Ever been watching a Disney classic beyond the age of 12 and thought “this depiction of culture X is a bit… off?”
Following the launch of Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, the kingpin of the animation industry has provided a bunch of their more ‘outdated’ films with explicit warnings of crude cultural representations.
The warning identifies the “content as originally created,” alerting viewers to the possibility of taking offense to the films which “may contain outdated cultural depictions”.
This may come as a surprise to long-time Disney fans who have overlooked these cultural depictions, and many will be left wondering which exact scenes and films were considered racially offensive. For many, these films were fond childhood memories, when political incorrectness was still shaping itself as a concept in the mind, and the enchantment of Disney’s lively animations of song and dance were all too distracting from the real issue of derogatory racial representation at hand.
Some of the scenes identified as conducive to the warning are the mannerisms and phrases of the black crows in the Dumbo film of 1944, as well as the musical number sung by two Siamese cats who are made to sound and, to an extent, look stereotypically oriental in Lady and the Tramp.
Disney+ have applied these warnings in a reasoned effort to admit the somewhat culturally insensitive nature of their earlier films and remind viewers that these depictions were created in a different context, for theatrical purposes and should certainly not be understood as a cultural reality.