Film Theory: Disney’s Biggest Disasters! (Moana, Hercules, Lion King…)


[Music] hello Internet welcome to film theory where I can’t waste any more time getting to the finale of this theory because I keep literally being stopped in the streets and asked what the deadliest movie is gonna end up being it’s actually a little unsettling how into this theory everyone is plus the process of getting through these last five excruciating ly historically inaccurate movies is gonna take us so long that I literally don’t have any time to waste today no witty banter no cringy dad jokes just death death and even more death remember we ended last episode with our total kill count sitting at three thousand five hundred and twenty I forgot to add in too at the end of last episode those three thousand five hundred twenty deaths were coming across fifty three movies the top of our deadliest Disney movie leaderboard belonged to the Lion King sitting confidently atop Pride Rock and a pile of bones with 1660 lives lost mostly due to a half a decade of hyenas overfeeding but get ready because today’s challengers are gonna give that number a heck of a run for its money when we started in on this trilogy everyone on our theorist team picked the movie that they thought was gonna end up being the deadliest it’s like guessing the weight of a new baby before it’s born except instead of Powell’s announces its beheadings and extinction-level events hopefully your pick made it as a finalist because this is your last chance to get those bets in your final five Internet Mulan dinosaur Hercules Atlantis or Moana okay maybe it’s just gonna stay the Lion King choose wisely because lives and more importantly internet bragging rights depend on let’s start with what is bizarrely the most straightforward of these final five Mulan which was a clear fan favorite for death count in the comments and I understand why I mean you literally see two villages burned an army of good guys just outright dead in the snow and the climax of the whole thing is as we all remember Mulan using fireworks to cause an avalanche that buries all but six of the invading Han army initially I thought the best way to do this would be to just look at history Mulan the Disney movie in case you didn’t know comes from the Chinese legend of Guam LAN where the fee warrior Mulan does what the movie would teach us to expect her to do she takes her aging father’s place in the army to defend against invaders interestingly enough though this is a really progressive story in the original legend she doesn’t hide her true self from her family or sneak away in the middle of the night her family totally supports her decision to become a kick-butt warrior woman but she doesn’t even need to fall in love with another soldier I mean I get that Disney needed to create some conflict or something but the 5th century historical version of this story is actually a lot cooler and a lot more progressive than the 1998 remake feels bad man given that it’s a legend maybe based in some history I thought we could estimate deaths based on the number of soldiers and Shen use real army but genu isn’t a real person if anyone he’s sort of super loosely based on Attila the Hun but geographically atilla’s Empire ended 3,000 miles west of the Northern Wei Empire where the Mulan legend originates and most of his battles were fought against Europeans so we got ourselves the wrong enemy at the wrong end of the continent so there were really no attila battles that i could base this on but i kept on trying shen you gets his name from the anglicized version of shan you title which is just the generic term for a Hunley der it would be like watching a movie about America a thousand years from now where the head of our country was somehow named Perez Odin given that Shawn you is this totally generic title there is still no battle that we could possibly base this finale of Mulan on it also doesn’t help us that there’s no real historical record of lon while her legend is really famous she’s usually left out of Chinese history texts and seems to be treated like a symbol rather than a real historical person so in the end with not enough credible information to go on I had to result in doing a death count ooh the old-fashioned way counting except that counting all these people the old-fashioned way would have taken a ridiculous amount of time so I did it the new fashioned way a macro using canoe active I processed the frames of Mulan to automatically count how large Shen use Ford was the program converts the images into black and white which in turn makes it easier for computer to count the individual members of the army I had to really fiddle around with the settings here to make sure that the program only was counting what I wanted it too soon to be dead hon after some creative photoshopping I came out with eleven deaths on the mountainside by aggressive firework plus an additional hundred and seventy-eight horsemen and 1048 other soldiers in the Avalanche itself for a grand total of 1237 kills add to that the two villages that we see burned which based on the size and proximity to the Great Wall of China would have had about a hundred residents each as well as the army that gets massacred trying to surprise a