Worst Cliches in Disney Movies

I know I normally make anime lists but I decided to change things up. So I made a list of the worst clichés of Disney. Now I'm not saying these movies are bad or that all the clichés they use are bad. I like most these movies and I like the song cliché personally. But they're some really annoying ones that just don't always work in my opinion. I'm going to add in ten, and the rest is up to you.

The Top Ten

1 Dead Parents Dead Parents

Stop thumbs-upping up that unfounded rumor! Here's why it's just a rumor: Lilo could have had a living but deadbeat dad and frustrated struggling single mom instead of both parents dead and a frustrated struggling much older sister. Walt was long dead before anyone even thought about making Lilo&Stitch. And why were both Mulan's parents alive when they could have given her a (physically) weak father and a dead mother (and again even if they had killed off her mom the move came about long after Walt had died)?

Okay, let's stop spreading that rumor that this has anything to do with the death of Walt Disney's mother. It's because most Disney films are adapted from traditional stories, fairy tales, legends, novels, etc. wherein the parents were dead anyway. Then Disney acquired Marvel and Star Wars, which even before Disney got their white-gloved hands on them were already swarming with dead parent stories. Again, the untimely death of Mrs. Disney had nothing to do with it.

While this can be irritating, the reason behind it is really sad and somewhat understandable - Walt Disney's mother died because of fumes in a furnace that Walt and his brother had bought for their parents. But I get it, we need more Disney films in which characters don't need their parents to die so that they can grow. And it would probably relate better with a majority of children, who have parents. How about divorced parents instead?

Hercules' parents WEREN'T DEAD! They're immortal!

Neither were his adoptive parents.

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2 Obnoxious Side Characters Obnoxious Side Characters

I HATED those gargoyles from Hunchback of Notre Dame. They were so stupid and didn't make me laugh at all! - HoneyClover

The dwarfs from Snow White & the Seven Dwarves need a lot more credit than they usually get, but the only bad sidekick you have listed/did not make a big deal over is the Gargoyles. - The Ultimate Daredevil

What's with the side characters? They're so useless... - AlphaQ

If anyone mentions Felix or Calhoun in this page, I am going to wreck my computer screen.

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3 Underdeveloped Romance Underdeveloped Romance

Disney is full of romance but sometimes it just doesn't always make sense. Like with Aurora and Philip. Why is she just suddenly in love with him? They met once, they sung once and they're already dancing like a couple. This wouldn't have bothered me so much if she didn't wake up from her kiss because of 'true love'. Like I said, she only met him and it's true love? That's just so bizarre. I'm sure they're other examples but that one really bugs me. - RoseRedFlower

It was back in the olden day when arranged marriage was common. I guess seeing someone you wanted to was enough lol - BlueTopazIceVanilla

This in basically every Disney film involving princesses. There's more to a man than just his face, ya know! - TwilightKitsune

This is the main reason I don't like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. - Elric-san

1. Get lost
2. Love at first sight
3. The middle of the movie is all without the prince
4. Princess gets poisoned and faints
5. Prince kisses the princess because it's "true love" and they're royal so they belong together and the main characters always end up together
6. The end. Ignore the side characters who were always with the princess, she ended up with someone she fell in love with

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4 Surprise Villains Surprise Villains

At first, it kind of worked, but now Disney thinks it's a good idea to turn random characters into last act villains! Not working, Disney!

Why is there a picture of King Candy there? First of all, his wasn't even a surprise, it was just a reveal that he was Turbo. Second of all, it was actually a really good buildup and reveal, so can't you use a picture of Hans or some crap?

I'm sorry, I loved the Turbo surprise in Wreck It Ralph, if that's one of the things you have in mind.

I don't mind these actually. These actually are unexpected, and I like that! - FuffleyandPeetah

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5 Happy Ending Happy Ending

How could you not like happy endings? - FuffleyandPeetah

While some movies are ok with a happy ending the Disney movies are always getting one instead of having more sad and even unclear endings.
I think that if they will make a movie with a bad ending or an unclear ending it will be one of the best movies of all time, but sadly they will never do it. - IronMaidenFan666

6 Annoying Side Characters Annoying Side Characters

*cough*Timon, Pumbaa and the hyenas*cough*

Zeni is a bad excuse for comic relief.


