I've read in a Dan Brown novel that Lion King has a scene where the word sex can be seen in dust. Other sources corroborate this story. However, I've seen random strangers on the Internet mention that it was actually a nod to the sound department, and the word was actually SFX.

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Is there comment either way from official Disney or production members regarding this? Was this a lonely designer's act or actually an easter-egg-gone-wrong? Or was it just an accident and we are misinterpreting it?

  • 2
    Disney has always officially denied having the adult-oriented easter eggs in their movies, so I doubt any official word will ever be had.
    – Tim S.
    Mar 22, 2017 at 14:09
  • This movie came out when my son was very young. As a result, my wife and I were forced to watch it almost every single day, and sometimes twice a day. We both came to the conclusion that it said "SEX", but Disney will deny that. They also won't talk about the preacher in The Little Mermaid, who clearly gets an erection in the church scene. Mar 22, 2017 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


Tom Sito, one of the animators on the film, confirmed that it says "SFX" in an interview with Huffington Post.

What appears to happen:

After Simba kicks up some dust, the word “sex” appears in the sky and your childhood is ruined.

The explanation:

According to Sito, the word isn’t a subliminal sexual message. It’s just a shout out to the special effects department. The animator says, “It doesn’t say ‘sex.’ It says special effects. It’s SFX.”

  • 1
    Disney have habit to leave sexual Easter eggs and then declining them. Anyway answer is fine, I just don't agree with word of god here +1
    – Ankit Sharma
    Mar 22, 2017 at 14:23
  • In the same interview, he discusses other things like the Jessica Rabbit easter egg, which he does not deny, and all but confirms it. While the official statement from up on high may be "no", Sito seems fairly reliable here.
    – phantom42
    Mar 22, 2017 at 14:56
  • 1
    What they said for Ariel poster drama?
    – Ankit Sharma
    Mar 22, 2017 at 14:56
  • They didn't ask about that one (likely because it was reportedly done by outside contractors, not Disney animators), but the art was changed later, so Disney at least recognized the issue. Snopes reports that they spoke to the artist, who claimed it was an accidental coincidence, but don't provide a source quote.
    – phantom42
    Mar 22, 2017 at 15:14

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