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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Mouse?
January 25, 2003 11:12 PM   Subscribe

Mickey Mouse attempts suicide and fights the Nazis. Minnie Mouse goes wild at National Lampoon, while Donald Duck has a drug problem. Read about a 1970s porn film, a series of underground comics, the missing black centaur in Fantasia, and all the other cultural history that Disney doesn't want you to see.
posted by jonp72 (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mickey Mouse fights the Nazi Submarine! - great ears.....errr......link!

One mouse to rule them all, one mouse to bind them.....
posted by troutfishing at 11:41 PM on January 25, 2003


In my opinion, Disney is one of the more strongly litigious organizations in regards to their characters.

I remember a report of a journalist who was writing a story on some world war era propaganda cartoons that Disney had produced. When the author asked Disney for comment he allegedly was refused and also sued.

A friend of mine painted a mural with some children in a hospital in southern Mississippi that included some Disney characters. She hadn't thought much of it till the hospital received a very strong cease and desist. To this day she still boggles about how Disney ever even became aware of the mural in the first place.
posted by rudyfink at 12:14 AM on January 26, 2003


I'm amazed that they would DENY that the black centaur ever appeared in Fantasia - great links, jonp72 - one quibble though: When you say "and all the other cultural history that Disney doesn't want you to see", I was expecting a link to a centralized repository of suppressed Disney history. Still, a bunch of great links.
posted by jonson at 12:30 AM on January 26, 2003


The dirty side of Disney: read the experiences of a Magic Kingdom custodian here. (link via BoingBoing)
posted by Vidiot at 3:04 AM on January 26, 2003


I'm very sad I can't link to the video of Der Fuehrer's Face I have. It's quite an experience. (I can't find the codec for this one).

It won an Oscar, you know.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:18 AM on January 26, 2003


Pretty_Generic: you beat me by seconds to posting that link. It reqires the VDO codec.
posted by Gary at 3:47 AM on January 26, 2003


Not to derail us too far, but Mickey wasn't the only one joining the war effort. This site lets you stream the infamous "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips", Popeye in "You're a sap Mr. Jap", and six other wartime cartoons. Dr. Seuss also created some editorial comics.
posted by Gary at 4:58 AM on January 26, 2003


And then too there is that naughty web favorite, the infamous audio clip of Donald Duck en flagrante delicto...warning - this sound clip is not safe for work.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:13 AM on January 26, 2003


mjjj, at this stage of the game I just assume that all your links are NSFW. ;-)
posted by anathema at 6:32 AM on January 26, 2003


Gary--I remember seeing some years ago the Bugs Bunny cartoon where he is talking about the "slant eyes". It was shelved a year or so after that.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 6:53 AM on January 26, 2003


There was talk of using the image of Steamboat Willy in a protest of Disney's recent efforts to extend copyright. May be folks should use Sunshine instead. I expect it would mean Disney would have to defend itself and own up to the image, or allow the association/accusations to continue unanswered.
posted by piskycritter at 8:09 AM on January 26, 2003


That's a brilliant idea, piskycritter, pitting Disney's overly letigious trademark group against their frightening, history disowning official face of Disney group. I wonder who would win?
posted by jonson at 9:43 AM on January 26, 2003


Song of the South has also been unavailable for some time. Here's a petition to get the film released.
posted by lasm at 10:29 AM on January 26, 2003


An earlier thread about Song of the South and other "banned" Disney films. I'll also point straight to my comment in it, which still stands.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:05 AM on January 26, 2003


A friend of mine painted a mural with some children in a hospital in southern Mississippi that included some Disney characters. She hadn't thought much of it till the hospital received a very strong cease and desist. To this day she still boggles about how Disney ever even became aware of the mural in the first place.

Here's some backstory on Disney's threatened lawsuit against three Florida day care centers who painted Disney murals with some attempt to explain Disney's litigiousness.

When you say "and all the other cultural history that Disney doesn't want you to see", I was expecting a link to a centralized repository of suppressed Disney history.

