What’s your favorite Disney movie? There are the classics from decades ago, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. Then there was the Golden Age of Disney films, the 1990s. This decade gave us The Lion King, Hercules, Aladdin, and Pocahontas. The new millennium brought with it exciting feature films like Frozen and Zootopia, and Disney is not stopping now. Besides, the studio is finally starting to explore more themes; something other than a damsel in distress who needs a prince to come save her. Just look at Frozen, which featured two sisters defending themselves and battling their inner demons. It is the prince who ends up being a huge jerk in the end. What’s a nice change that we would like to see more of. Refreshing!
Did Prince Hans’ revelation in Frozen give you a shock? If it did, then you’re not alone. And if it didn’t, then maybe you should keep reading to see our list! We are ranking the 15 Most Shocking Disney Movie Reveals. We are going back to the 1950s, soaring through the 1990s, and coming into present-day Disney films to look back at some surprising revelations and events. Even if your favorite Disney movie is not on our list, you will at least find yourself agreeing with many of these character reveals and truth bombs. You can never underestimate the power of surprise. Sometimes a movie is made so much better with an infection of fear and absolute shock! Of course, the reveals and secrets don’t have to be negative or tragic. You will see that this list includes the good, and the bad.
15. Gaston’s Hairy Chest
The Beauty and the Beast is supposed to be mostly about Belle and the prince that was cursed to look like a beast. Yet there is also the character of Gaston, and while this was not a huge reveal, we think that it should at least be featured on our list here. In the song aptly titled “Gaston”, we get to hear the characters singing about all of the wonderful things about Gaston. He is strong, powerful, he is brave and muscular. There is a part in the song when Gaston unabashedly rips open his button-down shirt and reveals a big, bulky chest…complete with “manly” chest hairs. Some people would find it gross, others would think it was a turn-on, and still other viewers would just think what the heck, Disney? There are definitely moments in Disney films when the animators go a bit too far with their representations, and no one needed to see all that chest hair on an animated character.
14. Pocahontas’ Profession of Love for John Smith
It was nice to see a Disney film that explored bi-racial relationships, differences in culture, and even some historical references. 1995’s Pocahontas was something new and exciting, and it featured beautifully-written songs and a marginalized group of people: the Native Americans. In the film, John Smith is part of a colonizing tribe from England. They want to take over the land that rightfully belongs to Pocahontas’ tribe. John Smith and Pocahontas end up meeting and falling in love, but it is a Romeo and Juliet situation, because their distinct communities hate each other. There is a moment in the movie when Pocahontas’ father, the chief of the Powhatans, is about to strike John Smith dead. Pocahontas rushes in front of John Smith and holds him close to her chest, proclaiming to her father that if he kills John Smith, he has to kill her, too. *drops mic* That’s a badass profession of love.
13. Adult Nala Meets Adult Simba
The Lion King is a Disney favorite among the young and the young at heart. Who can’t relate to the main character, Simba? He struggles with his true identity, family issues, and discovering what he is really meant to be doing with his life. He also comes across his childhood best friend who ends up becoming … something more. Hubba hubba! In a passionate scene, Simba’s former best friend Nala is a lioness now and she nearly kills Pumbaa as she is hunting in the jungle. Simba stops her before she can strike and then they discover who each other is. Simba and Nala are thrilled to see each other again after all these years, and Nala’s advances let Simba know that she really missed him. Timon and Pumbaa are shocked to learn that Simba is falling head over heels for a lioness that nearly killed Pumbaa (Simba’s main man) and there is a power struggle for a bit.
12. Hans’ Cold-Hearted Betrayal
Prince Hans and Princess Anna end up meeting and falling for each other. They want to get married, but Anna’s sister, Elsa, is no-go about the marriage. Things end up getting heated and Elsa ends up taking her emotions out in an icy rage (basically, her ice powers go bonkers). Elsa runs away, and Anna leaves her hometown in Hans’ power so she can go find her sis. Well, things end up getting messy again, and this time, Elsa nearly kills her sister in a passionate fit of rage (and icicles). Anna asks her beloved Hans for help, but he drops a bomb on her: he didn’t really love her, he just wanted the means to capture and control her village. Hans then leaves both Anna and Elsa for dead and even condemns Elsa with a treason charge. Harsh, who’s the icy character now?! Luckily, like most Disney villains, Hans gets what he deserves. He is exiled to the Southern Isles and needs to pay for his crimes.
