All The Historical Inaccuracies In Disney Movies

by Brianna Wiest

Leave it to John Green to know everything about everything, including all of the historical inaccuracies in Disney movies. While we know that most of our childhood favorites are based on classic fairytales, and therefore tend to take place in small villages in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, there are actually a lot of instances where the animators didn't quite do their research. Or, rather, they went with a more inflated or exaggerated image just for the sake of it (hey, either way, we loved them all the same!).

If you're wondering what exactly could be inaccurate, well, it's everything from architecture to weaponry to styles of dancing. A well-read historian can date a story or piece of art simply by identifying the tiniest details, such as hand placement during the ballroom dance scenes. (FYI: Princess Aurora would not have been dancing with the prince's hand around her waist. That was a huge no-no in the 14th century, they would have been doing a line dance.)

If you're just amazed at the sheer intelligence it takes to be able to identify these minute issues, you're not alone. All it goes to show is that there is some serious brain power at work here, and whether or not it's going to deplete your childhood dreams just a little (you mean there weren't large stairways on the Notre Dame? Belle couldn't have seen the Eiffel tower because it didn't exist yet?!) it's pretty interesting to see the flaws of the movie magic we always though was fairy tale perfect. MentalFloss sat down with John Green to discuss 24 of them:

The Notre Dame Doesn't Look The Way It Does In The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Remember those famous stairs on which Quasimodo's mom died? Yeah, they didn't exist. The Notre Dame is basically at ground level.

The Great Wall Didn't Exist Until After Mulan

Mulan was written in the 6th century, and it's believed she lived somewhere between 4-5 C.E.; yet, the Great Wall makes an appearance in the film though it wasn't built until the 14th century. She also writes text on her arm at one point in simplified Chinese – which wasn't invented until the 1950s. Oh, and one more thing: multi-colored fireworks weren't invented until the 19th century, either. (Yikes, Mulan!)

Jane Says She'll Take Tarzan To Meet Charles Darwin And Rudyard Kipling, But They Weren't Around

The first book about Tarzan was written in 1914, but Disney enthusiasts put the film version around the 1880s. So it doesn't make sense when Jane tells Tarzan that she can take him to meet Darwin and Kipling; Darwin died in 1882, and Kipling didn't become famous until 1889.

Check out the whole video for yourself here:

Images: YouTube; Disney