I often wonder if parents ever anticipated that cartoon movies would make their kids unappreciative of homecooked meals.
Because that’s exactly what they did.
After I got a glimpse of certain food in Disney movies, I’d often look at my own dinner with contempt. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mum’s cooking, but I went through a stage where I’d rather starve to death than eat anything other than honey straight out of the tree à la Winnie The Pooh.
That’s why I thought that in honour of my younger self, I’d walk you through the food that made me seriously question why I bothered eating real-life meals at all.
1. THE BUG BANQUET
Yes, of course there was a point during my childhood where bugs seemed like the most delicious cuisine in existence, and yes I have The Lion King to thank for that.
I also have The Lion King to blame for the hours I wasted rummaging around in my garden, trying to find appealing bugs to scoff down only to realise they were all gross.
What a classic stitch-up.
2. ANOTHER BUG BANQUET
Continuing down the bugquet (trademark pending) path, can we please discuss how glorious the lobster-esque dish looks in The Emperor’s New Groove?
Is that…is that butter sauce in the shell? Walt have mercy.
Every time I watch it, I always get irked by how repulsed Kuzco is when the dish comes out. Damn emperors, can’t serve them anything unless it’s nestled under a 24-karat cloche.
3. RATATOUILLE IN RATATOUILLE
Please don’t judge me but I had no idea what ratatouille was going in to see the movie, and I didn’t put the two together until years after I’d seen it. Years. Like, last year.
The Pixar film of the same name served up the most realistic, Michelin-star meals I’d ever witnessed in any movie – animated or otherwise – and eventually it taught me what ratatouille was.
Educational and entertaining, what a combo.
4. CLASSIC HAM SANGA
I dunno what it was about this particular sandwich in 101 Dalmatians – is it the perfect ratio of meat to salad, the desire to deprive the crook of food or just the fact that I’m coincidentally always hungry when I watch that scene? Psychologists could study me for years and still fail to get to the bottom of it.
5. NEVERENDING HONEY
I never thought I’d want to be wedged head-first in a cave – even as a non-claustrophobic that still sounds like pure hell – but the honey-coated cavern featured in Winnie The Pooh looks like my version of heaven.
Sure, you’d be sticky for the rest of your life when you eventually got out but it would be worth it for that seven hours of pure, bee juice bliss.
(I just assume it’d take a rescue team at least seven hours to get me out of there given I wouldn’t be the most cooperative rescuee.)
6. JACK-JACK’S COOKIE
I’d never (openly) condone stealing candy from a baby, but sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
Let’s look at this rationally: is a clueless baby going to remember the time you swiped a delicious cookie from them when they could barely string a sentence together? Hardly. Are you going to remember the time you had the chance to eat a cookie but blew it? You bet you are.
And if the cookie looks as good as the one in The Incredibles, there’s only one logical answer here.
7. BROCCOLI PIZZA
I know that the broccoli pizza shown in Inside Out was supposed to be a turn-off but I dunno, something about it rubs me all the right ways.
Broccoli? Yum. Pizza? Yum. The two together? Yeah look, I don’t understand why people would have a problem with this. I bet the same people that have a problem with this also have a problem with vegemite on Weetbix.
Improve your palate, people.
Time for my deepest, darkest secret: I’ve never tasted a tamale.
I’ve done everything you could possibly do with a tamale without eating it – smell it, stare at it, throw it at someone who decided to swing by for an unannounced visit – but I’ve never actually got my piehole around it.
This scene in Coco doesn’t ease my guilt either, they look too good.
Sorry, tamales. I’ll eat you someday.
Ugh, this is as close to Sophie’s Choice as I’m ever gonna get (hopefully).
Sure, the little bao featured in Pixar’s short film was incredibly adorable but also, I’ve never seen a bao I didn’t want to inhale.
I guess I’ve answered a very personal question about myself then. As it goes, I would eat my children if they happened to be food.