tech shinu which we can count in these scenes to be 31 but actually only adds 30 deaths since one messenger survives the massacre how many men does it take to deliver a message and then shenyu himself we get ourselves a grand total of 1468 it’s worth noting here that I’ve seen a few other different versions of this death count circulating around online ranging anywhere from two hundred and sixty to the upwards of 2,000 I was absolutely exhaustive in this analysis as possible so I feel pretty darn good about that 1468 number but in the end it still doesn’t edge out Lion King with Mulan out of the way it’s time to move on to the last of our movies in the princess category going from Mulan in China ish to Moana in Polynesia ish after this it’s all God’s and natural disasters so mallanna is gonna be our last hope for a princess to take home the murder crown rabbit allah becomes death number one early on in the movie and death number two quickly skyrockets to death number 260 when Maui and Moana blow up and sink an entire society of cogs Laura the little coconut pirates they meet and that totally forgettable scene that’s just sandwiched in the middle of the movie anyway those little scamp’s are based on a solomon islands legend of the Camorra a race of very small people who would steal from Island tribes they’re always depicted as cute harmless which is clearly why Moana and Maui feel it necessary to sink 259 of them at my best count mercilessly into the ocean and then smile about it to each other as they say leaving no survivors in their weight virutal okay that’s 260 it’s certainly a bloodbath but it is far from record-breaking but now we get to the curse the whole movie hinges on the fact that Maui stole this powerful heart of defeat II and thereby brought about a thousand-year plague without her heart if city began to crumble giving birth to a terrible darkness that will continue to spread until every one of us is devoured that means that Maui would be responsible for a thousand years of Darkness spreading across the Pacific Islands which seems like it should be a shoo-in for death and destruction I am certainly excited now we do have to remember that except for a single crab god animal species aren’t sapient in this movie so fish aren’t gonna count and as much as I’d like to think that that leaves us with plenty of room for death the problem with this curse quickly becomes the fact that it’s just now showing up to mallanna’s island which means that it has been coming for a long time sure grandma’s map at the beginning of the movie shows this darkness spreading really fast and yet when Moana and her dad visit the top of the island he shows her how long they’ve been living there without any issues no darkness to contend with for at my count twelve generations if we’re being generous and say that a generation of leader is turning over every 25 years which again who Ana’s dad looks significantly older than this but we’re giving it a worst-case scenario we’re looking at at least 300 years of easy fish and coconuts without even a hint of a plague I mean if you have that long to become a doomsday prepper and you don’t build in any contingency plans I think there’s an argument to be made that you might have had it coming anyway the point is we need to see if this darkness is actually creeping up on anyone or if it’s just totally avoidable to figure that out we’re gonna have to measure how far the curse is traveled which we know is gonna be from the heart of defeat II where the curse started to mallanna’s Island at the start of the movie so all we need to know is how far she travels in her boat between those two locations and how long it takes to get there here’s what we know we sima wanna travel for three four days at most her boat is captained by Maui a master wayfinder and demigod and her boat is a recreation of a Fujian chemical similar to an outrigger canoe that can travel up to 15 knots or 17 miles per hour we’re gonna somehow have to ignore the fact that this boat was also built by those three hundred year old ancestors who landed on mallanna’s Island making this boat so impossibly old that there’s no way it would actually sail but whatever Disney will also assume that mallanna didn’t sleep at any point during the journey something Maui considered a sign of weakness as a Wayfinder so at the boats max rate steered completely straight by an expert wayfinder she could sail 1632 miles or 2626 kilometers in four days which is pretty incredible but we’re giving them the best-case scenario this means that mallanna’s island is a little over 1,600 miles from the heart of 2pt or cursed ground zero okay if the darkness started at two feeding and is just now reaching Mona’s Island at least 300 years later we’re saying that it took 300 years for the darkness to spread 1632 miles meaning that the curse has spread 5.4 miles per year that is nothing when you’re standing on the shore of a beach the horizon you’re seeing is 2.8 miles away from the top of mallanna’s Island you would be seeing well over 12 miles into the horizon you would literally see this darkness coming towards your shores for several years in advance which is why mallanna’s deadliness just falls apart with that much notice it would be almost