When you watch a movie many times, you start to notice things that don't add up. I felt like compiling some of those things here, but this was honestly done in affection for the film and not to belittle the work of the amazing people who made the movie. Watching the film again and again really isn't a hardship, heh.
There are possibly more lying about, so feel free to submit what you can find! Submissions go to or leave them in the comments.
Newest additions are highlighted.
Odette's mother is never mentioned or even introduced in the movie.
In the begining of the movie, when Derek and Odette meet for the first time (when Uberta and William decide to betroth them), Derek looks much older than Odette. However, when they meet at Derek's castle, they are the same age.
Explanation: Girls age faster than guys.
When Odette, Derek and Bromley are sliding down the stair rail, Derek and Bromley just fly off but Odette goes in a 360 degree turn like 5 times.
When Odette and Derek are playing cards, the cards they hold in their hands seem to be the only ones on the table.
Possible explanation: It's not any of the card games commonly played today.
During the line "For as long as I remember...", Derek's door is much taller than Odette's, but during the next line "We've been told we'd someday wed..." both doors are the same height.
During the This is My Idea sequence, when Derek and Odette are adults, they sing, "Every June until September", meaning that they got together every year, not just the four the audience sees. Shouldn't Derek, then, have seen Odette as an "adult" the year or two before? He seems shocked she's beautiful, yet she wasn't exactly ugly when she wore the purple dress, nor should she have changed so much in just one year.
When the servants and everyone sings "This is exactly my idea of love" the ceiling goes bright, then the walls, and then only the light does.
Odette's necklace changes length throughout the movie. The swan symbol on it appears and disappears as well.
During the scene where Derek and Bromley are playing chess, Bromley picks up a white queen and closes his hand around it. When he opens his hand, the queen is black.
Possible explanation: He doesn't just pick it up and take it. He moves his bishop into position and takes out his queen in the same motion. It isn't two queens being moved. Nor is it that is changes into a black queen. DETAILED, he hold his piece between his index finger and thumb, and takes the queen using the rest of his fingers and his pinkie.
King William and Odette leave the Derek's castle on horseback, but later on they are in a carriage, which is being pulled by completely different horses.
Possible explanation: They were renting horses.
Other possible explanation: I believe Odette is riding the same horse earlier in the movie. However, another possibility is this: It could be a long ride from Derek's palace to where their ship is docked and they don't want to tire their horses. Also, William is getting a bit on in age and Odette, though a spunky lady, has not demonstrated any particular passion for riding and a royal carriage might be a bit more comfortable than riding in the sun and/or at night, rain. Seeing as how when William's captain comes back to the palace, it is storming, they could have done the sensible thing and decided to ride in the carriage instead of risking their health in an oncoming storm.
Rothbart attacks King William and Odette when they are within Derek's kingdom. (Derek's able to ride out to them, so they hadn't crossed the sea yet.)
Possible explanation: He did it intentionally because he knew they'd be there.
Possible explanation: He wanted to attack when William and Odette had a minimal guard. They weren't back home and didn't have a full compliment of guards to protect them.
When Derek finds the spot where the Great Animal attacked King William, Derek screams out Odette's name, but you can't see the king. Then when Derek does find the king, and he dies, he screams out Odette's name again, and the king is now there.
When Rogers is preparing the arrows just before "Practice, Practice, Practice", he has white eyebrows that match his hair. Throughout the rest of the movie he has dark eyebrows.
At the begining of the song Practice Practice Practice, when Derek fires an arrow at his boot while saying "Come on guys, they're harmless" the is a spot of orange on his toe, when when he puts his foot down and puts the arrow back in the quiver the spot is gone. I thought the dye was suppose to stick.
Possible Explanation: It actually looks like the color is a powder rather than a dye seeing how that when it hits Derek's foot, the targets, and when Derek first draws one and pats it that it makes poofs. It's possible that after he hit his foot, Derek simply wiped off the dust. Note how easily Rogers wipes his face clean when he gets the powder in his face.
The musicians-as-animals line-up keeps changing positions. The most notable example is when the "bear" and "boar" switch places between the "lion" and "moose".
