We all know about the scene in Star Wars where the Stormtrooper bashes his/her/their head on the door frame, right? Or the takeaway coffee that appeared in Game of Thrones? And that scene in (13th century) Braveheart with a parked car in the background? Goofs and bloopers can be found in every film ever made - from anachronisms to visible microphones.
That goes for kids films, too. Perhaps even more so. Kids often find movies that they’ll watch over and over and over again, which means you’re much more likely to pick up on inconsistencies, anachronisms or something out of place in the background. Here are seven of our favourites to look out for.
The Dodgy Anatomy Of Finding Nemo
Remember the scene in which Marlin and Dory find themselves trapped inside a whale’s mouth? The whale advises them to swim to the back of its mouth, from where it shoots them out of its blowhole. It makes for a fun set-piece, but would be anatomically impossible. Whales, contrary to popular belief, do not squirt sea water out of their blowholes. Not much, anyway. The jet is mostly hot air from their lungs condensing to form water vapour. The spout also contains mucus and small amounts of water from around or just inside the blowhole. Not one drop of it ordinarily comes from the mouth. Our fishy friends would have to be inhaled to stand any chance of shooting out of the blowhole.
Harry Potter and the Vanishing Month
The first Harry Potter movie (the “...and the Philosopher's Stone” or “... and the Sorcerer’s Stone” depending on the territory) contains a fair few continuity errors and revealing mistakes. Perhaps the most baffling is the way that Harry ends up on the Hogwarts Express a whole month early. Harry’s birthday is well established as July 31st, and it’s on this date that Hagrid first appears to him to break the news that he’s a wizard. He’s then whisked off to Gringotts and Diagon Alley to get his supplies, before catching the Hogwarts Express immediately afterwards (he’s wearing the same clothes and everything). In other words, Harry catches the Express at the end of July, instead of the 1st September date for the start of term. This oddity is not present in the book, where it’s clear that Harry returns to the Dursley’s for a few weeks before his remarkable school life begins.
Mary Poppins’s Ornithalogical Oddity
A Spoonful of Sugar is just one of about a dozen preposterously catchy tunes written for this legendary 1964 flick. For one verse, the magical nanny sings a duet with a robin “feathering his nest”. British viewers watching that scene might notice that the robin looks rather peculiar - more like a blackbird with a bleeding chest. The producers have chosen to include an American robin (Turdus migratorius) and not the humbler European species you’d expect to find in Edwardian London. Of course, Ms Poppins is practically perfect in every way, and so we can only assume that this all part of her spell and not a massive production goof.
Sing’s Subtly Sinister
The 2016 animated film Sing is among the favourite films in our household. It’s hilarious and has a big heart, but it also has a slightly sinister side that most people overlook. Johnny, the soulful gorilla who performs a memorable version of I’m Still Standing, is always shown in a leather jacket. Leather, it hardly needs to be said, is made from animal skin - usually the hides of buffalo, sheep, pigs or goats. Given that the world of Sing is filled with intelligent, anthropomorphic animals - including the ones from which leather is made - this sartorial choice feels at best insensitive and at worst downright evil.
Frozen’s Slippery Language
“My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around,” proclaims the self-exiled Queen Elsa, during her signature song Let It Go in the first Frozen film. A fractal is a shape with hidden complexity. The more you zoom in, the more intricate it gets - like a snowflake. All very poetic. Unfortunately, the word ‘fractal’ was not coined until 1975. Numerous clues in the films and spin-offs suggest that Frozen is set in the 1840s, long before anyone heard this word.
Trolls: More Dodgy Anatomy
OK, this one’s super geeky. In the first film, while out in search of their captured friends, Poppy and Branch encounter the annoying Cloud Guy. The fluffy mischief maker insists that Branch give him a ‘high-five’. Yet both Branch and Cloud Guy only have four fingers. The only other handed creatures in the film - the Bergen - also have but four digits. It’s hard to see how the phrase ‘high five’ could have developed in the Trolls world.
One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing… Some Credibility
And a golden oldie to finish. This minor Disney classic concerns the theft of a brontosaurus skeleton from the Natural History Museum. The pilfered dinosaur makes its way through a fog-bound London on the back of a flatbed truck. Unfortunately, the film was shot on a low budget, and is riddled with anachronisms. Watch out for the scene on the South Bank, with St Paul’s in the background. Although the film is set in the 1920s, you can clearly see the Faraday Building (1930s) in the background. More jarring still are the concrete towers of the Barbican which rise behind. These were nearing completion when the film was shot in 1974. The buildings of London would have also been much grimier in the 1920s, thanks to the abundant coal soot of the time, but that’s a minor quibble.
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.