Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Strange but True (3) DaDisney Revisited

Posted on: August 19, 2008


A few blogs ago I had a bit of a rant about what I considered to be duff advice about how to create characters in novels, and wrote a skit called ‘The DaDisney Code,’ in an attempt to spread an internet ruimour that Dan Brown based his characters on the seven dwarves. Maybe it was a little silly, a little surreal. But it was just a bit of fun.
I have since found that I did not invent the connection, and would have known that if I had been a little more attentive in my reading of the Da Vinci Code.
Apparently there is a long passage which claims that Walt Disney subscribed to the ideas expressed in Da Vinci (i.e.that the church suppressed information about Mary Magdalene having a child by Jesus- sorry one person who hasn’t seen/read it) and sprinkled his films with references to this belief.
Unlikely? Then why does this picture, the ‘Penitent Magdalene’ by seventeenth-century artist Georges de la Tour…

…appear in this one, from Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid?’

Hmmm… makes you think doesn’t it? But before we get carried away, it’s good to remember what my old theology lecturer taught me about signs and symbols: signs have one-to-one correspondence to the thing they represent. Symbols mean different things to different people. It’s a good job that road signs only have one interpretation- although I do sometimes wonder.

That particular lecturer could find ‘Tree of Life’ symbolism in almost any icon he was presented with, but never once referred to any phallic significance- perhaps that was because he was also a Methodist Minister.

Returning to ‘The Little Mermaid,’ there is a rumour that a symbol has been added by the artist to the picture below. Look closely at the tower…


Closer still…


Yes, it is for real. Rumour has it that it was added by an artist who found that he was about to lose his job with Disney. But Stopes, that debunker of Urban and internet myth, has tracked the guy down, and he says it was nothing of the sort and that no resemblance was intended.
Thanks, Stopes, for spoiling a great story. I really wanted to believe that. I bet they’re hot on the trail of the guy who painted the Turin Shroud. 
BUT… doesn’t this open up an even greater mystery? I mean, when the artist sketched out the tower, when he added colour, carefully highlighting the glistening erection… did it totally escape his notice that he had just painted a giant golden ****?

Or is it just another example of the tree of life?

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