Later during the Practice Practice Practice scene a "flamingo" appears among the musicians that wasn't in the original line-up, who then mysteriously disappears during the actual chase before reappearing again near the very end.
The knot Derek ties on his blindfold is a double knot, which cannot be undone by a single pull as Rogers later demonstrates.
Possible explanation: The cartoon laws of physics.
During the Practice, Practice, Practice scene, the majority of the shots Derek makes are impossible (such as behind the back and the six or seven simultaneous shots he made while they were in the air).
In the beginning of the animal scene, Bromley cannot even shoot an arrow. Then when the Rabbit is up against the tree, he fires the arrows with super human speed! How is that possible?
The hits on all the animals/musicians are much more than what Rogers counts.
During the "Catch and Fire" scene, and the apple on Brom's head seems to go straight through the helmet Rogers puts on his head.
Possible explanation: They have a special helmet for that game, one with a hole in the top. After all, he's a prince! He could just tell the blacksmith to make him one.
When Rothbart is banished, his assistant does not appear to go with him. But when Odette is at Swan Lake, she is there feeding her.
Possible explanation: The Hag left the kingdom separately and joined up with Rothbart later. Alternately, she was punished some other way, and Rothbart collected her on his own terms.
The way the apple is cut when Derek's arrow goes through it is just impossible.
Possible explanation: The cartoon laws of physics.
Through the whole movie Speed is referred to (by himself as well as others) as a turtle, when he is more accurately a tortoise or terrapin.
Addendum: The movie is made (mostly) for kids, and "turtles" are the most familiar of the three.
Odette never acknowledges her father's death. After he dies they simply never talk about it again, though you'd think that it would have at least SOME effect on the characters.
Possible explanation: Odette might have had no knowledge of her father's death. She could've been knocked out and then her father killed. Derek was too happy to see her to think to bring it up.
Rothbart kidnapped Odette and killed William because he wants their kingdom. Well, what exactly happened to their kingdom during Odette's imprisonment? Their king is dead, and the only heir to the throne, Odette, was presumed dead as well. There is no mention of Odette's mother or any other siblings, so what happened there?
Possible explanation: A regent might've taken over. The kingdom probably planned for such a situation. They didn't really go much into politics.
Ever wonder how Odette eats, sleeps and bathes at Swan Lake? Note that Rothbart only visits her at night, and she is not allowed in the castle.
Possible explanation: She's magically healthy because Rothbart doesn't want a dead wife.
Other possible explanation: She eats as a swan and sleeps during the day. We can see the hag feeding her when she was first transformed.
Tending to Puffin, Odette pulls out one half of the arrow and then wraps up his wing; the other half of the arrow simply disappears.
Possible explanation for the disappearing arrow: After Odette breaks the arrow, Puffin's injured wing drops out of frame, so it's possible that she pulled that half out without us seeing it.
At the same time, Odette tears a piece of cloth out of the hem of her dress to wrap his wound, yet from then to the end of the movie, the bottom of her dress still appears to be entirely intact.
Possible explanation: Magically mending dress. If Rothbart put a spell on her, it's not too much of a stretch that he enchanted her dress.
In the next when scene where Rothbart proposes to Odette, the piece of Odette's dress around Puffin's injured wing is gone.
When Puffin shows his injured wing, he "pulls" all the feathers down, yet there is no wound.
Possible explanation: Cartoon laws of biology.
Odette's biological clock must have gone completely haywire. Does she sleep at all?
Odette still cries after being transformed even though she has been transforming every night for what seems to be at least a month's duration.
Possible explanation: Just because she's used to it, doesn't mean she likes it.
When Uberta and Rogers are debating the likelyhood Derek will marry another princess, Uberta questions her son's whereabouts before stating, "Nevermind, I know where he is: working on the mystery of the fat animal." When Rogers corrects her, she replies with, "Big, Great; it's large and has fur." She called it fat, not big.
When Uberta first does the "lip thing" she's just pressing her hands to her mouth, but in the next shot, she is also pressing all the envelopes to her mouth.
