Sometimes the people behind kids’ shows get bored. They decide they can’t help it, and they just have to let off steam and put out some disturbing cartoons.
Sometimes they just have to put in a joke, a visual, or even a concept that is decidedly not kid-friendly.
It’s been happening since the very dawn of animation. Cartoons are typically thought of as entertainment for children, but of course we all know adults love them too.
Animators, writers, and even voice actors sometimes just can’t help but throw a little something-something into the mix, just for the grownups.
Plenty of people have heard of the antics Disney gets up to behind the scenes, and we’re not so interested in repeating the story of that particular tower in King Neptune’s castle.
Instead, these are things that were very deliberately placed into cartoons. They’re just a little too messed up for kids, if you stop and think about it.
The Shrek films have always been more than just a Mike Myers/Eddie Murphy voice acting vehicle.
Although the series has gotten a little more vanilla as time went on, the first movie held some genuinely biting and subtle humor. One gag that goes completely uncommented on is the fate of the Three Bears (of Goldilocks fame). If you think about it too hard, it makes Shrek one of the most genuinely disturbing cartoons that was meant for kids.
At the start of the film, various fairy tale creatures have been forced to live in the swamp where Shrek makes his own. Among them is the family of three bears: Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.
Before long, they’re captured by evil Lord Farquaad during what amounts to a montage. It’s just one of several examples of Farquaad’s deeds, and isn’t a major plot point.
Cut to the end of the film, when Mama Bear has apparently been turned into a bearskin rug in Farquaad’s bedroom. She’s not present at the party at the end of the story.