'The Little Mermaid' Directors Debunk Notorious 'Hidden Message' Once And For All

Share
Tweet
Pin It
Share
Tweet
Pin It
By: Bill Bradley


"What's that thingamabob?" is a question parents probably dread when their children watch "The Little Mermaid." Sorry, your kids ain't talking about utensils.


The randy bishop in "Little Mermaid" has become a Disney legend. Supposedly, during the wedding scene on the ship, the bishop presiding over the ceremony can't control his, uh, "dinglehopper," resulting in kids all over the world pausing the movie to snicker uncontrollably.

But what's the real story? Is this whosit actually unable to control his whatsit?

The Huffington Post previously spoke to the scene's animator Tom Sito, who told us, "People are just seeing what they want to see." Now, thanks to the "Little Mermaid" directors, we're erecting the whole truth.


While on the "Moana" press tour, directors Ron Clements and John Musker told us, "It's a misunderstanding. Honestly, we were there, so we know."


Clements echoed sentiments from the animator, Sito, saying, "The minister has knobby knees." He continued, "He was designed with knobby knees by animator Tom Sito who was not thinking of anything other than this slightly weirdly designed character. That was never the intention."


Musker added that the hoopla surrounding the moment was so crazy that Mike Wallace even asked former Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner about it on "60 Minutes."


Clements said the truth is apparent when you watch the whole scene.


"[His knees] show other times in the movie that you can see clearly," he said.


It happens briefly, but it does appear the protrusion from the character's outfit is his knees:

Musker said, "Yeah, that is an urban legend. It's not true."


Clements added, "While we're talking about this, in 'Aladdin,' when he's with Jasmine on the balcony and the tiger is coming up to him, there's an ad-lib that Scott Weinger [the voice of Aladdin] did to fill in a little space where we opened things up. He says, 'Good, tiger. Take off, cat. Go!' That's what he said, swear to God, that's what he said. Some people think he said something else."


Anyone who owns an "Aladdin" VHS and grew up in the '90s probably already knows this, but the "something else" people think he's saying is, "Good teenagers, take off your clothes."



Who knows if the directors' new movie "Moana" will inspire another myth. If so, Clements and Musker probably won't sweat it. They're used to it.


"These things come, and they take over," said Musker.


Clements agreed, "There's not a lot you can do about it."


When you make Disney movies, urban legends are just ... part of your worlddddddd!

Hit Backspace for a regular dose of pop culture nostalgia.

MORE CELEB SCOOPS

Show Comments
Join Our Newsletter
Stay fetch. Sign up for The Cray, our daily roundup of all things buzzworthy. From Kylie Jenner's trendsetting style (btw, puberty goals AF) to life-changing tech news (tweeting an emoji to order a pizza #YES), The Cray is all you need to impress the squad.
Privacy Terms