How come when Odette changes from a swan to a human, the water's only two inches deep, but when Jean-Bob, Speedy and Puffin dive, it's a few feet deep.
Possible explanation: When Odette is changing she is closer to the shore, whereas the tower and dungeon are in another part of the lake further out from the shore. Note that it only takes Derek a few steps to reach Odette from that spot.
During the No Fear sequence, the Hag tries to stop the animals from getting the map. They run around Rothbart's castle, yet never once does Rothbart make an appearance. In fact, even if we assume she told him about their plan afterwards, Rothbart doesn't appear to stop Odette from leaving, nor does he approach Derek at all while he's at the lake. The only way he seems to have known Derek was there was because he found his bow.
Possible explanation: He knows she can't do anything unless she comes to the lake with him. Then the prince will be on his turf.
How is it that Jean-bob, Speed, and Puffin are able to communicate with humans, while Odette in swan form isn’t?
Possible explanation: Jean-Bob, Speed and Puffin are only able to communicate with Odette, who is under a spell.
Alternate explanation: This could be a part of Rothbart's spell to keep her from telling humans what's happened to her.
It was a bit too much for Derek to ask Odette to go all the way to his castle in her human form though the forest at night. He could have offered to pick her up on his horse or something. After all, he had travelled the whole way and should know that that's quite a distance. This plothole is necessary to make the story work, but it's still a plothole.
Alternate explanation: Derek never specified Odette had to be in her human form, so he maybe expected her to fly to the castle. Of course, why he wasn't surprised to see her human form isn't explained with this theory, other than that Derek is a little dim.
Other alternate explanation: Derek doesn't know that Odette has to be on Swan Lake for her to turn back into a princess. He could have assumed that she only needed to be under moonlight.
On the night when Odette needs to transform in front of Derek, the moon is very thin and elliptical while the previous night (when Puffin first arrives) it was a full moon.
Possible explanation: It might not have been the next night. We don't know how long it was between "No Fear" and when they left to fetch Derek, since the animals may have needed time to recover from their wounds.
Rebuttal: We do know how long it was in between. Derek discovered the meaning behind William's final warning, and promised his mother he'd be back for the ball the next night. The next scene is the "No Fear" musical number. It's very unlikely animators would have shown it in that order if it chronologically occured weeks before Derek made the revelation. It's safe to assume, while Derek cracked the case and explained his plan to Bromley, Odette and co. were stealing Rothbart's map and preparing for the journey.
During the scene where Derek witnesses Odette's transformation, he tosses her her locket, which she supposidly hid in her fist until Rothbart pried it away. But over the few seconds in between, Odette opens her hand and the locket has vanished.
Rothbart appears to take out Derek's bow from a pocket in his pants.
Possible explanation: Rothbart has magic pockets.
During the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" sequence, Rothbart conjures up all the people in Derek's castle when he doesn't know any of them.
Possible explanation: He's been spying on them all these years, and does know those people.
When Bromley falls into the dungeon he hits the scaffolding on the way down, but none of it hits the water with him.
When Rothbart throws Bromley in the dungeon, he doesn't even bother to take his bow and arrows.
Addendum: Rothbart's just being careless.
Puffin knew about the water in the dungeon, even though it was his first time at Swan Lake.
Possible explanation: He has been there before.
The invitations for the ball indicate that there are at least a hundred princesses coming, and Queen Uberta tells Chamberlain specifically that all princesses are to have an introduction, but at the ball itself we only see a few.
Possible explanation: They only managed to introduce a few before fake Odette crashed the party.
During princesses on parade there are eight dancers, but at the end right before going back up the stairs there are six on the left and five on the right, then there's eight again at the very end.
Derek didn't find it strange nor did he commment on the fact that Odette arrived at the ball wearing a completely different outfit.
Possible explanation: He just didn't notice.
After the princesses on parade scene, Uberta is crawling under some of the women's dresses to see who Odette is, but how can she possibly go straight through where their legs should be?
Possible explanation: Cartoon laws of physics.
