Disney Plus Has Added Disclaimers About "Outdated Cultural Depiction" To Certain Movies

Watch out for "outdated cultural depictions" in movies like The Jungle Book and Dumbo.

39 Comments

Disney+ is out now, and there are hundreds of movies and TV shows to check out on there from across Disney's history. They span the many decades of the studio's output, with numerous classics dating back to the first half of the 20th century. Of course, society's attitudes towards things like race, gender, and unhealthy lifestyle choices have progressed considerably over the years, and as a result, Disney has added new disclaimers to certain titles to advise viewers of potentially offensive content. While the content will remain in these films, Disney is noting that attitudes have shifted.

The disclaimers appear ahead of some of Disney's much-loved animated movies, including Dumbo, The Aristocats, Jungle Book, Fantasia, and Lady and the Tramp. Following a general plot depiction, they state "this program is presented as originally created," then most cases, "it may contain outdated cultural depictions." The disclaimer on Pinocchio gets more specific: "contains tobacco depictions." Check it out below:

No Caption Provided

While the disclaimers don't get into details about these "outdated cultural depictions," it’s not hard to guess what they are if you've seen these movies. Peter Pan features the notorious song "What Makes the Red Man Red," while the crows in Dumbo, the chopstick-playing Siamese cat in The Aristocats, and King Louis in The Jungle Book have all been accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes over the years.

However, although the Fantasia disclaimer states that it's the "original version," this isn't strictly true. The minor character of Sunflower the centaur was removed from the film in 1969 and has not been seen in any version since, due to her clearly racist depiction. As for the most notorious movie in the Disney vault--1946's Song of the South--you won't be surprised to learn that it's nowhere to be seen on Disney+.

For more on Disney+, check out our guide to the best movies from the 1980s and 1990s to watch on the service, plus a look at the cartoons from your childhood you can watch right now.

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inkman66

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Wait.... what has changed from when these movies were made? According to the left, America is just as racist today as it ever was.

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gul_darheel

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Deleting old characters from movies. The next step for Disney and others will be to digitally replace old white male characters with female and black ones to çorrect the past., then copyright strike old copies into oblivion. The longest day will be so much better with 50% female soldiers 8|

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RogerioFM

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Edited By RogerioFM

Nice shot on the foot there Disney.

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Externalpower43

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At least they still included the movies. What they are doing is letting people decide for themselves.

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Wraith3

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@externalpower43: Give it awhile for the triggered crowd to start a Twitter mob to demand they're removed.

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VegetarianZombi

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@Wraith3: I do find it funny that the trigger warning is only triggering those who get triggered by the existence of trigger warnings versus the actual "triggered crowd".

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santinegrete

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Why not song of the south? WHY? I wanted to have a laugh!

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realguitarhero5

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@santinegrete: Because Disney has definitely decided that The Lady and the Tramp has value despite its racism whereas Song of the South's value is overshadowed by its racism

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bookfan8780

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I don't agree with the trigger warnings, but I do feel the need as a parent to be prepared to explain to my children if they watch these movies that it's just a movie and the depictions shown are not meant to portray some greater message.

Then again, we don't need to explain that princesses as presented in most Disney movies don't exist like that, so maybe it's not that big of an issue.

I think it's just an effort by Disney+ to get ahead of any whiners on Twitter complaining about these movies. If you don't like the things portrayed in a movie, don't watch it.

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realguitarhero5

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@bookfan8780: "the depictions shown are not meant to portray some greater message"

Yes, they are. Depictions have context and meaning. That's why you explain to your kid why the Dumbo crows are harmful and outdated, not that they're meaningless or devoid of text/subtext.

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Blk_Mage_Ctype

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It's pretty sad that they need to point this out because certain folks lack the common sense to understand that society has changed over time and thus not everything in movies made several decades ago may adhere to modern sensibilities, and thus would accuse Disney of racism or something because of something in a cartoon from the 1930s.

The worst part is, this isn't going to work because most of the folks who are petty enough and lacking in meaningful activities to fill their day will just complain that the Disney Princesses set an unrealistic standard of beauty which cannot possibly be attained by real-life women, especially those who spend most of their time complaining on the internet about how cartoon characters lower their self-esteem.

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santinegrete

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@Blk_Mage_Ctype: disney is no more guilty of that pressure on women that the fashion business.

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vega2505

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We don't need trigger warnings at the beginning of films.

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gotrekfabian

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@vega2505: Most people don't but there are people out there who will choose to take umbrage at things such as these. Disney have done the right thing (didn't think I'd say that any time soon) by both forewarning viewers as well as protecting themselves. I'd rather have a strapline for ten seconds prior to viewing something than it being cut to shreds and the original being less enjoyable. It happened to my favourite sitcom of all time when it originally sent from VHS to DVD (minor racial issues as well as music licensing) and the result is awful in some cases.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@vega2505: We probably don't, but they also don't hurt anything either. Maybe this splits the difference and is better than just leaving old Disney movies in the vault with the early Bugs Bunny and Superman cartoons? I don't know. Probably not worth thinking about.

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bgrosz

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@vega2505:

Agreed. People that are easily triggered are looking for something to be triggered by. They will find it no matter what. They will probably be triggered by the warning.

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Barighm

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Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

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santinegrete

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@Barighm: totally agree.

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Mogan

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Edited By Mogan  Moderator

@Barighm: Those who don't put history on their streaming service are doomed to never make any more money off it. : p

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Elranzer

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Song of the South can be easily watched in the Internet. Disney can’t erase it.

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sippio

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"outdated cultural depictions"

people who support this is whats wrong with woke society today..

it's not the minorities who create/support this.

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Bread_or_Decide

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Edited By Bread_or_Decide

@sippio said:

"outdated cultural depictions"

people who support this is whats wrong with woke society today..

it's not the minorities who create/support this.