7 Dark is Evil Dark is Evil

It's not racist. People of all colors have been afraid of the dark because humans can't see well in the dark. You never know what's in the dark. - Rambles

It's my element dammit

It's so racist

Look I'm not trying to hate on villains ok... it's just that they creeped me out first of all the old hag the evil queens creeps me a lot! whoo gosh disney! it was just even a animated or a cartoon but it creeps me out more than a orignal action movie

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8 A Character that Doesn't Feel Like They Belong A Character that Doesn't Feel Like They Belong

How many times have we've seen this? A bunch. I understand if someone like Tarzan felt like he didn't belong with his family. He's a human and they're gorillas. That would make sense why he felt left out. But it felt really hard for me to understand why Ariel felt like she didn't belong in the sea. She has amazing sisters, an overprotective but still loving father and an entire underwater kingdom. Yet she would abandon all of the people she loved, for a world she only knew for a few days? It just seemed so confusing and out of place. I didn't expect Disney to do the Hans Christian Anderson ending but it seemed very sporadic in my opinion. - RoseRedFlower

Jim Hawkins, Lilo, Quasimodo...

Simba in a strip club. - AlphaQ

9 Inanimate Objects Coming to Life Inanimate Objects Coming to Life

This one seems to be pretty big with Disney and it somewhat bothers me sometimes. I understand with stuff like Beauty & The Beast. The people were cursed into inanimate objects until the spell was broken. But then why are somethings like the Gargoyles from the Hunchback of Notre Dame coming to life? I know a lot of people thought the concept was that Quasimodo was imagining them and hey, that's a good reason. However, the gargoyles help defeat the guards through their shenanigans. How is this happening? Then there's the Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas that doesn't make much sense too. How is she alive? Is she a native American who trapped her soul in that willow tree? It doesn't say. Or the biggest one, the Cars and Planes movies. How are they created? Why do they have teeth and eyes? Why is it that sometimes they eat with their mouths? Do they need to eat? When Lightning McQueen said 'Thank the Manufacturer.' Is that like their version of God? Or is it someone who creates the ...more - RoseRedFlower

Even dora stole it - TeamRocket747

Toy Story's whole premise is this. - cjWriter1997

Disney movies don't have to be realistic! - FuffleyandPeetah

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10 Disney Princesses Disney Princesses

It's annoying how some characters are princesses for seemingly no reason other than to pander to little girls. Take Tangled, for instance - you can strip Rapunzel of her status as royalty without having to change the plot much. Ditto for Moana. And as a small-r republican, I'm sick of fictional royalty in general. Give me a fictional president for a change. - Treacle

Not all movies are about Disney princesses you know. (Zootopia, A Goofy Movie, Lilo and Stitch, Big Hero Six, etc...)

Shut up you below commenter! You should end up in jail or go die

The Contenders

11 Male Always Saves the Day Male Always Saves the Day

This should be at least number 3 - Iamcool

What about Mulan?

Mulan, Moana, Tangled, and Frozen don't share this. That's why those are my only favorites. Rapunzel does fall in love but she saves the man in the end, dammit.

What about Moana?

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12 The Fake Out Deaths The Fake Out Deaths

I don't mind it when children's movies kill off characters. I was really taken back that Ray from the Princess & The Frog actually died. It was even more touching when I understood this. I can't stand it however when we think a character is dead but they're not really. Like with Flynn dying and then being saved by Rapunzel. Did we really need that? Or how about Oliver from Oliver and Company? I think Chief from The Fox and The Hound should have died. There would have been more emotional weight on Copper and make a bigger gap in Tod and Copper's friendship. But Chief is just injured even though he was hit by a train and well off a bridge. - RoseRedFlower

These are supposed to give audiences a moment of shock and drama, but they don't work. I would not mind them so much if they weren't used so much. Alas, they are and because of that they don't work like they're supposed to.

I think at least a few of these, specifically the ones in films made in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, were because Disney got a lot of flack from fans (or their parents) who had been traumatized over the not-so-fake death of Bambi's mother. Trusty and Baloo for instance would have actually died otherwise.

This should be higher.

