The Disney Periodic Table: Clever Hook or Abomination?

We’ve all seen the plethora of faux periodic tables. I’ve ranted written about them before.

And now Disney (not content with trying to taking ownership of every  story ever) has chipped in with its own version of the periodic table.

At least it resembles the original, all the symbols are their, numbered correctly and laid out in the familiar way. But no longer do the symbols represent elements. Instead manganese has become Mulan, neon has transmutated into Nemo, and lead has been replaced by Pooh Bear (at least they are both rather dense). The only element that survives intact is copper, all be it in dog form and where cobalt should be.

Now I’m in two minds about this one. On the one hand it might serve as a way to get a bit of chemistry onto the walls of Disney fans and maybe they’ll then graduate onto the real version. But on the other hand it just makes me feel a bit sick :-/

So what do you think? Is it a clever way to elicit an interest in chemistry in those that might otherwise be more interested in fairy tale princesses or is it just an abomination?



  1. Peter W. Mullen says:

    I connected to your interesting blog after seeing your tweet re. the Disney Periodic Table.

    At the risk of appearing overly pedantic, I write merely to suggest that you might also wish to put a line through “their” and replace it with “there” in the sentence immediately below the table! 🙂

    BTW, you raise a good question. I’d probably lean toward abomination.

    – Peter

  2. I think it’s helpful – I’m not much of a Disney fan, but the characters can be used as mnemonic devices for younger children or people who have difficulty with the chemical names but could easily remember the respective characters’ faces. In theory, it could make chemistry more accessible to people who had previously thought it was too difficult for them. While I don’t think all of them would “graduate onto the real version”, raising the knowledge base of the general public is never a bad thing.

  3. None of the two 🙂 Scientists should have enough sense of humor to don’t abominate a disney picture. Even if I admit… I feel sick too (Carbon… Cinderella…). On the other hand it will not help any young boy/girl towards science, as they can’t identify themselves in a table.

    It would be different if Disney’s heroes would not always be ,a princess, a prince, a poor guy which become a prince, etc. but a scientist!

    Can you imagine a disney film on Newton, Galileo, or Darwin? The wonderful travel of Darwin (with all the speaking turtles)… and the following crusade of creationist parents… (because magic yes… but science no).

    Thinking to the way Disney could depict scientists… after all is better they continue with princess bride and charming prince. 😀

  4. Using Disney character names in the periodic table may prove to be helpful to younger children struggling to associate with the correct chemical names. This is a good concept to interest young Disney-lovers in chemistry and helping them to associate certain names with certain characters, stimulating memory at a later stage. I would suggest using different colours for different elements, also serving to help children learn the qualities of certain elements from a young age (eg Iodine being purple).

  5. I think it’s helpful especially to the young kids because they learn with visuals. A periodic table with with their favourite cartoon characters and different pictures will be like watching that particular cartoon. This is a great initiative from Disney for young children to better excel in chemistry.


  6. I think this is a really good idea to expose kids early to the periodic table and chemistry. It also may be a helpful learning tool for them in the future to help remember which elements each stands for by relating them to the characters on the table.

    • I hate to agree with this, but I think it is true. Kids will relate it to what they know and maybe chemistry will be easier for them??? I have to admit when I do geography with my kids (4-8) we look at the world map and they tell me the country and what cartoon character is from there Austraila=Nemo, Mexico=Dora….How many other little kids can identify other countries? I guess you have to start somewhere?

  7. Jennifer H. says:

    I really like this idea, children can relate to chemistry through there favorite characters on TV. People have to start some where, so why not start from what they enjoy, watching tv and making homework more interesting to them and they have a connection. Responding to Stephanie and her teaching methods with geography, that’s a good idea, putting faces to countries. I think this idea is great and help children with school.

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