When Derek puts the necklace on "Odette", it first hangs outside her hair, but after that it is suddenly hanging nicely around her neck.
The distance between Derek's castle and Swan Lake changes. When Derek follows Puffin and Odette to the lake, it takes from mid/late afternoon to after nightfall. When Odette flies to the castle it takes less time than it does for Derek to make his announcement. The same for when she flies back with Derek in pursuit.
Possible explanation: It took longer the first time because Puffin and Odette had to fly slow enough for Derek to keep up. When Odette is flying to the castle, she's flying as fast as she can. On the way back to the Lake, Odette was flying more slowly because she was dying.
Possible explanation: Maybe Derek had been out there for a while before Odette found him. Plus during the chase they took several stops [such as hiding in the sun, or Puffin playing dead], and maybe they took longer ways to make it more difficult for Derek to attack them. But when Odette flies to the castle, and when Derek goes after her, they're hurrying to get straight there, instead of dilly-dallying around.
Derek is so distraught when he discovers he's made the vow to the imposter, yet it goes unmentioned that he nearly shot and killed Odette in her swan form a number of times during his pursuit to the lake.
Explanation: He was so happy to see her alive that he didn't register the fact he'd almost killed her one the way to the lake.
Everyone's height seems to fluctuate throughout the movie. In a number of scenes, it's apparent Derek is a few inches taller than Odette. Rothbart appears to be the same few inches taller. But when Derek grabs Rothbart's cape and demands he save Odette, Rothbart is a good foot taller than him.
During the final fight, Rothbart drops Derek from the air. The fall would have killed him, but Rothbart seals his own fate by catching him to prolong the fight.
Possible explanation: Rothbart wanted to torture Derek before killing him. What fun would it be for him if Derek died quickly?
Possible explanation: He's lost his chance to rule William's kingdom by marrying Odette. It's Derek's fault so he probably wants to savor the battle.
Possible explanation: Maybe he really is just THAT evil. He would rather keep Derek alive a little longer so he can torture him more, instead of just letting him go ahead and die.
In the scene where Puffin, Jean-Bob and Speed free Odette from the dungeon, the two aligators chase them relentlessly. But when Jean-Bob is getting Derek's bow during the final fight scene the alligators have disappeared.
Explanation: I felt it necessary to point out that the alligators are in the moat not the lake and Puffin says "swim to the bottom of the lake, and get the bow." So the moat and the lake are separate, otherwise Odette would have probably been attacked by the alligators every time she made her transformation.
When Speed and Jean-bob came to save Odette in the prison, Bromley didn't want to come outside with them. Later decided to come outside alone, but how could he do it if the two alligators are still in the moat?
After the fight with the Great Animal, Derek tells Odette he loves her for her kindness and courage and "always had." They hated one another when they were children.
Explanation: Hate is a strong word. It's quite possible he loved her his whole life, but refused to admit it to himself when he was still in the 'eww' phase that boys go through.
Explanation: Honestly, I don't really believe they really did hate each other. I think maybe at first they were just kids, who still thought each other had cooties or something. (lol) When they are a little older, Odette wants to be around him, but Derek, being a guy, just wanted to be a jerk and look cool in front of his friend....When they are teens, Derek definitely has feelings for her. I think Odette deliberately flirted with the guards to make Derek jealous so he would realize he wants her....I think after that, they're really just trying to deny their feelings, when really they know good and well they're in love. Eventually, they find stupid reasons to finally just say "Hey, this game is getting silly. We're older now, let's just face this like adults."
Why would they have the wedding reception at Swan Lake, Rothbart's territory?
Possible explanation: It's no longer Rothbart's territory with him dead. Swan Lake is where Derek and Odette decide to live.
It's summer when Derek and Odette meet. It's still summer when they get married. But, at the final fight, when Derek is standing on a tree to hit the Great Animal, there are no leaves on the trees. How's that possible?
Possible explanation: Everything around Rothbart’s castle is either dead or in ruins, except the short instant when he uses his magic to make it all alive when he proposed to Odette…again.