Disney built an empire out of marketing family-friendly products, and with billions invested in a non-controversial brand identity, they must constantly remain guarded against selling unintentionally offensive items. But with a catalog of merchandise that includes toys, clothing, accessories, and much, much more, a few goof-ups are bound to slip through the cracks. Here are a few of Disney’s worst merchandising accidents in all their unintentionally hilarious glory.
Rad Repeatin’ Tarzan
Tarzan may have been raised by apes, but we don’t remember the scene where his ape-dad takes him aside and teaches him that touching himself in public is normal. Also, assuming the intended motion here was Tarzan’s signature chest-beating, didn’t he use both hands for that? You know what? Never mind. That would not have improved this toy at all.
Vine Jammin’ Tarzan
Again? Okay, look, Tarzan, this is from a cartoon movie. We get that you’re big into animals, you’re king of the jungle, yada yada. But why are you humping a giant red snake? Or worse, were you doing the whole, "Hey guys, guys, check this out. What does this look like?" Not cool, Tarzan, there are children present.
Disney Baby Soft Potty Seat – Wishes & Dreams Princess
Some kids get a gold star on a chart for using the potty, while others get a piece of candy. Both of those are great encouragement for potty training, but they pale in comparison to making your daughter believe wishes and dreams are granted by going to the bathroom. Hopefully the parents of these girls transition them to a grown-up seat before they can actually read, or else they may one day get a very angry phone call from a bank loan officer.
Rafiki showing Simba the love tonight
What could sully the innocence of that classic Lion King scene where Rafiki raises Simba high atop Pride Rock for all of the animal kingdom to admire in unison? How about some jerk taking a toy and stopping the lift halfway through the tear-jerking moment so it looks like the intro scene of an Animal Planet: SVU episode? This is on you, internet. This is why we can’t have nice things.
‘Hannah Montana Concert Candy Sweet & Sour Gummies
Almost a decade before this kind of imagery would seem tame compared to Miley Cyrus’ constantly near-naked adult image, Hannah Montana was a wholesome kid’s show and a flagship property for the Disney Channel. So whoever designed the "guitar shapes" for the brand’s gummy candy was either a total perv, or couldn’t get "Achy Breaky Heart" out of his head and this was his attempt at retribution. Either way, the good news is Disney could just repackage these as bachelorette party favors and not lose a penny.
Buzz Lightyear Sippy Cup
The only scenario we can think of for how something like this occurs is the following. Towards the end of a long marketing meeting, a bunch of tired executives finally get to the last item on their list—The Buzz Lightyear Sippy Cup. Exhausted and a little loopy, someone blurts out, "We should put the straw here!" and positions it right over the crotch. Everyone laughs and an equally exhausted assistant records the suggestion into the minutes of the meeting, which then accidentally get passed on to the mold-makers. There is no other excuse for this unholy cup’s existence. But as inappropriate as this product may be, it gave birth to this GIF, for which the universe owes it a debt of gratitude.
‘The Little Mermaid’ original home video cover
There have been some legendary animation gaffes in the Disney catalog, but nothing like that one spire on Triton’s castle on the original cover of The Little Mermaid home video. To say it looks a bit phallic would be a severe understatement. To say it looks like a male animator fell pantsless onto his drawing and submitted it anyway would be a little closer. We don’t know if you can fire someone a thousand times, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Disney figured out a way after this.
Disney ‘Frozen’ Print Bikini
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Disney-themed clothing. Even the swimwear can be tasteful, so long as it’s not a bikini bottom that features little windows with Elsa and Anna peeking out of them. We don’t know what kind of bizarre message this conveys, but it doesn’t even make sense seasonally or geographically. It would be like Jungle Book snow pants that have Mowgli’s face sewed onto the crotch.
Disney ‘Frozen’ Snow Cone Maker – Olaf
As they did with Tarzan, Disney’s marketing department missed the mark twice with the Frozen merchandise. And here we have a delightful snow cone maker in the shape of everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. Who is made of snow. Which shoots out of a gaping hole in his lower abdomen area, so either he’s eviscerating himself into the child’s cup like a disgraced samurai, or he’s…you know what? Let’s just go with that first image. It’s way less traumatizing
Mickey Mouse Gold Necklace
Because nothing says I love you like a stick figure with Mickey’s head dangling between its legs, Disney’s jewelry department crafted this one-of-a-kind charm that retails for the low price of $640.00. That’s right, for the cost of just two and a half Kia payments, you too can own this elegant accessory that’s the perfect way to silently request a divorce. Seriously, don’t buy this unless you have a signed prenup and a cool sibling with a spare bedroom.
Mickey Mouse and Friends Zip Canvas Pouch
One side of this cute canvas pouch features a close up of Goofy and Pluto standing under Mickey’s butt. On the flip side, Pluto and Goofy stare at Mickey’s butt as he bends over and peers through his legs. The item description says it also has an interior pocket, which we assume features another weird Mickey’s butt scene, because in case someone’s around when you open it, you wouldn’t want them to forget how into Mickey Mouse’s butt you are. So, attention all you Mickey Mouse’s butt lovers out there: Finally, the zip canvas pouch you’ve been waiting for is here!