6. The Jungle Book (1967)

Disney movies, particularly those of the studio’s earlier years, were aimed almost exclusively at children. This means that films such as The Jungle Book end on a particularly positive note, usually with some added moral or valuable message for its younger audience to take away from the experience. The Jungle Book ends with Mowgli accepting that he cannot stay in the jungle, and that it would be best for both himself and his animal friends if he went to live among other humans.

The Jungle Book‘s ending seems positive, as it shows Mowgli accepting his place in the world and his inability to change elements of who he is. Though it’s a bittersweet ending, it ultimately seems to be happy as Mowgli takes his first uneasy steps into genuinely accepting himself for who he is. Walking away from the bear and panther that raised him, Mowgli steps out of the jungle and into human society.

However, the hidden dark twist of The Jungle Book‘s ending is that Mowgli isn’t going to find assimilation in human life easy. This is a boy who has lived his entire life raised by various jungle animals, picking up a number of tricks and traits along the way that will make him an outsider to his own people. The Jungle Book‘s ending sees Mowgli come to terms with the fact that he doesn’t belong in the jungle, but it’s practically a certainty that he won’t belong with humans either. Faced with the knowledge that he doesn’t fit in anywhere, young Mowgli will be out of options: odds are, he’ll be cast out of the village for acting like a literal animal.