Good to notice, jonson. Actually, that phrase was my way of sneaking in a little editorial commentary. That being said, I wish I did have a "centralized repository" of stuff Disney has tried to ban, but I can't find any on the Web.

However, the current debate on copyright law needs to focus on an important issue about how current modes of enforcing of copyright law allows entertainment conglomerates to whitewash parts of pop cultural history that they were a part of. This is especially sad when you consider that a journalist gets sued for merely asking about World War II Disney propaganda cartoons.
posted by jonp72 at 3:57 PM on January 26, 2003


More stuff Disney doesn't want you to see:
The Racist Geneology of the Mouse
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 6:14 PM on January 26, 2003


"Uncensored Cartoons," a 90-minute collection of Warner Bros. stuff considered objectionable for a variety of reasons, is easy to find. "Black Anthology Vol. 1: Cannibals, Carusoes & Uncle Toms" is temporarily out of stock at facets.org but they'll get it to you within 4 weeks. "Blaxploitation Cartoons," a 60-minute collection of seldom-seen stuff from the 1930s and '40s, ships in 24 hours; just search for those two at the site. And scroll down at this site about the 'censored 11' for details about which video collections contain which objectionable cartoons.

And for the record, times have changed enough so that a stunningly brilliant mix of animation and jazz like 'Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarves' should be released immediately, discussed widely, and honored for the amazing - if exaggerated and stereotypical - artwork it is.

Why are cartoons so much more of a flash point on this stuff than live-action flicks?
posted by mediareport at 10:47 PM on January 26, 2003


Because they're more typically aimed at kids?
posted by Vidiot at 11:43 PM on January 26, 2003


There's also "Russian Rhapsody". I remember as a kid watching this cartoon in which a bunch of russian elves sabotage a german plane on flight, and at the end it turned out that Hitler himself was piloting it. It was only after some years that I understood what it all meant. It had nice russian music.
Off topic, but the page where I found this is a nice colleciton of "Eastern Eggs" in WB cartoons.
posted by golo at 2:02 AM on January 27, 2003


I scoured the IMDB page for Fantasia where The Memory Hole says there's an official denial of Sunflower's existence by Disney. Can't find it (or any mention of this controversy), but my web eyes ain't so good in the morning. Anyone?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:08 AM on January 27, 2003


PST- it's one sentence in the "other versions" section, I tried to find it to. I sort of would like other confirmation as well about this, seeing how open Disney and WB are about their admittedy racist past cartoons.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:17 AM on January 27, 2003


Thanks XQUZYPHYR. Here 'tis, for other interested folks. I'd still want more confirmation. Maybe I should track down a copy of Cartoon Confidential.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:23 AM on January 27, 2003


A friend of mine painted a mural with some children in a hospital in southern Mississippi that included some Disney characters. She hadn't thought much of it till the hospital received a very strong cease and desist.

Their army of lawyers would be more than busy in our country, where most of our public schools have Disney-themed murals...
posted by betobeto at 8:34 AM on January 27, 2003


Because they're more typically aimed at kids?

But they're not, really. The primary audience for something like "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarves" was never kids. Apparently, we've forgotten that somewhere along the way.
posted by mediareport at 2:44 PM on January 27, 2003


I think that cartoons -- in general -- ARE more typically aimed at kids. So when a cartoon that's aimed at adults (whether it's "Coal Black" or "The Simpsons") comes along and is provocative in any way, it causes a bigger ruckus because to 90% of people out there cartoons=kidvid. ("And you're teaching our children to WHAT?")
posted by Vidiot at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2003


But they're not, really. The primary audience for something like "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarves" was never kids. Apparently, we've forgotten that somewhere along the way.

It's easy to forget because in many cases they're the same companies and characters being marketed to kids today. Case in point (and because I found another movie link), Bugs Bunny putting on blackface to sell war bonds is a more shocking than if it were just some random cartoon character.

Note that it doesn’t explain the parents who brought their young kids to see South Park. That can only be explained by ignorance.
posted by Gary at 10:33 PM on January 27, 2003


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