Occasionally on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I’ll pull out a Disney animated movie and pop it into the DVD player. Then I settle in for an hour and a half of enjoyment with an “old friend.” Recently, I decided to watch Mulan as it had been a while since I had seen this movie about a young Chinese girl determined to bring honor to her family.
Early in the film, Mulan is presented to the Matchmaker. At this meeting, she has only a few minutes to demonstrate the necessary lady-like charms required to be a good wife.
Of course, things don’t go well and calamity ensues. At one point, a pot of hot coals is knocked over and the Matchmaker accidentally sits on them. After an appropriate comedic pause, the Matchmaker realizes that her rear end is on fire, jumps up, and races around the room fanning her rather large behind. This is a funny scene.
But what if the Matchmaker’s legs had caught fire rather than her butt? Would this scene have been comical? Maybe. Maybe not. It would have depended on how the situation was presented. Even then, it would be dicey. Overall, legs, and other body parts, aren’t funny. But igniting her bottom was a surefire laugh. There is no gambling with a butt joke. You know it’s going to be funny.
The buttocks, when presented correctly, are a way of being wholesomely risqué. Walt Disney knew this. Rump humor can be seen again and again in his animated short and full-length features. And children really love butt jokes. When watching a movie in the theater and a fanny is brought into the mix, kids laugh the loudest.
To give you an idea of how often rump humor is used in Disney movies, I’m going to bring you just a few of the many examples found in his full-length animated classics. Let’s start with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
When the dwarfs are singing “The Silly Song,” Grumpy works the organ bellows by shifting his weight from one butt cheek to the other in an exaggerated manner.
After the merriment dies down, it’s time for bed. Snow White takes over the dwarf’s bedroom, leaving the men to find other places to sleep. Dopey settles in immediately, but it takes Sleepy a little longer to find a spot. Eventually, Sleepy curls up against Dopey and uses his butt as a pillow. After a few moments of Dopey tossing and turning, Sleepy rises and “fluffs” Dopey’s cheeks to make it more comfortable.
At the beginning of the movie “Pinocchio,” Jiminy Cricket narrates the story. In an early scene, he hops over to the fireplace and uses his umbrella to pull a piece of coal out of the fire to warm himself. He then turns his butt toward the ember. His narration continues with, “As I stood there warming my (pause) myself.”
Disney knew there was no word he could use to describe Jiminy’s rear, but the joke works better leaving the term out completely.
In another scene, Jiminy is watching Geppetto and Pinocchio dance. Lost in the moment, he rests upon the bustle of a carved wooden figure of an elegant lady. Eventually, he realizes what he’s done and becomes embarrassed. Look at the expression on the lady’s face.
In 2002, the Walt Disney Classic Collection came out with a piece called Geppetto's Workbench. It was a “Signature” piece and quite elaborate. One portion of the sculpture recreates the above mentioned scene with Jiminy leaning on the young lady’s bustle.
As bedtime approaches, all of Geppetto’s cuckoo clocks begin to chime. One clock features a mother spanking the bare cheeks of her son.
In “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad,” Toad’s loyal horse is named Cyril Proudbottom. Disney and his storytellers gave the horse this name, not the “Wind and the Willows” author Kenneth Grahame. Cyril Proudbottom also appeared in “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
In “Lady and the Tramp” we see Scamp tugging on the pajamas of the son of Jim Dear and Darling.
In a scene from “Peter Pan,” Mr. Smee prepares to give Captain Hook a shave. As he turns to pick up the shaving mug and brush, a seagull lands on the Captain’s head. Not noticing, Smee lathers the bird’s rear end and proceeds to remove a few tail feathers.
In “Song of the South,” Brer Fox is building a tar-baby to catch Brer Rabbit. Eventually, it is discovered that the tar-baby doesn’t have any hair on his head. To remedy this, Brer Fox snatches some hair off of Brer Bear’s behind and places it on the tar-baby.
One of the most famous rump scenes can be found in “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” After eating too much hunny in Rabbit’s house, Pooh becomes too large to leave through the hole and becomes stuck. Rabbit, horrified by the sight of Pooh’s behind, does his best to decorate the eyesore.
Near the end of the movie “Dumbo,” our flying pachyderm exacts his revenge on the other circus performers. While swooping over the clowns, he pulls an elephant mask off of one of them and deposits it on the behind of the Ringmaster.
One of the segments in the movie “Melody Time” is “Pecos Bill.” In this story, Bill falls in love with Slue-Foot Sue. To prepare for her wedding, Sue buys the most expensive bustle she can find. Later, she is thrown from Bill’s horse Widow-Maker and lands on her bustle which acts like a spring. With each bounce on her butt, Sue rises higher and higher until she eventually lands on the moon.
In “Pocahontas,” Meeko and Flit fall into a river. As Meeko is climbing out, the rings on his tail create a bull’s-eye when viewed from behind. Flit seizes this opportunity and aims for the target.
When we’re first introduced to the character Pain in the movie “Hercules,” he’s running down a long stairway. He trips and flies through the air, only to land on the prongs of one of Hades’ torches. He eventually frees himself. Moments later, his companion Panic also trips while running down the staircase. He too flies through the air. However, Panic does not land on the same torch. In his case, he lands head first, embedding his horns into Pain’s hind quarters.
