hear the opening notes of When You Wish Upon a Star. You wake up, disoriented. Someone’s broken in. Is this the end? You wonder. You look towards the other side of the room expecting to meet your maker but at the end of your bed stands not a monster or a knife-wielding murderer, but something far worse: framed by the light creeping through your door is a grown woman and her boyfriend. She’s wearing a blonde wig and a sparkly blue dress, he’s got a cowboy hat on and “ANDY” written on the underside of his right boot. You scream, hoping you’re still dreaming, but this is the reality. Seemingly overnight, stunted adults have become really unironically into Disney and it’s horrifying.
A lot has been said about millennials’ inability to adjust our media consumption habits as we’ve grown up. So content are we to bathe in the warm nostalgic paddling pool of Twilight, One Direction, Waterloo Road and Tracy Beaker that we forget to read big boy books, get jobs, or have sex. That inability to cut the umbilical cord that connects us to childhood fantasy worlds has made monsters of us all in different ways. People who are still into Harry Potter or Pokémon well into their adulthood come in for a lot of flack, but there is a special place in Maleficent’s darkest dankest cell for the subsection of society that is Disney adults.
Now I want to be clear. Disney films are great and I’ve watched loads of them – Hercules? Great. Monsters Inc? A classic. Tangled? Underrated. I as an adult can appreciate Disney, but I would never ever label myself a Disney adult and there is a difference, because these people are weird. I don’t care if you think “we shouldn’t dunk on people for enjoying things – that’s bullying.” I’m here to tell you that Disney adults are what happen when you don’t bully people enough for liking things. Seriously, these overgrown children should be in divorce proceedings with their self esteem and instead they’re hopping up and down at the gates for the post-apocalyptic reopening of Disneyland, posing with Belle and Aurora like they’re meeting actual fucking royalty. Disney adults need to shake off the pixie dust, cut their infinitely long hair and deal with their bullshit, and here’s why:
Disney is a part of their everyday aesthetic so they’re always operating on some level of cosplay
It’s one thing to wear a Topshop jumper with Donald Duck on it like it’s still 2010 but imagine getting a Disney tattoo, like, making the call that you’ll one day die and be buried with a Mickey Mouse head or a quote from Lilo and Stitch somewhere on your body. It gets worse from there. Look at Siânnise from Love Island, out here with a Disney-themed birthday party in her twenties. Jesus H Christ.
They rely on the idealistic worlds of princesses and princes to shield them from the real world and that’s not a healthy coping mechanism
In Disney films problems are solved with magical dresses, true love’s kiss and occasionally the literal murder of people the protagonists believe to be evil. These films are obviously a terrible framework for processing the world around you. The real world does not work like the Pride Lands and you can’t just chuck people into a crowd of hyenas if they’ve been naughty. The trials and tribulations of Anna and Kristoff’s love story will be even less helpful in equipping you to deal with actual relationships. This is a problem because these stunted Disney stans have no idea how to deal with anything remotely complex, they pretend it just ~isn’t~ happening. If discussions about race, war, or gender don’t happen in the world of Disney, they don’t happen in the minds of Disney adults either!
It’s their fault all these classic films are being remade into shitty live action reboots and being given sequels 15 years on
Not to be a proper nerd but animated films are great. They’re pieces of moving art that hundreds of people worked hard to bring to life, and with the magic of HD remasters, they still hold up. But the last few years have seen Disney pump out live action remakes of most of the classics: The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella – all regurgitated with new celebrity actors and edgy muted colour palettes. It’s crap and it’s the Disney adults who are responsible for it. They’re paying Disney to keep rehashing the same plots, characters and songs from 50 years ago lest they dare experience something new.
Not only that, they keep obsessing over who would play who in these films
Omfg I could not move for people on TikTok creating cast lists for the live action Hercules remake. Seriously guys there is a pandemic going on – and you’re out here demanding Lizzo play one of the muses? Read the room.
They know an obscene amount of trivia that will never be useful to anyone
“Did you know there are hidden Mickey heads all over Disneyland and that Hakuna Matata wasn’t in the original script for The Lion King?” Stop it Dan, finish your dissertation.
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There are a whole sub species of influencers who exclusively vlog Disneyland visits and how am I only just finding this out?
Idk who come off worse from this really. The couples of permo-grinning YouTubers touring Disneyland again and again until the soul drains from their eyes, or the thousands of people who return again and again to watch them.
While we’re here, let’s talk about Kingdom Hearts
You know how uni students went through a phase of playing quidditch in real life to further immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter? Well what if I told you Disney adults had taken the idea one step further and mobilised to create and perpetuate a world in which the protagonists are Disney adults? Believe it or not there exists a video game series in which anime boys and girls journey between worlds based on Disney films swinging swords shaped like keys. It really has to be seen to be believed, but the long and short of it is that if ever there were a product designed to appeal to Disney adults, it’s Kingdom Hearts.
They go to Disneyworld in cosplay and are openly unashamed of it
It is one thing to go on a sports night out in a Buzz Lightyear outfit you bought for a tenner at a bargain shop. It is wholly another to spend any more than that recreating Cinderella’s dress or Peter Pan’s creepy PJs.
They listen to Disney music in their spare time and I’m sorry but how can we pretend that’s not mega weird?
I will admit I have a lot of time for a Disney banger. Zero to Hero is a total bop and I’ll Make a Man Out of You is great. But I’d sooner ladle piss into my ears than queue up Circle of Life on a club night (which is something I’ve seen happen) or sing Part of Your World at karaoke because I am a grown-up now and I know better. Rather than contribute anything meaningful to society they write exhaustive rankings of all the songs in all the films. When they’re not “jamming out” to the Frozen soundtrack or that one really annoying song from Moana they’re taking a detour to Hamilton or The Greatest Showman soundtracks and you know that both of those things are extremely bad vibes.
Also, what is the deal with the Disney gay persona?
It seems every time a Disney film gets rebooted there’s a big debate because two boys will hold hands at the back of a scene. Disney adults will hail it as a landmark moment in LGBT representation, homophobic countries will cut the scene out, and people with braincells are left scratching their heads at just how low the bar has been set. Sure, Disney films are superficially very camp, but the existence of Disney gays really boggles the mind, given just how heteronormative these stories are at their core. Remember when everyone thought they might make Elsa canonically a lesbian? Remember when they relegated a gay love story to a short film? That’s not even before we get into the incredibly dodgy racism of the older films (Dumbo, anyone?) If you have to be into animation aimed at kids you could at least stan stuff that’s trying a little harder.
Disney adults will tell you there’s no harm in embracing your inner child, that growing up is lame and boring, or that there are worse things they could be into. But there’s a real world out there and Disney adults are missing it. Disney is designed to appeal to people of all ages, but it’s for children and the adults who still obsess over it desperately need to acquire a kink, or at least a hobby.
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