Moral crusade ensnares `Lion King' have secret mes



America's Christian right has stumbled across evidence that Walt Disney's The Lion King, the spectacularly successful animated children's film, has become an instrument in the hands of a sinister media cabal conspiring to undermine the country's sexual morals.

The American Life League, which claims to be the biggest anti-abortion group in the country, has called for the movie to be removed from video shops following the discovery that a brief scene in the film carries the subliminal message "SEX".

The film is expected to break all records when it is released on video in the UK on 20 September.

A woman from Carthage, New York, telephoned the league to say her four- year-old son had noticed in one scene a cloud of dust rises to the left of the cartoon lion's head forming the letters S, E and X.

Tracey Casale of the league said yesterday from the organisation's base in Stafford, Virginia, this was not the first time a Disney film had sought to corrupt. Aladdin and The Little Mermaid had also caused gross offence. "We received a fax back in March from one of our supporters who noticed that during a scene in Aladdin when a prince calls out to a princess on a balcony a voice can be heard whispering `good teenagers take off your clothes'.

"Then in The Little Mermaid, during a wedding scene at the end of film ...When you get to the minister, the camera takes a side-profile shot, he turns and you can see that he has become very sexually aroused. It's very visible. You can't miss it.''

She said the League was first turned on to Disney's iniquities in April when the movie Priest appeared on American screens. "It was then that we decided to spearhead a boycott of the Disney company and start a letter- writing campaign which continues to this day. You see, Priest was really, basically, very, very connected to our mission because the movie is an attack on the Roman Catholic Church and the priesthood and God. We made this our cause because the Catholic Church is the largest voice for unborn babies in the world.''

As to why Disney should be doing this, Ms Casale said it was a tough one to answer. "Whether it's a joke on the part of the animators or playfulness, the fact is that it is blatantly crude and should not be there."