SSB: Subliminal messages

Elmo and the gang, doing their thing. (SOURCE:
Elmo and the gang, doing their thing. (SOURCE:

Art… It’s about attempting to show how you see the world around you.

Some forms of art, however, have a larger agenda. Subliminal messaging has become a popular past-time for film, and it is almost always difficult to find a film’s ‘secret message’ unless you’re actually looking.

Subliminal messages in and of themselves are just what their name says. Messages placed in the back of any type of medium or background, that you take in subconsciously, sometimes, without any knowledge of it whatsoever.

They have become a major tactic for advertisements.

The idea being that a commercial having the faded words of their product all over the background of their ad will somehow suck an audience into getting the uncontrollable urge to purchase their goods once their commercial is finished.

The scary part here is that there is a large chance that subliminal messages may actually be working.

And while subliminal stimuli has not been scientifically proven to wash our brains and take over our minds, there has been lingering questions of ‘what if’ ever since the idea of slipping images and codes past our consciousness and straight into our psyche was born.

Advertisement companies were just the beginning, too. Rumor has it, and some films prove, that movie-makers have joined in on tampering with their audience’s eyes and mind when they aren’t paying attention.

Once of the biggest film companies to be accused of inappropriate subliminal message use is Walt Disney. And there are several examples.

The Rescuers is most definitely the largest reason for suspicion that Disney has been up to no good, by route of their 1977 release of this film. One scene was all it took, and Disney was put up for inspection, as two pixeled but still perfectly visible images of topless women were placed in frames of the movie as the loveable main mouse characters are flying around in a sardine case around town. Millions of copies were recalled, and Disney made a public apology.

At one point in Aladdin, where the Diamond in the Rough is trying to convince Jasmine to take a magic carpet ride with him and her tiger gets in the way, close observers have accused the protagonist of whispering “take your clothes off” as well.

Then of course, there is that whole controversy in The Lion King where a cloud of dust Simba sends into the air when he lays down spells out the letters S E X one after another.

And while it’s fun to notice such things and point them out, one wonders if perhaps the people who point these fingers have gone a little too far.

Take Pocahantis for example. Videos upon videos swear that the word sex has been placed everywhere in this popular Disney classic. Some videos even circle or highlight where each word is. At first it’s entertaining. “Oh whoa, that rock looks like it spells out sex.”

But then they start sharpy-ing “sex” in trees, and leaves, and eight different water splashes, and the humor vastly looses its spark. And you have to admit that Disney has made numerous, fantastic children’s animations. And chances are half the accusations against them aren’t true.

Subliminal messages have always been a controversy, but looking back at Disney, you never know if you’ve already been brain washed into taking your clothes off by Aladdin or buying a Coke Zero.

Cue the Twlight Zone theme song.