Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Bambi’: The creepiest Disney parodies ever made
Maybe you’re a huge Disney fan with a fully stacked collection of mouse ears to prove it or maybe you’re against Disney and everything it stands for. Either way, there’s no denying that the massive corporation and its various amusement parks, business interests, and entertainment releases are all prime for a good parody.
However, the best ones are those that manage to really emphasize the potential creepiness at the heart of a lot of Disney ventures and the various conspiracy theories and salacious allegations that have followed the company since it was founded. Here are eight of the creepiest Disney parodies ever made that explore these ideas in a chilling yet hilarious way.
8. Debbie Downer goes to Disney World: Saturday Night Live (2004)
Debbie Downer (Rachel Dratch) ruins an Ohio family’s visit to the Happiest Place on Earth by focusing only on the darkness of the place, including making the statement: “The biggest drawback to working in a theme park is that you must live under constant fear of deadly terrorist attacks.” The cast (including Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, Jimmy Fallon, and Lindsay Lohan) can barely keep it together.
7. Disneyland: MADtv (2004)
Ripping into the idea that Disney will stop at nothing to maintain the secrets of its amusement parks, this MADtv sketch shows the corporation going to dark extremes to ensure a talkative employee is “taken care of” while another “employee” randomly malfunctions like a robot.
6. “New Disney Movie”: Saturday Night Live (2015)
A rollicking parody of Disney’s endless pursuits to make live-action remakes of every one of its animated classics, this Saturday Night Live sketch gave us a live-action version of Bambi that’s both terrifying and kind of awesome. Starring Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as a cigar-chewing, ammunition-packing Bambi who’s fully equipped to defend himself during “hunting season”, the skit is mercilessly funny and oddly ahead of its time.
5. “Itchy & Scratchy Land”: The Simpsons (1994)
In an episode that offers a non-stop parody of Disneyland, The Simpsons had plenty of shrewd commentary to make about the expensive and frankly nightmarish nature of an amusement park in which happiness is the key theme. Particularly as the show riffs on Michael Crichton’s Westworld to show the park’s animatronics reaping violent revenge against their human guests.
4. Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
Randy Moore’s satirical trashterpiece was disappointing overall, but still provided plenty of sardonic takedowns of Disney and its apparently “sinister” agenda. Starring Roy Abramsohn as a family patriarch losing his grip on reality, the film is sly and significant (even if it is a little underwhelming).
3. Mickey Mouse beats up the Jonas Brothers: South Park (2009)
Showing the Jonas Brothers facing extremely violent punishment from Mickey Mouse himself, this South Park scene offered a bleak parody of the allegedly poor working conditions many Disney employees (including its child stars) have faced over the years.
2. Pinocchio as a real boy: Robot Chicken (2016)
Starring Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) as the voice of Pinocchio, the ever-subversive Robot Chicken pointed out the major flaws in Pinocchio’s plan to become a real boy – being a human pretty much sucks. As well as getting beaten up by bullies, he suffers the consequences of a near-fatal peanut allergy that leads to a neverending assault of new human horrors being committed to his body.
1. Disney Universe: Family Guy (2009)
In an episode called “Road to the Multiverse”, Brian & Stewie travel between parallel universes, one of which references various Disney works such as The Little Mermaid and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, the alleged antisemitism of Walt Disney is also referenced when a Disney version of Family Guy’s resident jewish mensch Mort Goldman is shown being attacked by the occupants of the universe.