Looking for some kid-friendly insults for your YA or children’s book? Watch some Disney movies. Seriously, while we don’t think of kids movies as being full of insults, when you pay attention, you realize that there are a lot. Enough, in fact, that I can break them down into different types of Disney movie insults.
How Disney Characters Insult Each Other
After reading through Disney quote after Disney quote, I noticed that there are two basic of types of insults: witty and simple. Then, I thought, no, the two types are specific and generic. Finally, I ended up with 2 types (witty v. simple) with 2 subtypes (specific and generic).
Witty Disney Movie Insults
Most witty disney movie insults fall under banter and come from characters who are joking or are fairly calm. They involve the use of $2 words, long phrases, and even figurative language. Some of them are so subtle that I’m sure that they go right over kids heads. Others are blatant enough that ambitious children probably have them memorized (or at least giggle madly).
These witty insults only work in the context of the movie (or something very similar).
- “Some all-powerful Genie. Can’t even bring people back from the dead. I don’t know, Abu. He probably can’t even get us out of this cave.” — Aladdin from Aladdin
- “For a clown fish, he’s not that funny.” — Bruce from Finding Nemo
- “Ah, Eric, I think you swallowed a bit too much seawater.” — Grimsby from The Little Mermaid (They’d have to at least have been swimming in a sea for this to make sense.)
- “Gaston, you are positively primeval.” — Belle from Beauty and the Beast
- “You pompous, paraffin-headed peabrain!” — Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast (It’s name calling, but it also uses “big words,” alliteration, and an allusion to Lumiere’s former state.)
- “En garde, you, you overgrown pocket watch!” — Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast (references Cogworth’s former state)
- “Oh, how quaint – even the rabble.” — Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
While a step above the average “stupid-head,” these aren’t specific to the story. They can re-used.
- “We mustn’t lurk in doorways. It’s rude. One might question your upbringing.” — Ursula from The Little Mermaid
- “Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch – they swim all over you.” — Sebastian from The Little Mermaid (Granted, the swimming is story-specific, but otherwise, not so much.)
- “Well, as slippery as your mind is, as the King’s brother, you should’ve been first in line.” — Zazu from The Lion King (“the King’s brother” is specific, but the actual insult is not.)
- “I’d rather be smart than be an actor.” Pinocchio from Pinocchio
- “Oh, they’re hopeless. A disgrace to the forces of evil.” — Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
- “The only girl who’d love him is his mother.” — Yao from Mulan
- “I know. It’s called ‘a cruel irony.’ Like my dependence on you.” — Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove
- “This is Yzma, the Emperor’s advisor. Living proof that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth.” — Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove
- “I’m very sorry, Gaston, but… but I just don’t deserve you.” — Belle from Beauty and the Beast
- “You can be replaced, you know.” — Napoleon from Aristocats
Simple Disney Insults
These disparaging remarks are basically examples of name-calling. Usually 1 insulting word at a time since the characters tend to be much more upset than with the others (for the most part). And you might notice some overlap between movies and characters.
There aren’t as many examples of context-specific name-calling, but it does happen.
- “Hey, look! Banana Beak is scared.” — Simba from The Lion King
- “Flounder, don’t be such a guppy.” — Ariel from The Little Mermaid
- “You are a worthless street rat. You were born a street rat, you will die a street rat, and only your fleas will mourn you.” — Prince Achmed from Aladdin (It’s long-winded but mostly repeated name-calling.)
The generic ones have the most overlap. In fact, the near-identical nature of some of the lines is what made me start paying attention to Disney insults in the first place.
- “I’m surrounded by amateurs.” — Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
- “I’m surrounded by idiots.” — Scar from The Lion King
- “Why you, you unreasonable, pompous, blustering old windbag!” — King Stefan from Sleeping Beauty
- “Take a look at that, you pompous windbag!” — The King from Cinderella
- “She’s a demon! She’s a monster!” — Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
- “She’s an old witch!” — Grumpy from Snow White
- “That witch. That devil woman.” — Perdita from 101 Dalmatians
- “Stupid-head.” — Stitch from Lilo and Stitch
- “You idiot!” — Jasper from 101 Dalmatians
- “You idiots! You fools! You imbeciles!” — Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians
- “You idiots!” — Razoul from Aladdin
- “You little fool!” — Jafar from Aladdin
- “You clumsy little fool!” — Lady Tremaine from Cinderella
- “Fools! Idiots! Imbeciles!” — Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
Notice the pattern? I almost focused the article on how many characters got called stupid (or a synonym). Not the best example for kids, but what insult would be?
Thoughts? Ready to inadvertently pay attention to all the insults in Disney movies now that I brought it to your attention? (Sry?)