Disney-comics digest #215.
David A Gerstein
David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu
Tue Jan 18 19:53:08 CET 1994
Sorry, folks, sent that letter before it was finished!
My last bit:
Disney cartoon censorship
Andrew said: "[Disney] edits offensive stereotypes out of
cartoons when they show them on the Disney Channel (and rightly so),
but have offered uncut versions of them on videotapes."
Let's see how this stacks up. I'll list all the
racially-sensitive Disney cartoons (both censored on and banned from
the Disney Channel) and see how many are available on tape. A few
just have momentary offensive sequences, but they're there. (I'll
indicate those with an asterisk like this *.) I'm not including War
Bond promotional 'toons -- those aren't "regular" cartoons.
JUNGLE RHYTHM (1929) On Disney Channel's banned list for
"black caricatures" -- actually MONKEYS with TAILS which because they
were black were mistaken for black natives!! (They are smaller than
Mickey, act like apes, the whole schmeer) This is not on tape, but
because the Disney video dept. works apart from the Disney Channel I
can't imagine why this inoffensive cartoon WON'T be on the second disc
set in their "MM Black and White Years" series.
CANNIBAL CAPERS (1930) Not on tape or TV.
*MICKEY STEPS OUT (1931) Cut on TV; uncut on recent disc.
*THE GROCERY BOY (1932) Cut for the Disney Channel (but
apparently not on any of their current shows anyway); not on tape.
*MICKEY'S NIGHTMARE (1932) Cut on TV; uncut on recent disc.
TRADER MICKEY (1932) Not on tape or TV.
*MICKEY IN ARABIA (1932) Cut on TV; not on tape.
MICKEY'S MELLERDRAMMER (1933) Not on tape or TV.
*WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN (1935) Cut on TV; not on tape.
BROKEN TOYS (1935) Not on tape or TV.
MICKEY'S MAN FRIDAY (1935) Not on tape or TV.
MOTHER GOOSE GOES HOLLYWOOD (1938) Cut very heavily on TV;
uncut on 1985 tape, and probably banned from tape today.
PANTRY PIRATE (1941) Cut on TV; uncut on current tape.
FIGARO AND CLEO (1943) Heavily cut on TV; not on tape.
DER FUEHRER'S FACE (1943) Not on tape or TV.
COMMANDO DUCK (1944) Cut very heavily on "The Wonderful World
of Disney" and NOT shown on the Disney Channel at all; not on tape.
HOW TO BE A SAILOR (1945) Cut on TV; uncut on 1985 tape, and
probably banned from tape today.
*UNCLE DONALD'S ANTS (1949) Cut on TV; I don't know if this
is on tape.
*TWO-GUN GOOFY (1955) This is cut on TV; I don't know if
this is on tape.
So Disney has a very mixed record with the cartoons. They
also censor MANY of them for VIOLENCE (stuff which is considered
perfectly okay by Warner Bros' censors) on the Disney Channel, and
those are always uncut on tape WHEN they've been issued.
Disney obviously considers it inappropriate to release
anti-Hitler cartoons on tape as Warners has done. For this we cannot
see DER FUEHRER'S FACE, wherein Donald won his only Oscar.
As usual, the mind of the censors is difficult to fathom
indeed. In the comics, the rule seems to be that comic BOOK stories
can be reprinted with changes, but that comic STRIPS can't usually
make it through even with alterations... that is the double standard
that irks me the most.
<David.A.Gerstein at Williams.edu>
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