Growing up, most of your time is spent in an idyllic bubble made of ice cream and puppies. And unless you lived in a Dickensian wasteland, your childhood was probably pretty good. If you spent your formative years in the '90s, you not only had access to great Disney films, but there were teenage turtles who were also mutants AND ninjas. There was also a glut of life-affirming movies featuring teen geniuses who were wise beyond their years. But like that gross ear in Blue Velvet, this list is here to pull back the curtain of your beatific childhood and reveal the dark secrets that bubbled beneath your favorite pieces of pop culture. These hard facts might not be fun to learn, but knowledge is power, people.
Whether you grew up on classic children's fairy tales or the stories created by the Disney Corporation, you were definitely lied to. The disturbing facts on this list are sure to make you look back on your childhood in a new light. From where Air Bud is today, to the disturbing minds of Lewis Carroll, Walt Disney, AND the guy who directed The Wizard of Oz, it turns out that the bliss of childhood wasn't so blissful after all.
So be the adult you are today and face the facts behind your childhood favorite movies, TV shows, stories, and fairy tales with this list. Vote up the most interesting facts below that totally ruin your memories of being a kid and try not to think about what that little piggy was doing at the market for the rest of your life.
Flipper Committed Suicide
As anyone who's seen the documentary Blackfish knows, trained aquatic animals haven't always received the best treatment. As you can imagine, it was more difficult to monitor the treatment of animal performers in the '60s than it is now.
Kathy, one of the dolphins that starred on the TV series Flipper, reportedly killed herself due to the conditions of her captivity.
"Dolphins and whales are not air breathers like we are," he said. "Every breath they take is a conscious effort. They can end their life whenever. She swam into my arms and looked me right in the eye, took a breath and didn’t take another one. I let her go and she sank straight down on her belly to the bottom of the tank."
The Director Of 'Powder' Is A Convicted Child Molester
Victor Salva directed Powder, a Disney film that told a generation it's okay to be different (as long as you have lightning powers). But Salva had already spent 15 months in prison for molesting a 12-year-old boy who had acted in some of his earlier films. Salva also videotaped one of the incidents. He pleaded guilty to five felony counts including procurement of child pornography and lewd and lascivious conduct.
But Salva has maintained a Hollywood career years later. He's the writer and director of the Jeepers Creepers horror franchise.
Elmo Is Reportedly A Creep
Several men accused Kevin Clash, the actor who provided the voice of "Elmo" on Sesame Street for 28 years, of sexually abusing them when they were minors. One of the alleged victims said Clash used his "unique position" in the industry to target children.
Clash resigned in 2012 when the claims came to light, but a judge dismissed the case the following year because the claims were made outside of the state's statute of limitations.
The Cowardly Lion Is Made Of Actual Lion Skin
In an effort to make The Wizard of Oz look as real as possible, the costume designer used a costume made of real lion skin for the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). The wig and mane were also made of human hair.