MOVIES

Disney’s The Lion King Poster Hides A Steamy Secret

It would seem the internet is hell-bent on ruining people’s childhoods, constantly wanting to find dirty jokes and references within Disney projects. One of the most infamous is the banned “Little Mermaid” VHS cover with an explicit secret, namely a phallic-looking tower. That one was actually supposed to be an inside joke, but for years, people have pointed to a seemingly filthy reference in “The Lion King” that’s a lot more harmless than some might believe.

In the film’s original cut, Simba falls to the ground near a cliff, releasing a bunch of dust into the air. Many people asserted that if you look closely within this cloud, you can see the word “SEX” spelled out. However, animator Tom Sito eventually set the record straight, asserting the word is actually supposed to be “SFX,” as a nod to the special effects department. It’s a simple mistake, especially seeing as the “F” appears to have an extra line on the bottom so that it could be misconstrued as an “E.” Even if it was a total accident, Disney decided to obscure the lettering entirely for the 2002 IMAX re-release (the one that had the “dirty” Mufasa poster) and 2003 DVD release.

Sometimes, animators try to get away with adult jokes in children’s properties. In other instances, people see what they want to see, even when the adult humor isn’t supposed to be there in the first place. It’s an intriguing litmus test and a good reminder that in an age where people can pause and go through a movie frame by frame, if there’s anything unseemly to be found, audiences are going to discover it. 

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