Where Modern Disney is known to be a frontrunner to sensitive issues regarding racial identification, sexual orientation, gender classification, and other politically correct issues that prove to be relevant in today’s society, we dug through the last eight years of Disney-approved animation to find that the most cartoons we all enjoyed watching as children were incredibly racist! Of course, you couldn’t have been able to pick up on the racist subtext within at that time. Now, in hindsight, it’s actually quite easy to uncover some of the worst racial, offensive stereotypes Disney introduced. Here are five Disney movies you probably didn’t even notice were racist to the core:
The 1940 version of the movie Fantasia involved a controversial character by the name “Sunflower. Sunflower’s role in the movie was to play a servant to the dainty, blonde, light-skinned, and larger centaurs. Anyone with a sense of morality can figure the racial implication being made here. Dark-skinned characters are subservient to their light-skinned counterparts. Disney allegedly cut the scene, so you probably didn’t notice it. However, here’s a clip from the original release that proves this fact!
You’re probably wondering, “HOW CAN THIS BE POSSIBLE?” Dumbo isn’t a racist Disney Movie! If you focus on the accent of the crows though, you’ll notice they speak in an African-American jive. Before you say it’s just a coincidence, their leader is called Jim Crow. For those of you who don’t know, Jim Crow was the name of a racial caste system between the 1877 and mid-1960 that wasn’t just a series of anti-black laws, but was a way of LIFE! The movie also plays a song called “Song of the Roustabouts”. What you read in the lyrics, might just blow your mind!
Peter Pan (1953)
In the movie, Peter Pan runs into some serious problems. He encounters Native Americans! This in itself proves to be problematic, but there’s also a song called “What Makes the Red Man Red”, which further shows just how offensive and racist Disney was. Peter and his friends never speak directly with the Native Americans. Instead, the tribe was found to be singing and talking in the stereotypical, broken jargon way people believe Native Americans to talk. You could also see the characters making “whooping” noises by fanning their mouths with their hands. This is the height of stereotyping and racism.
The song “Arabian Nights” featured racist remarks against the Middle Eastern culture. Later, the song’s lyrics were changed. There’s also a bit of racism to be found in the role of characters. Jafar the darker-skinned person with stereotypical ethnic and hair features is the bad guy. Aladdin who speaks in American accent and is light-skinned is the good guy. Some even believe that Aladdin’s skin became fairer after defeating Jafar.
Other racist releases from Disney include Songs of the South (1946), Lady and the Tramp (1955), The Jungle Book (1967), The Princess and the Frog (2011), Pocahontas (1995), The Little Mermaid (1989), and The Jungle Book (1967).