The Walt Disney Company's blanket ban on showing characters smoking in its movies has meant that Saving Mr Banks, the new film in which Tom Hanks plays the legendary movie mogul, has excised Disney's own well-documented smoking habit.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Saving Mr Banks's director, John Lee Hancock, and producer, Alison Owen, tackled the issue as they presented the movie at the Napa Valley film festival in California. Owen said that despite the fact their film took a close look at their company founder in action, Disney only made one request: "They told us there could be no smoking."
Disney, who died in 1966 from lung cancer, started smoking heavily while in France during the first world war, according to Pipes magazine, when he served as an ambulance driver.
Disney also smoked a pipe, and even set up a tobacco shop in Disneyland in 1955 (since closed).
Disney's ban on smoking onscreen dates back to 2007, when company CEO Bob Iger announced: "We expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney-branded films will be nonexistent."
However Saving Mr Banks, which follows the creation of the hit 1964 musical Mary Poppins, does not entirely eradicate the habit: in one scene, Disney is seen putting out a cigarette which is not visible.
Saving Mr Banks, which stars Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author PL Travers, will be released in the UK on 29 November, in the US on 13 December and in Australia on Boxing Day.
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image: © Steven Depolo