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13 Princess Exclusion Princess Exclusion

This one is a nitpick, I understand that. Why is it that some Disney princesses are excluded from their lineup? Kiara from the Lion King 2 was (and still might be) a princess. She even came from one of the better Disney Sequels and her mother Nala is a queen. Shouldn't she be somewhere on the list? Or if we're excluding animals, what about Kida from Atlantis or Eilonwy from the Black Cauldron? They're both Princesses but they're never in the lineup. Most argue that they're from less successful movies so they're not shown as often as the other princesses. Which sadly is probably the reason why. - RoseRedFlower

Something I don't understand is why Mulan is a princess. She came from a normal family and married a high-ranking war general. In the second movie, she was about to marry a prince, but it never really happened. How come SHE is considered a princess, but the Emperor's daughters or the women RoseRedFlower mentioned are never shown in prominent Disney princess artwork? It makes no sense. - BlueTopazIceVanilla

Probably because she's the main character, and the Emperor's daughters are minor characters. It's still silly to consider Mulan a princess, though. - Treacle

Elsa's a queen, Mulan's not a princess, and Pocahontas is a chief's daughter. - phillysports


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14 Negative Portrayal of an Entire Animal Species Negative Portrayal of an Entire Animal Species

Very true. Disney even got sued by an animal biologist for the defamation of using the entire spotted hyena species as henchmen.

Hyenas in The Lion King. And it's unclear why they are not part of Circle of Life. - Tia-Harribel

Like sloths in that holy can-do-no-wrong movie of Disney's whose die-hard fanboy I don't want to deal with right now or ever.

Hyenas in TLK. - Lunala

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15 The Greedy Villain The Greedy Villain

You know these villains, the ones that don't have any motivation other than being greedy and want something. Whether they want power to seize or more wealth than they could ever ask for. Like Commander Rourke from Atlantis or Shan Yu from Mulan. Now if there's a reason they're so greedy like Scar from the Lion King, I understand. However, I hate it when their only motivation is greed and nothing else. - RoseRedFlower

Not all villains are greedy, Disney. What's with all the damn stereotypes? - AlphaQ


16 Marriage at the End And/or Villains Dead or in Jail Marriage at the End And/or Villains Dead or in Jail

Hades can't die...he's a god. He's immortal.

17 Incompetent Villain Sidekicks Incompetent Villain Sidekicks

I like some villain sidekicks like Kronk from the Emperor's New Groove. But they're some sidekicks you look at and wonder why the villain even deals with them. Iago the parrot from Aladdin is one of them. Jafar seems annoyed with him a lot and wouldn't it be better if her had a better sidekick. The only thing Iago ever did was have that shrieking voice and complain. The most he ever did was come up with Jafar's plan of killing the Sultan and Jasmine after marrying her. Then there's some like Willie Brothers from Home on the Range. Alameda Slim is rich and can't be bothered to hire more competent goons. The only one he has is Rico but if he can get someone like that, then what's the point in having the Willie Brothers? I know they're his nephews but he's a villain. Scar killed his own brother for the sake of his ambition so what's stopping this guy from tossing these three away? They can't even recognize their own Uncle when he puts on a hat and glasses. It could be considered funny ...more - RoseRedFlower

Shenzi, Banzai and Ed are the worst. These three give their species a bad rap enough to get Disney sued by an animal biologist.

They're for comic relief, but are really annoying - TwilightKitsune

This is so pointless. Give em tattoos and AK-47s. Not stupid haircuts. - AlphaQ

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18 True Love's Kiss True Love's Kiss

A really depressing Deus ex machina to an otherwise interesting storyline

19 Cheesy Songs Cheesy Songs

I Just Can't Wait To Be King is a horrible and very annoying earworm.

Cheesy songs are worse than Japanese water torture at least Japanese water torture doesn't actually harm you in any way

This is why bleach exists. - AlphaQ

20 Nobody Dies Nobody Dies

Ok, I know it sounds cruel, and Disney is for little kids and stuff. However, it would be 15x more realistic if you killed off some characters at some point. I'm not saying with big gory deaths. Just you know, even it out. It's not there aren't enough cheesy things.

Hiro for big hero 6's brother died - BoyGenius234

At least Mufasa died. :) Good riddance, I hated that character so much. What a bully to some of the other characters/animals.

21 Some Animals Talk and Some Don't Some Animals Talk and Some Don't

Why is it that some animals can talk yet other ones can't? Trees in Pocahontas can talk for some reasons but the animals can't. Why? Why can't the birds talk in Cinderella but the mice can? How about that caterpillar that turned into a butterfly from the Fox and the Hound? It's just really confusing and bizarre. - RoseRedFlower

Birds always talk but why birds and not Godzillas? - AlphaQ

22 Hero Always Must Have a Love Interest Hero Always Must Have a Love Interest

Why is it that the hero must always fall in love? Some of them are nice, like Mulan and Shang Yu. Some of them are an important part of the plot, like Cinderella. But I don't understand why movies like lion king need a love interest. Don't get me wrong, I like nala, but I think that she could have just stayed friends with simba

*cough*Simba and Nala*cough*

23 Villains are Usually Girls and Heroes are Guys Villains are Usually Girls and Heroes are Guys

Scar is a male villain, not female. (And he's easily the worst Disney villain, for obvious reasons.)