impossible to believe that seed-bearing polynesian island dwellers who primarily fish for a survival would be unable to you know get in their boats and sail to the next island over when they see the curse coming there by buying them a few extra years even mallanna’s tribe of people who are water phobic are still gonna have time to see their shriveled coconuts throw some flex tape onto those centuries-old boats and move to the next island which would buy them more time so the final death tally from Awana 261 not even close after a thoroughly disappointing performance by Moana it’s up to the last three movie to knock my socks off and I’m confident in the next to Atlantis the lost Empire and Hercules sure Atlantis lost Empire ain’t one of those beloved Disney classics with a big plastic VHS cover but looking back on it it’s pretty darn good and at the very least it is pretty darn deadly at this point that’s all I really care about since it’s gonna need to prove itself in gladiatorial fashion against another strong challenger from the same part of the world Hercules in one corner it got herself a flood that wrecks an entire civilization and in the other we have ourselves a complete war between gods and Titans with the world of man caught stuck in the middle so let’s set up those dueling death tickers and get down to it Atlantis there’s a big chase scene with a Leviathan early on in the movie that accounts for 171 deaths right off the bat adding in the King’s death and the ending battle who suddenly jump up to a hundred and eighty five though it can be hard to tell how many of the explosions we see signifying certain death and how many are just like as I believe is the technical term of what we’re watching Hercules his kills are mostly taking place during the montage of him completing some of the most famous twelve labors of Hercules Hercules Hydra 30 man being born in Lyon which looks suspiciously like Skaar a sea monster that isn’t part of the labors but we’ll give him credit for anyway and then the Minotaur a Gorgon and some really scary looking birds two of which were actually fought by the Greek hero Perseus but you get the idea we can also give my dualies credit for killing neces the Centaur that’s torturing Meg it’s unclear in the movie if he’s officially dead or if he’s just unconscious but according to Greek myth Hercules does indeed kill him so we’re gonna go with that and know we’re not counting make sure she dies but she has to die and stay dead meg gets her vibe before the end of the movie also he can’t count Hades because he already lives in the underworld so based off of these early acts sequences Atlantis the lost Empire has a significant lead but at the end of the day this isn’t really gonna matter because these numbers are tiny compared to the huge catastrophic events in both movies the sinking of Atlantis and the technology and here’s where the counting has to get creative Atlantis the lost Empire starts with a giant tsunami headed for the island of Atlantis a protective barrier bubble thing is formed around the center of the island and sinks it to the ocean it’s not as though everyone in Atlantis dies but we do see a lot of people banging on that bubble from the outside and the bubble only ends up saving just a small fraction of the land of Atlantis which leaves us with an obvious question and the not so obvious answer how many people died when Atlantis Saints it’d be nearly impossible to get a decent guess at this just from the design of the city that we see at the beginning of the movie so we’re gonna have to go all the way back to the ancient Greek Atlantis story to determine the most likely death toll ditto for when Hades releases the Titans onto earth and they start wrecking house let’s start with Atlantis from a historical perspective all our information about Atlantis comes from the Greek philosopher Plato you know the Plato who tells a story about a farmer who finds himself a ring that makes him invisible but corrupts him morally a story that j.r.r tolkien definitely didn’t steal anyway in his dialogue Critias Plato tells of the continent Atlantis a 10,000 BC superpower with a great military and tons of technology so advanced that it sank because the gods got jealous and said a big earthquake slash flood combo to take it down sounds fine cool myth bro the Plato never mentions how many people live on Atlantis which would have really done a lot to make my life easier bizarrely the mythical estimates for Atlantis’s army ranges from 5 million to over 100 million and everything in between but regardless those numbers give us a bit of an issue because the population of the entire world at the time in 10,000 BC would have been somewhere in the order of 1 to 3 million people adding in injury Atlantis probably isn’t even from 10,000 BC because a mistranslation basically changed the entire story to nine thousand years ago when it was originally meant to be nine hundred years ago so basically TLDR were looking for some historical event that Plato could have based his clearly made-up story on that he then used to pass off as if it were historically true to all his bros so what historic clues can we find in Atlantis the movie well the one thing we actually know is that there was a