The other night I went down a youtube rabbit hole; the kind where you can hardly remember what it was you were searching for in the first place. Having been inspired by a couple of articles that Fr. Longenecker had linked about elephants, in a subconscious way I ended up thinking about the "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence from Dumbo, later went to youtube and watched the sequence, relived the unsettling, aggressive hallucinations, and alas, I made the mistake of then clicking on a video with a title about Illuminati symbology embedded in the pink elephants sequence.
From there it was hours, well past bed-time, of watching videos about the sexual subliminal messages and innuendo and outright graphic sexual images sneaked into the frames of Disney films and how Disney is a Satanic pedophile racket with secret underground tunnels in which the children that go missing from Disneyland are sacrificed in Satanic rituals and how Walt Disney was - according to them - a 33 degree Freemason.
Of course some of the videos made me laugh outright, so paranoid and stupid were they. And so much of it is just the usual internet rehashing of mostly unverified speculation, or anonymous sources. Others...well, I found them extremely creepy - that is, not the presentation of the videos, but the content itself. My take on Disney has generally been, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark", but without getting too particular.
The real question for me is not whether Disney is in some deep way corrupt with a disturbing darkness, but how far back into its foundations that darkness runs. Was Disney more or less innocent to begin with, but was later, by certain coinciding forces, gradually intercepted by evil agendas? Or was it basically a conspiracy to begin with? Which would mean speculations about Walt Disney himself. Was Walt Disney a 33 degree Freemason? It doesn't seem so, but was rather one of the outlier groups/clubs connected to the Masons.
But then I remembered that Tolkien had a special dislike of Disney, as articulated in letters he wrote. I looked them up. All emphasis mine.
13 May 1937 20 Northmoor Road, Oxford
Dear Mr Furth,
Thank you for the information concerning prospective American publication. Could you tell me the name of the firm, and what are likely to be the financial arrangements?
As for the illustrations: I am divided between knowledge of my own inability and fear of what American artists (doubtless of admirable skill) might produce. In any case I agree that all the illustrations ought to be by the same hand: four professional pictures would make my own amateurish productions look rather silly. I have some 'pictures' in my drawer, but though they represent scenes from the mythology on the outskirts of which the Hobbit had his adventures, they do not really illustrate his story. The only possible one is the original coloured version of Mirkwood (re-drawn in black and white for 'the Hobbit'). I should have to try and draw some five or six others for the purpose. I will attempt this, as far as time allows in the middle of term, if you think it advisable. But I could not promise anything for some time. Perhaps the matter does not allow of much delay? It might be advisable, rather than lose the American interest, to let the Americans do what seems good to them – as long as it was possible (I should like to add) to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing). I have seen American illustrations that suggest that excellent things might be produced – only too excellent for their companions. But perhaps you could tell me how long there is before I must produce samples that might hope to satisfy Transatlantic juvenile taste (or its expert connoisseurs)?....
J. R. R. Tolkien
From a letter, 7 December, 1946:
I continue to receive letters from poor Horus Engels about a German translation. He does not seem necessarily to propose himself as a translator. He has sent me some illustrations (of the Trolls and Gollum) which despite certain merits, such as one would expect of a German, are I fear too 'Disnified' for my taste: Bilbo with a dribbling nose, and Gandalf as a figure of vulgar fun rather than the Odinic wanderer that I think of. ....I am shortly moving to a small house (3 Manor Road) and so hoping to solve the intolerable domestic problems which thieve so much of the little time that is left over. I still hope shortly to finish my 'magnum opus': the Lord of the Rings: and let you see it, before long, or before January. I am on the last chapters.
From an unpublished letter, post-dated 15 July, 1964, Tolkien says of Walt Disney:
"[...] I recognize his talent, but it has always seemed to me hopelessly corrupted. Though in most of the 'pictures' proceeding from his studios there are admirable or charming passages, the effect of all of them to me is disgusting. Some have given me nausea [...]"
In the same letter Tolkien also accuses Disney of being in his business practices "simply a cheat: willing and even eager to defraud the less experienced by trickery sufficently 'legal' to keep him out of jail"; he adds that his own affairs are in the hands of Allen & Unwin ("a firm with the highest repute"); that he is "not innocent of the profit-motive" himself (although "I should not have given any proposal from Disney any consideration at all. I am not all that poor [...]"
He wrote "heartfelt loathing" in 1937, only when Snow White had just come out. That loathing went unabated throughout his life, later writing that Disney's works always seemed to him "hopelessly corrupted".
"Some have given me nausea"
Those are strong words. All his words directed towards Disney are relentlessly scathing.
Was Tolkien a prophet?
I think so.