Classic Disney movies are facing being ‘cancelled’ online. Which animations are on the list?
‘Cancel culture’ has become an integral part of internet culture since 2020. Over the past year, we have seen numerous celebrities, brands and films be retrospectively ‘cancelled’.
Most recently, we have seen a backlash against children’s author Dr Seuss and his racist imagery.
But why are Disney movies now on the chopping block? Find out why people want to cancel movies like Peter Pan and The Aristocats here.
Which Disney movies are ‘cancelled’?
The movies being ‘cancelled’ by not just audiences but the Disney team include Dumbo (1941), Peter Pan (1953), Swiss Family Robinson (1960) and The Aristocats (1970).
Earlier this year, in January, Disney+ announced that they were blocking under-sevens from viewing these four films. The movies were removed from the children’s section, although they are still available to view for adults. Disney stated it was because the films breached the recently added ‘content advisories’.
Disney introduced a revised content advisory in October 2020 to flag any issues surrounding racial stereotypes.
Peter Pan ‘cancelled’
The reason Peter Pan has been cancelled is thought to be surrounding the film’s depiction of Native Americans.
In the film, members of a Native American tribe are referred to as ‘Redskins’.
The tides turned on the acceptability of using the word over the past year, as we saw when the Washington Football Team changed its name for the 2020 season.
This animation from 1970 depicts a Siamese cat character who has been described as a caricature of East Asian people. The cat also plays the piano with chopsticks in the scene. The film features lyrics that mock Chinese language and culture such as “Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Foo Young. Fortune cookie always wrong.”
One Twitter user recalled on 6 March 2021: “The Aristocats scene with the Siamese cats always made me cringe until my face hurt.”
Siamese cats also appear in the 1955 film Lady and the Tramp.
Dumbo has been likened on many occasions to racist minstrel shows.
There is evident racism throughout the film toward African Americans. In fact, the lead crow is called Jim Crow (voiced by white Cliff Edwards) in reference to America’s Jim Crow segregation laws.
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