© anomalies-unlimited
Well, it does look like one.... (not that I know, mom!)

Parents who bought Disney's The Little Mermaid home video were a bit taken aback to see what looked like a pretty damn good rendition of a penis on the front cover. Smack in the middle. Of course no one writing the articles on this horror thought to ask these people just how they realized this particular Thingie was rearing it's head at them from the video box, but maybe I'm not taking it seriously enough. Don't you wonder about this stuff? I sure do. Did some well-meaning mother, about to put the tape in for her kids, just lazily admire the artwork on the box and then wheel around in horror to her neighbor, aware the kids were sitting right there, "My Lord, Donna, doesn't this tower look like a dingleberry?" and then ran to call the local paper?

Anyway, rumors started circulating shortly after the release of the videocassette edition of The Little Mermaid that the uh.....appendage had been deliberately drawn by a disgruntled Disney artist who was told that he'd be laid off at the end of the project, and he was under pressure to hurry it up. Disney was quick to say that the castle spire and a You Know What was a pretty damn good rendition of a You Know What but it was of course pure coincidence. And that the guy really didn't really work for them, really, technically, because he was kind of a contracted, outside artist so technically he wasn't a "Disney employee". And nobody was unhappy or being fired or upset. Everything is Happy in the Magic Kingdom! Which is of course what they'd say.

The truth is the artist did work at Disney, doing years of artwork on video covers, CDs, McDonald's 'Happy Meals' packaging and graphics for toys. Sounds like "working for Disney", doesn't it? Technically? Upon being asked about this Alleged Penis, the artist said he was "rushed to complete the artwork" and yeah, it did kind of look like a penis! ::knee slap!::: He hadn't even caught this himself until a member (no pun intended) of his youth church group (isn't that just a precious aside? He's in a church group? Not the type to be throwing penis drawings around.) heard the gossip and commotion on a radio show and called him at his studio. He did add , however, that he'd "be an idiot to admit it was intentional, if it was". Especially since he was still working for Disney. Or maybe not, I should say, if we believe Disney. So why risk getting fired from a job you're not working at, right?

The outcome of this little conspiracy is that The Offending Member-like Nonpenis Castle Tower was airbrushed out of all artwork distributed on all products from then on. A penis recall, if you will. Which is pretty much admitting it looked enough like a penis to change it.. Disney said they were soooooooo sorry!

However, there is something to this whole Little Mermaid thing, I do think. My niece had a big plastic Little Mermaid model city. You put it together and had all the characters to place on it and do some role playing. It sat on the floor after being unwrapped, shiny and detailed. It was pretty cool, very colorful with a lot to do. And you know what was right in the middle of the thing? That thing. And it was so graphically, obviously a large, thick, bulb-ended, 10 inch tall ...uh...you know.... that was all sat and looked at at and just shook our heads.