Easter Egg Hunt: Our Favorite Childhood Cartoons!

Throughout my childhood, movies were a special rarity strategically utilized for the relief of the adults around me. When my parents needed a break from the sound of arguments in the back of the car, my substitute teacher didn’t feel the need to do his/ her job, or my babysitter wanted to text her boyfriend without mockery from a kid who insisted boys carried ‘cooties’, the power button on the remote was the surest option. However, most of what I once interpreted as pure entertainment was rarely intended to be just that. One person may watch the same program multiple times and not realize a hidden layer of irony for years. Here are seven things you probably didn’t realize about beloved childhood movies until you were older:


The Little Mermaid

Unless you were born with an innate knowledge of ancient greek mythology, you probably didn’t realize that Ariel’s father is Triton, the messenger of the sea. That would make Poseidon, god of the sea, the grandfather of Ariel. Incidentally, Poseidon’s brother is Zeus, who is the father of Hercules. Thus, Ariel and Hercules are related!


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

As kids, we related well to Charlie, causing us to share the admiration and awe he expresses toward Willy Wonka. However, looking back, we sympathize less with him because we know Mr. Wonka’s family history. The image of Willy Wonka is not the identity of Willy Wonka. He opens a chocolate factory, not because he is ambitious but because wants to rebel against his father, who discourages sweets because he is a dentist. His scarring childhood left him homeless, disturbed, and unable to even mutter the word parents.



Growing up, we learned to recognize Caillou as a four - year - old boy without hair. Most of us didn’t realize that his head was bare until we had, in a sense, grown up with him. Because many of Caillou’s friends have hair, we cannot simply ignore that he is different. Many have speculated that Caillou has cancer, hypothyroidism, Trichotillomania, or other diseases that may cause hair loss. However, as seen in the show, Caillou exhibits an enjoyable lifestyle, uninterrupted by health reasons. Because this question sparked so much debate, the creators of the show released a statement explaining that Caillou was originally a nine - month - old baby but when they tried to make him mature, the addition of hair made him unrecognizable.



The frame narrative in the beginning of the movie draws the comparison between the merchant who introduces the genie’s lamp, and the genie himself. This connection becomes more evident by the fact that both characters are voiced by Robin Williams, are covered in blue, have similar shaped noses, and have goatees that swirl at the end. This brings up the possibility that the genie was freed and transformed into a merchant. Perhaps he has grown tired of his life as a merchant and, in selling the lamp, is attempting to sell himself.


Winnie the Pooh

If, like me, you are filled with fondness at the memory of our friends out in the Hundred-Acre Woods, this may not be a theory you want to read. According to many speculators, the minds of these characters are not innocent, but littered with mental and emotional struggles. As much as we want to reject it, occurrences throughout the show seem to indicate that Pooh has an eating disorder, Piglet has anxiety, Tigger has ADD, Owl is dyslexic, Eeyore has depression, Christopher Robin has schizophrenia and Kanga and Roo represent two halves of someone with Split Personality Disorder.


Monsters Inc.

Although she only actually says three audible words in the film, we all remember the adorable toddler referred to as ‘Boo’. But, because her status is only relevant to us, as an audience, in the monster world, we did not even bother to wonder about her identity in the human world. For example, do her parents notice she is gone? What is her first language? Does she ever tell anyone about her adventure with monsters? If you pay attention to the drawings she makes for Mike and Sully, Boo signs her name as Mary, named after Mary Gibbs, the little girl who voices her character. Many have suggested that a young girl who appears in a scene from Toy Story 3 may be an older version of Boo. In the Butterfly Room at Sunnyside Daycare, she appears to be playing with a blue cat, which alludes to “Kitty”, Boo’s nickname for Sully. She is also heard exclaiming the word “boo” in the scene. Coincidence? I think not.


The Parent Trap

For many of the actors in this movie, their part in this film was their defining role. However, whether we realize it or not, this is not the case for the actress who plays Marva, Camp Walden’s leader. Although we are more familiar with Maggie Wheeler than we know, most of us don’t recognize her without the makeup, wardrobe, and most significantly, voice that she uses when she plays Janice from the hit tv show, Friends. Good luck watching “The Parent Trap” without hearing her lines in the Janice voice!

Although we are sometimes reluctant to accept theories that disillusion the views with which we grew up, sometimes it is for the best. We may relate better with older characters or finally understand the reasoning behind a decision that didn’t used to make sense to us. While movies/ tv shows were once meant solely to entertain me, I now understand that sometimes, the things that seem the most simple, have the most meaning.