11. Prince Eric Discovers Who Vanessa Really Is
Prince Eric is not the brightest. He may not even be that interested in Ariel either. After all, she acts like a mute and has trouble walking on her own two feet. When they are taking a canoe ride together, Ariel leans in for a kiss, but Prince Eric is kind of like “umm…no thank you.” Anyway, there is another woman in the picture – Vanessa, who is actually the evil Ursula in disguise. Prince Eric and Vanessa meet because Vanessa possesses Ariel’s magnificent voice. Prince Eric is lured in by the singing, and then Vanessa’s beauty. She ends up hypnotizing the Prince so that he will marry her. Bummer. It is only at the last minute that Ariel flees to the wedding of Prince Eric and Vanessa and in the process of all the hubbub, Vanessa’s shell necklace breaks. This releases Ariel’s voice and Prince Eric is shocked to find out that it was she who he loved!
10. Sleeping Beauty Meets Her Prince
This 1959 Disney film is still a favorite among some people, mostly for the lovely Princess Aurora (even though she is in the movie for like, 15 minutes). There are various portrayals of this story, but the main premise is that Princess Aurora is cursed to prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years until a prince comes and awakens her. Well, she pricks her finger and falls asleep, so a benevolent fairy locks up the castle and surrounds it with thorns. She also makes the rest of the royal family go into a deep slumber. One hundred years later (how perfect!) a prince finds the castle and dares to get through the dangers and thorns blocking its entrance. When he finally gets to the princess, he kisses her on the lips and she awakens to find her prince! What a shock to find a princess who hasn’t aged in a hundred years (and a royal family that hasn’t aged either). WEIRD!
9. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother
We know the drill: a beautiful young woman is forced to do manual labor for her evil adopted family. In the case of Cinderella, she needs to wash the home and take care of her vile stepmother and two stepsisters, who are of course, hideous to look at and talk to. One day, there is a huge ball in the village, and everyone is invited but Cinderella’s stepmother forbids her from attending. Boohoo. Cinderella cries majestically in her tiny attic room and voila! Her Fairy Godmother appears. Cinderella is blown away by this maternal figure, who is dressed in a not-so-stylish cloak and says things like “bippity, boppity, boo.” The Fairy Godmother turns Cinderella into a gorgeous princess, another huge reveal (or cover-up?) and then she can attend the ball. The Fairy Godmother also transforms everyday things into shockingly graceful items: a pumpkin becomes a carriage, mice into horses, and rags into a perfect gown.
8. Prince Ali’s True Story
This 1992 film became a Disney classic, and who hasn’t broken out into song with “A Whole New World”? The story involves a street slicker named Aladdin just trying to survive through his meager means. One day, he finds a strange sight: a beautiful woman who seems to be lost amidst the market shuffle. She is Princess Jasmine, who is trying to run away from home to avoid getting betrothed. Unfortunately, Aladdin and Jasmine are torn apart by Jafar, who tells Jasmine that Aladdin is dead. Aladdin is then recruited by the evil Jafar to go into the Cave of Wonders and grab the magic lamp. Well, Aladdin ends up getting stuck in the collapsed cave, but he has released the magic Genie! Aladdin wishes to become a prince, but he’s a very arrogant one, and Jasmine is not impressed. It is only until “Prince Ali” reveals his true self that Jasmine realizes that Aladdin is actually alive and still very much in love with her. Aw, young love.
7. Jessica Rabbit’s Car Crash Reveal
This is a Disney movie reveal for all those who like some R-rated content in their animated films. As many people know, Jessica Rabbit is the highly sexualized cartoon character in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (which is part live action and part animation). Jessica Rabbit may not be an antagonist (she was just “drawn that way”), but she does have a reveal that shocked many people. During the scene when Jessica Rabbit is thrown from a crashing vehicle, we can see that her dress blows up and over her face. It happens in such a split second that many audience members didn’t notice. It was not until Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was released on BluRay that people were able to freeze the film on specific frames; frames showing Jessica Rabbit’s nether regions. Disney had some explaining to do for this one! The truth is, animators get tired of the tedious work, and they need to infuse something fun into it!