tsunami so we just have to find a massive historical tsunami at the right time and place to make this happen and for that ladies and gentlemen I give you the Minoan civilization located on the island of Crete and most prominent from about 2000 to 1500 BC the Minoans are most famous for building palaces and being the inspiration for the myth of the Minotaur but Minoans are also our best proxy for both Atlantis as Plato reported it as well as how Disney imagined in the large buildings that we see present in Atlantis the lost Empire would have been extraordinarily rare in the ancient world but the Minoans were building palaces and multi-story buildings earlier than any other island civilization that we know of the Minoan language also checks off the boxes from what we see in the movie nobody is really sure what Minoan sounded like because we can’t read the basic Minoan writing system known as linear a which parallels the fact that no one can read at lanty and in the movie itself yes yes I can read Atlantean just like you you can’t okay me no one can and most importantly of all we have an event that would make sense for the quote-unquote sinking of Atlantis around 1550 BC right around the real-time Atlantis was supposed to be set without Plato screwing up his dates the volcanic island of fira modern-day santorini exploded destroying part of the island and sending gigantic waves to the shores of crete only about 70 miles away the resulting tsunami devastated the coast of crete destroying cities ruining coastline and of course killing a lot people now I hear you Atlantis is supposed to have sunk into the sea and creeds is still very much around that said part of the island of fear Assange you can actually see where a bunch of it is missing even to this day so the whole idea is still right this event sunken Island and destroyed a civilization so for God’s sake after all of that over analysis what the heck is the death count well estimates have the eruption of Thera killing 35,000 Minoans on crete Wow that’s to say nothing of the people who are on Fuhrer itself even if we want to use a more conservative estimate those estimates still run in the range of twenty thousand deaths definitely enough to dwarf any of our other Disney contenders up to this point so as devastating a historical event as this was based on the silver lining here is that in the Disney version there is no way if Berkeley’s can beat this right I mean sure houses are crushed temples are blown away but it can’t measure up to the explosion of fear of rights except interestingly enough many people believe that the inspiration for the story of the titan ama key the exact scenes that we see take place and hercules was the massive eruption of Thera the same event that we just attributed to the loss of atlantis so the long story short here is that the destruction in these two movies are based on the exact same event so what is it like the tie then I mean effectively for as much as we can calculate real numbers out of poorly documented historical facts that influenced fictional movies hundreds of years later yeah although Hercules is taking place in Thebes which is much farther away from Fira than krita’s so there would be fewer deaths associated with Hercules just by proximity alone there you have it Hercules and Atlantis practically in a tie I mean of the two Atlantis would qualify as the more deadly movie with Hercules in second place but the two of them have a commanding lead over anything else in the Disney canon that we’ve covered so far congratulations Disney on leveraging a devastating global event for children’s entertainment not just once but twice don’t worry a year yeah a tie what and lead us through an entire flippin trilogy on Disney movies and ruined Christmas and string us along through this ungodly long episode that has itself a flippin mid-roll just to tell us that it ends in a tie I mean I don’t write the movies so take it up with old Walt oh wait there is still one more dinosaur that’s right the Disney feature you didn’t know you needed and then definitely continue to not need because it came out in 2000 and we already had the far superior Land Before Time series since 1988 oh regardless it’s a movie that the Disney Animation Studios made and it is here where the buck stops when it comes to Disney deaths and I know you’re all like oh of course this movie shows the extinction right so many millions of dinosaurs died and as much as I’d like to just finally finally end this with the mass extinction of the dinosaurs this movie actually doesn’t show that event I swear that would have put the easy way out but in the entire film only five dinosaurs died two bad guys two good guys and one neutral Triceratops that’s it I know I couldn’t believe it either but if that’s the case then where else could all the deaths come from and the grand answer the answer to where the most Disney deaths come from in the animation studios 80-year history isn’t coming from humans isn’t coming from fish it’s coming from lemurs yep these guys prehistoric lemurs he might be thinking to yourself gee I didn’t think dinosaurs and lemurs really lived at the same time and right you would be pretty much there’s some research that mammals and dinosaurs did overlap