People are noticing racism in Disney movies thanks to Disney+

People are noticing racism in Disney movies thanks to Disney+

Like many people out there, Disney is one of my favorite things on the planet. From the boundary-pushing movies to the iconic cartoons to the greatest theme parks on the planet - Disney is a company that has provided joy to billions for nearly 100 years, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

However, that's not to say that the company hasn't made its fair share of mistakes.

For example, following the launch of Disney+ in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands yesterday, many Disney fanatics will have noticed that the studio's 1946 live-action/animated musical Song Of The South is absent from the streaming service.

Check out this promo for the new Disney+ service. Will you be signing up?

Disney has made no secrets about wanting to keep this movie firmly in the past, as it follows a black plantation worker called Uncle Remus, who enlightens a young boy named Johnny with tales about Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear.

Upon the movie's release, many critics found the portrayal of African Americans as racist and offensive, and criticized the plantation setting as being idyllic and glorified. Because of this backlash, Disney has yet to release Song Of The South on any home video format in the US.

Credit: PA Images

But now, with the release of Disney+ and the wide array of content the service features, many people are reliving the problematic parts from animated classics like Peter Pan, Lady And The Tramp, Dumbo, and The Jungle Book.

In Dumbo (1941), the scene where the crows sing 'When I See an Elephant Fly' has been compared to mimicking Black minstrelsy - and lead singer of their group is literally named Jim Crow. (The Jim Crow persona was a racist theater character by Thomas D. Rice, whose name was later used to describe a racial caste system that viewed black people as second class citizens.)

But sadly, many other classic movies fall victim to rewatches with 2019 goggles.

The Siamese cats in Lady In The Tramp play off the cheap stereotype that East Asian people are sneaky and devious. 'What Makes The Red Man Red?' is a song performed by Native Americans in Peter Pan. And many have even criticized the chimney sweep scene in Mary Poppins of 'blackface'.

As a result, several movies on Disney+ come with a warning to viewers that the film features "outdated cultural depictions".

However, some Twitter users believe this isn't enough, and have highlighted the generally accepted choice of words Warner Bros. has used in the past prior to airing one of their cartoons from the past:

So with all this controversy surrounding so many of Disney's past hits, will you be signing up?