14 Movies That Went Way Over Your Head As A Kid, From Raunchy Musicals To Dark Disney Features
I'm always adding new movies to my list, but there's something irreplaceable about the ones that I grew up with. And I really mean that I grew up with them. Certain movies that I discovered as a kid became something like a mental growth chart. As I got older and more worldly, I discovered that these movies weren't as wholesome as I'd always assumed. In fact, they were packed with subtext, text-text, and very adult themes. I just hadn't realized it, and I know I'm not alone. Many childhood classics are much racier than advertised. These 14 movies that went way over your head as a kid are heavy on the innuendo and the rather grown-up plot points that your parents neglected to explain to you when you were but a young, innocent lamb.
Have you ever heard a kid blindly repeat something without knowing what they're really saying? That was you, quoting Grease and Dirty Dancing. All of these movies have something for kids: dance numbers, animation, toilet humor, and so on. When you add the extra context you get as a person who actually knows what it means when Shrek suggests that Lord Farquaad may be "compensating for something" with his towering castle, that's another layer to enjoy.
Don't be ashamed that you didn't catch all the mature content in these movies the first time you saw them. You weren't the only one.
1. Dirty Dancing
The "dirty" is right there in the title, and there are a lot of lithe dancers' bodies on display throughout the movie. But when I was taking in Dirty Dancing just about every other weekend, I wasn't that clear on Johnny's relationship to the "bungalow bunnies" or what exactly happened to Penny when she went to see the doctor.
It only makes sense that this movie carries a PG rating when you remember that PG-13 didn't exist at the time. Airplane! is all puns, sight gags, and cameos, most of them offensive to someone.
"I see your Schwartz is as big as mine..." The amount of phallic humor in Mel Brooks' Star Wars parody is truly inspirational.
4. There's Something About Mary
This gross-out comedy could please any crowd of rowdy preteens. But would they track every bodily functioned that's referenced?
The sexuality of Clueless is pretty tame, overall. But the girls' discussions of virginity and crooked "you-know-whats" flew over the heads of many a Cher worshipper.
6. Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery
Austin's double entendres are so blatant, they hardly fit the definition of that term.
7. Robin Hood: Men In Tights
Another Mel Brooks movie; dozens more penis jokes.
8. The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
Okay, switching gears here to one of the darkest and most disturbing movies Disney has ever made. Yep, Frollo's big number is about a clergyman praying to God to demand that he remove the lust from his heart.
This candy-colored high school musical is so joyfully raunchy it's almost clean. But the next time you watch it on TV, take note of how many words get bleeped out of "Greased Lightning."
10. The Shrek Movies
The entire Shrek franchise is shameless in two things: first, its heavy hand with the referential humor, and second, its commitment to entertaining parents with filthy puns while their kids giggle at the talking donkey.
11. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Jessica Rabbit is quite a saucy character for a kids' movie, and the acid bath scene is nightmare-inducing.
12. Adventures In Babysitting
I'm not just talking about the two f-bombs that get dropped in this movie. (And in magnificent fashion, I might add.) The Adventures In Babysitting crew encounter sex workers, horny college students, and a lookalike centerfold in the course of their crazy night.
It was probably around my 12th viewing of this movie when it finally hit me what was going on with Ray and that helpful ghost in the middle of the night.
14. Scooby Doo
The live-action Scooby Doo movies are one long commercial for recreational drug use, and no one can talk me out of that opinion.
Maybe it's about time you rewatch these movies to see if you missed anything else.