6. King Candy’s True Self
Wreck-It Ralph features a whole slew of interesting characters, among them, King Candy. The leader of Sugar Rush, King Candy had a former life as a racecar driver in TurboTime, a retro video game. When TurboTime was getting shown up by a new game, Roadblasters, King Candy (then known as “Turbo”), tries to overtake that game as well. It doesn’t end up on a good note, and both TurboTime and Roadblasters end up being cancelled. But Turbo ended up escaping before being disintegrated with the games. He went to Sugar Rush and became King Candy. When it is revealed that his former life included being Turbo, everyone is stunned to find out. The selfish and greedy King Candy makes his final reveal and this upsets everyone, especially Ralph. A showdown ensues, and well, you can imagine what happens at the end. Disney did a pretty good job of playing up the reveal.
5. Zootopia’s Criminal is Revealed
Hey, we think that Zootopia is one of the best animated films to come around in a long time. The anthropomorphic animals are cute and almost fully encapsulate the human condition. You know, morals, obligations, and things like that. Anyway, we really started getting into this movie, and we wanted to solve the case alongside Judy the bunny cop. Even we were surprised to find out who the real criminal was. It was the sheepish Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether! No one even suspected that this timid sheep character was the woman behind all of the crimes. How could this spectacled, humiliated office assistant be so…villainous? We loved this so much, and it was one of the most clever and unexpected Disney reveals to have come along in a loooong while. Kudos, Disney. We think this 2016 film will end up going down in the record books, just you wait.
4. Tiana and Naveen Break the Spell
The Princess and the Frog is full of transformations, spells, curses, and reveals. The whole story is a bit confusing if you really think about it, with so many switcheroos that it will make your head spin. Anyway, Naveen unwittingly gets turned into a frog and then Tiana falls under that spell as well (she becomes a frog after kissing the fake Naveen, who is actually Lawrence). Anyway, now Naveen and Tiana are both frogs, and yet they fall in love with each other (they must have really winning personalities) and they even agree to live out the rest of their lives as frogs. Yay, happiness. The old kook, Mama Odie, weds Naveen and Tiana in a frog wedding, and upon the two amphibians kissing, they are transformed back into human form! Yay, humanness! Fortunately, Naveen and Tiana are still in love with each other after revealing their true selves. Must be Disney magic.
3. Li Shang Finds Out Mulan is a Woman
There are some Disney fans out there who claim that Li Shang was crushing on Mulan when she was disguised as a man. Li Shang may or may not have made advances towards Mulan’s character, Ping, but one thing is pretty certain: Li Shang definitely had his eye on Ping. Whether that was for reasons of romantic interest or just to keep tabs on the weird newbie soldier, is for us to decide. Either way, when Ping was revealed to actually be Mulan – a woman – it was a huge shock to Li Shang. Who knows what was going on in his head at that particular moment? He was at first worried that “Ping” was fatally injured, but then when he sits up, Li Shang can see that his chest (and female breasts) have been tightly bandaged up. Whoops. Mulan is just as shocked to reveal her true self as Li Shang is to see it.
2. The Beast Turns Back Into a Prince
At the last possible moment, Belle takes the beast’s huge paw and holds it close to her cheek. As she cries tears of pain and sorrow, she proclaims her love for the beast. Aha! True love has broken the spell (about time!) and the beast transforms back to his true state of being. And he is one handsome prince, too. We just hope that the prince learned his lesson about caring for others. After all, he was cursed into becoming an atrocious beast because an enchantress was tired of him living so selfishly for so long. And we all know that Belle is not going to sit still with a selfish husband; she would whip him into shape! Anyway, this was a shocking reveal for Belle, who gets to see the prince/beast’s true form for the first time. Of course, being a Disney movie, she was instantly taken by his stunning good looks and boyish charm.
1. Simba Finds Out Scar Killed Mufasa
Sure, we know that Scar was downright evil and threw Mufasa off a cliff and into a stampeding herd of wildebeest. But poor Simba is out in the jungle thinking that he was the one responsible for King Mufasa’s death. In fact, Simba makes it his lifelong decision to stay away from Pride Rock as a social outcast. It isn’t until he has a deep soul-changing experience with his father’s ghost in the clouds (and a bonk on the head from wise old Rafiki) that Simba realizes that he needs to return to Pride Rock and take his place in the circle of life. At this point, Scar has taken over as King of Pride Rock and the lions are starving to death. All of the herds have left and the lions’ home is totally desolate. Simba returns to battle Scar, and just when Simba’s getting weak, he finds out that Scar killed Mufasa. Bam! Simba springs forward and defeats Scar. You can imagine he was probably feeling pretty motivated.