Later in the movie we find ourselves in Thebes where one of the townspeople is taunting the half-human, half-goat Philoctetes. Losing his temper over the insults, Philoctetes attacks the individual. Soon, his baser, goat-like nature emerges and he bites his tormentor in the rear. After the fight, we see the townsperson, crawling away with a large hole in his pants, exposing his polka dot underwear.
When Pongo and Perdita are rescuing the puppies in “101 Dalmatians” they are attacked by Horace and Jasper. As Jasper swings a fireplace poker at Pongo, our quick thinking hero scurries beneath his legs, turns around and bites him hard on the buttocks. In another scene, Perdita pulls the rug out from beneath Horace, tossing him into the fireplace, butt first. Moments later, Horace emerges, pants ablaze.
As the chase continues, Horace and Jasper follow the puppies into an old barn. Here, the Captain gives them the one-two kick in the rear.
In the battle scene from “Beauty and the Beast,” Cogsworth comes to Lumière’s aid who is in imminent danger. Dressed as a swashbuckler, Cogsworth slides down a long bannister and aims his pair of scissors directly at Le Fou’s behind.
When Aladdin arrives at the palace as Prince Ali, the Sultan requests a ride on the magic carpet. Having no flying experience, the Sultan haphazardly rockets around the room and directly into the rear end of Abu (who has been turned into an elephant). The scene cuts from a zoom-in of Abu’s backside to a close-up of his shocked face – eyes all bugged out.
Although not rump humor, this next ongoing joke is certainly related. Donald Duck does not wear any pants. Yet every time he loses his top, which is often, he becomes self-conscious and covers his entire body. This seems kind of pointless to me, but it is funny as we can all relate to his embarrassment. Here is an example from “Fantasia 2000.”
I won’t tell you that every Disney animated film contains rump humor. That would take me untold hours to verify. But most of them do – some, multiple times. Be sure to look for this slapstick humor next time you watch a Disney movie.
In case you’re wondering, rump humor is not confined only to the movies. It can also be found in the theme parks. The very first debuted at Disneyland and then later at the Magic Kingdom. On the Jungle Cruise we discover a lost safari has been trapped by an angry rhinoceros. As we venture closer, our skipper tells us, “That rhino seems to be getting his point across, and I'm sure that guy on the bottom will get it in the end.”
To add to the humor of this scene, the low man on the totem pole has ripped pants, exposing his polka dot underwear. The missing material can be found on the rhinos’ horn.
At the Elephant Bathing Pool we see two calves playing near their mother. The skipper says, “Hey look (pointing at the elephant facing away from the boat). There's a full moon in the jungle tonight.”
At the New York World’s Fair, Disney presented the “Magic Skyway” ride. This attraction took us back to the time of the dinosaurs. In one scene we see a proud triceratops mother and father watching their brood hatch. The egg closest to the audience features a young dino having a little trouble emerging from his previous home. His rear sways back and forth as he struggles to escape.
In the old Mickey Mouse Review attraction, Grumpy’s bellow pumping cheeks were recreated in 3D.
Even today, we can still see Grumpy’s talented bottom in an Emporium window on Main Street.
On Splash Mountain, Brer Bears big ol’ behind is prominently featured in a number of scenes. The first is when we discover him caught in a trap that Brer Fox set to ensnare Brer Rabbit.
Next we come face-to-rump when Brer Bear is looking for Brer Rabbit’s Laughing Place and sticks his head into a hollow tree full of bees.
Toward the end of the attraction, Brer Bear is looking for Brer Rabbit in the briar patch as Brer Fox stands on his behind.
In the Carousel of Progress, mother (Sarah) can be seen remodeling their basement into a rumpus room. Father (John) has set up her food mixer to stir paint. All of a sudden the mixer comes to life and switches into high gear. A moment later we hear Sarah scream and say, “Oh you and your progress. That paint mixer of yours just sloshed paint across my rump – umm – rumpus – a -- room.”
At the ending of Mickey’s PhilharMagic we see Donald expelled from a tuba, fly across the audience, and crash through a brick wall. For several moments, we’re treated to the sight of his backside as he struggles to free himself. Disney even sold a pin featuring Donald’s hind quarters.
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review also has its share of rump humor. While dancing the Holky Polky, Six Bits Slocum must throw his backside in and his backside out. To his embarrassment, the other cast members make numerous jokes regarding his derrière.
At the BoardWalk Resort, the swimming pool slide is known as Keister Coaster. For those of you who don’t know, “keister” is slang for a person’s rear end. So Keister Coaster is a fitting name for this slide as you ride it on your keister.
Well that brings an “end” to this article. My source of material on this subject has “bottomed” out. I hope a few of these Disney jokes have “cracked” you up. “Butt” if they didn’t, that’s okay. Maybe before too many “moons” the humor will “rear” its amusing head and bring a smile to your “cheeks.” Remember, my blogs are posted once a week. Don’t get “behind” in your reading.
The previous post in this blog was Disney Common Bonds 2 - Answers.
The next post in this blog is The Emporium - Magic Kingdom.