Disney and PC (again!)
9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Mon Jan 30 19:04:51 CET 1995
A) Disney doesn't permit characters to insult each other now,
or tell one another to be quiet. Instances of this have been deleted
from every one of my dialogues now, sometimes leaving characters
looking angry with their dialogue not reflecting it. Barks reprints
and Rosa and Van Horn stories seem to be immune from this ruling.
All other stories feel the pinch. And WHY? This is very silly.
If I talked to Disney about it, they'd not say that these
things are objectionable, btw, but that they're "out of character."
Since when is it out of character for DD to say "Shut up"? He's been
saying it in comics and especially cartoons for decades!
B) Despite the fact that Disney Comics Inc.'s TV titles were
absolutely loaded with dialect (see some Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers
issues if you don't believe me), almost EVERY kind of dialect is
C) Apparently any references to liquor save the one phrase "yo
ho ho and a bottle of rum" are not allowed in new stories, and very
selectively allowed to pass in old ones.
D) Smoking is allowed (even LIT cigars and pipes) -- note the
pipe-smoking technician in one panel of USA 30's Lentil story -- but
a hero cannot do it. A cigar was deleted from Donald's mouth in DDA
31's used-car-salesman story.
E) Someone seems to have gone through and gotten after the
earliest AT Sunday strips (the DDs in the "Silly Symphony" period)
for bad-role-model-type stuff. But other bodies of work seem
F) Mickey cannot be in jail, even wrongly put there, in new
stories. It's okay in very old stories. Donald, however, can be in
jail in new stories too.
G) Some other altered stories:
"Treasure of Marco Polo" (1964). In CBL V, two panels were
changed. In one, 'Rebel Debbil' finds that his watch isn't working,
and it's stated that the watch was made by "the Workers' Paradise" --
changed to "McDuck Enterprises" in the reprint (which goes better
with Scrooge's scowl in that panel, but that's not why the change was
made). In a later panel, Soy Bheen leaps toward a cutthroat with his
fists ready, and in the next panel the guy (who was taken by
surprise) is on the ground groggy. It seems unaltered unless you've
seen the original, in which Soy Bheen is clutching barbed wire as he
leaps toward the tough and, in the next panel, the tough is dazedly
unravelling it from his neck.
"Luck of the North" had Eskimos' dialect rewritten in three
panels when Gladstone printed it in GGI 2! Did anyone else notice
that? If the version in the current album says "Whale no come"
(rather than "No whale comes") you'll know it's uncut.
"Adventure Down Under" had aboriginal dialect rewritten in 1989
(DDA 11), but the current album is uncensored.
When Disney reprinted Al Hubbard's "Peter Pan" adaptation in
1990, the Indians' dialect was altered, but that wasn't all. The
lyrics in a few cases matched the SONGS from the film, and THOSE were
deleted because -- I kid you not! -- Disney Music Co. will actually
sue other divisions of the company that use songs without paying
them! On the other hand, this is selective. Songs that were
originally copyrighted by the Bourne Co. seem to be legit (for
example the songs in Pinocchio, WDC&S 574, and of course "Who's
Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?").
"Smoke Writer in the Sky" (DD story from around WDC 196) has
had one frame censored in Disney's 1992 reprint. When DD forgets to
turn his smoke pipe off in the original, HDL tell him he's "made
[Unca Scrooge] look like a CHINAMAN!" In the remake, Donald's "given
him a PIGTAIL!"
Italians can look Italian, but not talk in dialect. FG stories
"Circus Roustabout" (in a brief trained-flea scene) and "Oscar the
Ostrich" were both altered. In the latter instance, the last name of pet-
shop-owner/villain Tony Dinero was never given in the redone story.
As we might expect, Disney need not worry. In Italy they leave it in!
Oh -- a pawnshop owner wore a yarmulke in the original
version of "Oscar." Disney wouldn't allow just the yarmulke to be
removed, but his whole HEAD had to go. Close inspection reveals the
new head to be that of an insurance salesman from "The Crazy Crime
Wave." Yiddishisms also left the dialect of the antique-store-owner
in "The Miracle Master" (and Stepin-Fetchit features on palace
servants were taken out, too). I don't mind seeing an obviously
Jewish character in Mouseton now and then. Makes me feel more at
home. We all know that Zeke Wolf is Jewish too. ;-)
In "The 'Lectro Box" MM's machine at one point transmits
pictures of Japanese generals in conference, then turns the generals
into rats (MM: "There's still a resemblance!"). This was altered in
1991 to make the generals into Americans who then transformed into
the Three Stooges.
A sequence in "MM vs. Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers" in which
MM tries to commit suicide has been banned. It lifts out of the
story without a trace (a cut version may see reprint some time),
A few red herrings: "Race to the South Seas", aside from DJ's
very good re-inking, has not actually been censored in the reprints!
"Volcano Valley" was not censored in DD 254 or CBLDD 6. And "jazzbo"
was NOT originally "Sambo" in WDC&S 34. (Thanks to Harry Fluks for
that last one.)
That's all for now.
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