There are a few certainties in Disney movies – a doe-eyed princess, the death of a parent, and a plot of evil and sorcery. As a minimum of investigation reveals, however, the Mouse House is also prone to writing plots which would generate all sort of profound legal trouble for their protagonists if they ever tried such shenanigans in the real world.
Of course, since Disney movies are usually cartoons, no one takes them very seriously. And maybe cataloguing the potentially litigious behavior of these beloved characters runs wildly afoul of their creators’ intentions.
Eh, let’s do it anyway. Here are eight times Disney characters could have hugely used the help of an attorney.
1) The Little Mermaid
Sea witch Ursula is running a pretty successful business in the fathoms of the ocean, taking the souls of merpeople in exchange for giving them their heart’s deepest desires. Her gig, however, is pure, unadulterated fraud. There is always a catch in her contract that puts her on top and her clients, like Ariel, at a major disadvantage. A wise lawyer would have advised Ariel not to make any hasty decisions without reading the fine print.
2) The Incredibles
There actually were attorneys in The Incredibles, including a government bigwig who kept showing up every time Mr. Incredible’s super-strength got him into a jam. We could all use a guy like this on our side who shuts down trouble and erases memories, especially if you are full of righteous anger. God knows Mr. Incredible and the rest of the movie’s superhero cast wreaked all sorts of property-damaging havoc, and would have required legal representation as they found themselves being dragged through hundreds of related lawsuits.
3) One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Skunk-haired villain Cruella da Ville (along with her lackeys Horace and Jasper) snatched 15 adorable Dalmatian puppies (presumably, so Cruella could make herself a one-of-a-kind spotted fur coat) from Roger and Anita Radcliffe. Cruella added the litter to the collection of 84 pups she already had. Cruelty to animals. Animal endangerment. Kidnapping. This woman is gonna need a good lawyer.
Chef Skinner picks up the phone in the office of his restaurant and yells, “Get my lawyer!” But it’s bumbling young chef Linguini who needs the legal representation in Ratatouille. He’s being schemed out of his rightful inheritance – Chef Gusteau was actually his father and the restaurant that Skinner is running into the ground belongs to the lanky Linguini instead.
5) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
In Snow White, the evil queen absolutely has a case to sue her huntsman for breach of contract. He brought back the heart of a wild animal rather than the heart of Snow White. And Snow herself would be wise to secure some legal representation for long-term effects suffered as a result of eating a tainted apple. And the dwarves might want to have an attorney on hand to make sure their exchange of living space in the cottage for Snow White’s housekeeping services is fair and legal.
“You can’t marry a man you just met,” Queen Elsa tells her sister Princess Anna. Luckily for Anna, she didn’t get hitched too soon to the wrong man. But he was a bit of a stalker, a liar, a thief, a kidnapper, and an all-around schemer who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. Lawyer, get this girl a restraining order, stat!
Petty crime is still a crime, and when Jasmine unwittingly grabbed an apple from a cart in the street market to give to a hungry little boy, she almost had her hand cut off as on-the-spot punishment. Aladdin came to her rescue, encouraging her to claim mental incompetence, but sometimes you need a stronger defense, like insanity.
8) Inside Out
He may cry candy. He may be made mostly of cotton candy. But Bing Bong got the shaft in Inside Out, suddenly terminated from his job as Riley’s imaginary friend. But most states are at-will when it comes to employment, meaning Bing Bong, like the rest of us, can be fired for no reason at all. Fighting this battle – especially from the memory dump – will be an uphill climb, but the right lawyer can help.