Disney and PC (again!)

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Mon Jan 30 19:04:51 CET 1995

      Lessee here...

      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 
eliminated now.  

      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.

      David Gerstein
      <9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>

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