for a very short time at the end of the Cretaceous period when aladar are Iguanodon protagonist was supposed to have lived and it just so happens that one of the oldest animal species to exist in this teeny overlapping sweet spot 60 million years ago were lemurs and yes historically you still have to really squint at this one to get any kind of scenario where a monkey family would raise a dinosaur we’re just gonna have to go with this one in order to make it to the other side of it like I said very few dinosaurs were actually harmed in the making of dinosaurs but an entire island worth of lemurs were just knocked out in one fell swoop we Meteor and the associated fallout land on the uncreated lee named lemur island in the movie sending the entire island up in flames except for this small lemur family our friendly dinosaur hero the lemur baby even comments that during the film thereby confirming for us that every lemur on lemur island is now a crispy critter lot of course that leads to the next obvious question how in the world do we know how many that is or even how big Lemur island is well in the most bizarre twist of luck we actually know the real world location of lemur Island because historically there is only one possible location it’s the real island off the east coast of Africa called Madagascar in your biology lesson for the day the reason lemurs are lemurs is because they evolved all by themselves over millions of years isolated from all other primate species on the lonely island of Madagascar all lemurs even modern lemurs started back on Madagascar so this is literally the only place lemur Island could be in the entire planet Earth especially on the order of 60 million years ago when Madagascar had just started to separate from continental Africa this is also why we only see the dinosaur and lemurs swimming across a narrow channel rather than a huge body of water in the aftermath of the meteor strike at the time they escaped from lemur Island lemur Island was just recently lemur Peninsula so with that incredible stroke of luck we now know not only where lemur island is but how big it is Madagascar is 226,000 597 square miles in area but not all of that area is habitable by lemurs going by its modern-day geography which is honestly all we got only about 43,000 square miles of the island is rainforest which is Lemur habitat and also the area where we see the lemurs living in movies so how many lemurs could reasonably be living in 43,000 square miles of jungle Oh well this is impossible to know directly but the lemurs in the movie would have been precursors to the modern ring-tailed lemur which has a territory size of 0.14 square miles that means that you could fit yourself 307,000 143 lemurs on to Madagascar at territory capacity which is how many lemurs we would have the potential to lose in dinosaurs even if we said it was half that number if we said it was a dead that number we still have our winner by a long shot by an apocalyptic landslide dinosaur is the deadliest Disney movie of all time rest in peace lemurs in a moment of silence for all the Disney fallen who’ve gone before you [Music] [Applause] [Music] so after 58 movies and three incredibly long episodes what does all this mean my friends we have come a long way on the Disney death tree I wanted to highlight how much we’ve accomplished here by recapping some of our most significant findings across the entire Disney canon 58 original Disney animation studio movies are estimated total deaths are 344 thousand thirty one which is honestly nothing compared to the number of childhood dreams this show kills on a regular basis our overall deadliest Disney movie winner is dinosaur and a death count of up to 300,000 sapient lemurs the most deaths of any movie a cared about or are likely to have seen however goes resoundingly to Hercules and Atlantis lost Empire with over twenty to thirty thousand deaths each by volcano most deaths in a Disney princess movie as well as Disney’s deadliest princess goes to Mulan with just over 1200 very respectable number Disney’s deadliest and most effective villainous scar from The Lion King at sixteen hundred and fifty nine deaths 1660 of Death one’s own most twisted deaths go to Alice in Wonderland where the walrus eats 12 Easter babies most tragic death ends up going to the accidentally harpooned opera singing whale in make my music just brutally sad and my personal favorite Disney death goes to Ursula being stabbed in the stomach at the end of Little Mermaid and now finally with this series over and all this being said you can now go and we can all collectively kill off 2018 to start the old kill count back at zero for 2019 this has been an incredibly fun but totally exhausting project to finish off the year I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did this was a blast let me know if you want to do something similar for Pixar movies dreamworks movies I don’t know I’m game for anything thank you so much for your support over this three-part trilogy thank you so much for your continued support of film theory and have a happy new year everyone onward to 2019 I will see you there with more is more film series and cups

David Anderson

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