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Some people love to find hidden messages.. The hobby of finding of “subliminal messages” in just about everything apparently struck even Walt Disney cartoons. Apparently some of Walt Disney’s most famous movie adaptations were retellings of Biblical Events.
Does it really matter? Mark Pinsky, a journalist and religion writer thought so. He, and some others before him, found “biblical parallels” to be a common thread running through almost all Disney films from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” released in 1937, to “Brother Bear,” released in 2003. He published his findings in a book, “TheGospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust”.
In his perception, Snow White’s eating the “poisoned apple” was an allusion to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve’s fall from grace; and when Pinocchio was swallowed by the whale, that was a obviously a retelling of a similar encounter by Jonah. Apparently the initials of Pinocchio’s friend “Jiminy Cricket”, “JC” were a hidden reference to “Jesus Christ”, although why that connection was depicted by an insect was not explained.
Reactions go from some sort of sinister “Biblical Brain Washing” to a more positive perception of merely retelling biblical stories in a secular context. Pinsky’s book chronicled his findings with no attempt to sermonize, convert or recruit;, but there was resistance from the Disney Corporation itself, who refused Pinsky a single interview.
Their concern could be that the Disney animated films, viewed by millions worldwide and by almost every culture, would be suddenly be seen as a series of animated sermons, or even an attempt of conversion; rather than just innocent entertainment.
Despite the worries, few if any viewers seem to have complained; if they even knew they were watching “retellings” of biblical events while watching a Disney film.