Looking back on my childhood, I can’t help but notice that there were some terrifying things in my seemingly innocent kids’ movies. And one of the most surprising and terrifying things is Satan showing up in my Disney movies!
And no, I don’t mean that Disney has some underlying satanic message or some evil satanic plot. Disney is a company founded in the Western world that for the most part has dealt with themes from Western culture, which includes Christianity. There are many instances of God showing up in Disney (but we’ll talk about those later). And of course, there are many instances where God seemingly passes judgement on villains in Disney movies and almost literally sucks them into hell.
Well, if there is a hell, there has to be a Satan, right? Disney has many devil’s bargains in their movies, such as in The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Frog, and while it’s never really Disney characters selling their soul, the parallels are pretty clear. There are even instances where it seems that the devil or demons—something evil—is influencing the Disney villains. But there have been a couple times when the devil himself has literally shown up in Disney movies. This post was originally just going to be about instances of Satan in Disney movies, but then I started to notice something: when the devil does show, it’s always with women…
First, let’s talk about Fantasia, one of the best Disney movies ever and probably one of the most beautiful. It also had one of the scenes that scared me the most as a kid. During the song “Night on Bald Mountain” Disney gives us Satan. Now you may argue that he is just a gargoyle or something, but no, you literally see him controlling and commanding other ghosts and demons. The whole scene is beautifully done and awesome, but there are some demons that, well…
Apparently, in Disney movies it’s okay to show boobs has long as they are depictions of evil. I do believe this image was eventually edited out and can’t be seen anymore in Fantasia, but other images remain, such as Satan watching on while sexy lady fire demons dance for him.
These ladies stroke their hands through fiery hair and run their hands over sexy fiery bodies as Satan watches. And if you found these creatures enticing for even a moment, well, Satan shows you what they really are when he transforms them into a goat, a wolf, and a pig. Eventually Satan and his demons are driven off by the dawning light of heaven, but this isn’t the only incident of Satan being tied to women in Disney.
Did anyone know that the cat’s name in Cinderella was Lucifer?! I certainly didn’t know until recently (and now that I’ve realized it I can hear Cinderella saying it) but the fact that the name was actually Lucifer completely went over my head. Lucifer is only a minor antagonist messing with Cinderella and the mice, but he is probably one of the characters that upsets me most, if only because he is Lady Tremaine’s pet. Lady Tremaine is Cinderella’s step-mother, and her full name is actually Lady Madonna Tremaine. Madonna is one name used for Mary, the mother of Jesus. I find it very odd that Disney would connect these two characters, and while the names certainly went over my head as a child, I do find it strange that Madonna is in any way connected to Lucifer. And of course Lady Tremaine is absolutely evil, taking delight in verbally and emotionally abusing Cinderella, and even smiling wickedly as her daughters destroy Cinderella’s dress. But what do you expect from a woman that keeps Lucifer as a pet?
But the most famous team up between a woman and Satan in a Disney movie is in Sleeping Beauty. He shows up with Maleficent, the evil witch who was snubbed an invitation to a party and therefore decided to kill a baby. Granted, she waited until that baby turned sixteen, but really, the long wait was only to cause mental anguish to the parents that snubbed her invite. She is known for declaring her out-and-out allegiance to Satan right in the movie. Right before she transforms into a murderous dragon to stop Prince Philip from saving Aurora, Maleficent declares that now the prince must face her and all the powers of hell! Holy crap! Maleficent is literally working with the devil, and she has often been considered one of the most evil Disney villains if only because of that.
So yeah: ladies, Satan, and Disney movies. It’s a little disconcerting that these parallels between women and evil show up in Disney at all, but there you are.