This is sexist! - IceFoxPlayz

Hades is a male villain

I mean really?!
Mother Gothel
Evil queen
Cruella Deville
need I say more?

24 Disturbing Sexual References

WAY too many! please stop! - EliHbk

25 A Villain Song A Villain Song

Don't really have a problem with this one, villian songs are usually the best songs most of the time.

26 Trying Way Too Hard to Appeal to Everyone with Pop Culture References and Heavy-Handed Contemporary Morals Trying Way Too Hard to Appeal to Everyone with Pop Culture References and Heavy-Handed Contemporary Morals

Response to previous comment: Indeed the original "Wreck-It Ralph" wasn't too bad about that and "Zootopia" was practically all references and far-left moralizing, but "Wreck-It Ralph 2" is going to give "Zootopia" a run for its money in the reference overkill department especially since its very title is a reference to Kim Kardashian no one wants to remember.

Why is there an image from "Wreck-It Ralph" here? "Zootopia" is BY FAR the worst offender here.

27 The Heroes Lose

Hercules won. He didn’t lose

28 Animal Sidekick Animal Sidekick

Some are okay...some suck.

29 Anti-Feminism Anti-Feminism

Take for instance, the teenage girl being the best friend/arch-rival of the other. - The Ultimate Daredevil

What does Anime have to do with Disney? - FuffleyandPeetah

Example; The girl is a scardey-cat, and then in the scary situation, The boy saves her. and there's usually a love at first sight moment after that. - Iamcool

30 Bad Guy Has a Wide Chance to Kill the Hero but Doesn't Bad Guy Has a Wide Chance to Kill the Hero but Doesn't
31 Villain Has a Big Chance to Kill Hero Waits So the Hero Has Time to Escape Villain Has a Big Chance to Kill Hero Waits So the Hero Has Time to Escape
32 Baby Gets Kidnapped

For example, Rapunzel and Hercules

33 Light is Good Light is Good

Simply because "everything the light touches. Is our kingdom."

34 Somebody Unimportant Dies Somebody Unimportant Dies

This is so annoying, and yet this makes me sad. - wrests

Really? - AlphaQ

Hate it -_-

35 The Plight of the Orphan Plot Line The Plight of the Orphan Plot Line

The kind where the main character is a young soul, abandoned or orphaned who is surrounded by extreme forces and having to overcome many obstacles to find their identity. Pinocchio, Bambi, the 2016 Pete's Dragon to name a few.

36 Wisecracking Male Hero Wisecracking Male Hero

Hey, girls can be funny, too, and not just in a non-threatening dorky way. There are some welcome exceptions, such as with both the female characters in 'Wreck-it Ralph'.
I think it wouldn't hurt to have gender dynamics be a little more diverse. - SourNote2014

37 Overprotective Parents Overprotective Parents

Mufasa being the worst of them all. Glad he's dead.

38 The Love Song The Love Song
39 A Song About the Protagonist's Hopes and Desires A Song About the Protagonist's Hopes and Desires
40 Comic Relief Comic Relief

I hate it - Roguy

41 Romantic Plot Tumor
42 Bad Sequel to Good Movie or Good Sequel to Bad Movie?
43 When You Wish Upon a Star
44 Tear-Jerking Scene

I don’t think that there’s any Disney movie that doesn’t have a scene that makes you want to cry...

45 Royal Characters Wanting More

Like your rich, you live in a castle or palace and you have dozens of servants how can you want more?

46 Making fun of itself

This may seem great, but Disney's been making fun of itself an awful lot lately.

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Top 10 Cliches In Disney Movies Top Ten Most Annoying Disney Character Cliches Top 10 Disney Princess Cliches Top 10 Common Disney Cliches Top Horror Movie Cliches

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Top Remixes (5)

1. Obnoxious Side Characters
2. Dead Parents
3. Underdeveloped Romance
1. Happy Ending
2. Dead Parents
3. Annoying Side Characters
1. Dead Parents
2. Obnoxious Side Characters
3. Surprise Villains

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