Things do become outdated. That's life. Asking for things to remain the same forever, is unrealistic.

Change is a good thing. Especially when we give up on the racist caricatures and sexist portrayals in media. The only people who miss it, were the ones who took the most joy from looking down on others.

"You mean I have to respect people now? UGH..."

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ProjektInsanity

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@Bread_or_Decide: Be careful when you state absolutes like "change is a good thing." That's not always true. Change can be a good thing. If "change" means people become more reactionary, less literate, or less capable of expressing themselves or engaging in respectful discussion, then I'd argue the change is steering us in a negative direction.

If "change" means abandoning silly stereotypes, then I agree it's a positive development. At the same time, I'm not a revisionist. While I don't think it's appropriate that we celebrate every aspect of the past--slavery, Nazism, apartheid, etc.--neither do I have the ridiculous expectation that they be eradicated from our collective social memory. I don't think that serves anyone.

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rasterror

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@sippio: Actually we minorities have argued this for hundreds of years. It's just that we're not good enough for our voices to be heard so we need white white voices to speak up for us.

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ProjektInsanity

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@rasterror: Nonsense, you're more than good enough. If you have an opinion on the subject, state it. It was never a question of good, it was an issue of empowerment. Black slaves, for instance, often criticized their captors and their conditions, but for many decades, they were not empowered to do much to shape the laws or attitudes of their time. At most, they could fight back or run away, risking their lives in either instance.

When they were so able, many advocated arduously for just treatment under the law. See this excellent and famous gentleman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Douglass

I
think Sippio above is half-right. I think bored white people (which I happen to be, on both counts) are responsible for adopting a lot of vicarious outrage because they really have nothing better to do. Some of them are well-intentioned. Perhaps, like many people, they believe they should take some action to make the world better, but they're often misguided. They'll expend energy calling for the destruction of a fictional character who is INTENDED to be stereotypical (see: Apu on "The Simpsons"), while doing effectively nothing to help struggling people in the real world.

I think most people these days, not just white people, are down to whoop up some online holy war from behind their keyboards or post a meme or change their picture on Facebook because it makes them appear like an activist but requires little risk or effort. It's fine for young kids to do this. Kids need to feel empowered and no 12-year-old is going to fly to Afghanistan to help deliver medical packs. That said, adults really need to put their energy to better use. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, host reading sessions for children at the local library, become a mentor, help start a community garden, and so on. On a larger scale, become involved in your local government. If you are so positioned and have the resources, form a business partnership with local businesses/nonprofits and host career-building or educational events for the community. The possibilities are endless, but they all require some real effort.

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rasterror

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@ProjektInsanity: Or maybe they're just as tired of the racism and injustice people of color still face today. I don't think people being outraged over a cop getting away with killing an unarmed man who didn't commit a crime is just starting trouble. And I have no clue what your talking about with soup kitchens and volunteering. That wouldn't have helped when my friends and I were beat by cops and one had his face spray painted as a teen. How is that gonna help wage and job disparities and gerrymandering?

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ProjektInsanity

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Edited By ProjektInsanity

@rasterror: Because you need to think big picture. Social disease isn't isolated to one specific set of circumstances. I'm sorry if you had a bad experience with law enforcement. I never have, so I can't speak to that. I can also state that many people represent facts with the slant of their own bias, and as an attorney, I see a lot of "I did nothing wrong, and I was attacked" narratives. Sometimes, the officer was in the wrong. Sometimes, the client conveniently failed to mention that they were...less than innocent.

Regardless, I'm talking about community-building and education because a just society benefits all, and it begins locally. It also begins early, with our children. When we build a culture that cares about fundamental fairness and human rights (bolstered by legal principles like due process and equal protection), we're on the right track. I don't focus on things like people's skin color, their salary, or what god they pray to. It's a large, complex, and populous world. Nobody is ever going to be completely equal. Some people are born without limbs. Some are born with modest intellect. Some are born to rich parents. Rather than preoccupying ourselves with infinite variables, I say the best measure we can take is to create a set of laws and social norms that allow every person at least a fair shot at pursuing their goals, so long as they don't impede others from doing the same.

In short: create and enforce fair laws; create a culture that places a premium on treating other people with a basic level of dignity (even those you seriously disagree with); encourage people to become self-reliant, but allow for some form of a safety net if catastrophic tragedy strikes; and extend education and basic medical coverage/necessities to every child. I'm actually not a liberal, but this is something I support. We cannot raise a generation of educated, humane, and self-aware citizens if they are denied basic education and have to agonize over whether or not they're going to eat that night.

You're focusing on isolated instances, and general concepts of "racism." I don't deny racism exists, but neither do I see how it's effectively preventing most people in 2019 from pursuing their goals. I think, far more so than a person's race, people trapped in a culture of limited options are placed at a massive disadvantage. I'd propose we take measures to improve our communities and the options available to our children before we try to combat the phantom of "racism." Beyond that, I think we should all try just to act like decent, grown-up people. You'd be surprised how far that goes. I'm not talking ideals here. Again, I practice law. But just displaying a little consideration and exercising enough self-restraint to recognize someone can be different from you without being your enemy.

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rasterror

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@ProjektInsanity: See this is the problem. You never have and never will have to deal with the problems a person of color has to yet you have all the answers and act like we're at fault for being targeted. What you call isolated instances is what we call every day life. You're making it seem like I was also to blame for getting beat by police and those same cops spraying my friends face. You make it seem like all these instances of racism, injustice, and everything else can be solved so easily and that we're at fault for not trying. Please save your sing and dance and rather than telling someone you know more about something you have no first hand experience with, try listening.

It's pointless with you so please don't bother replying back.

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ProjektInsanity

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@rasterror: You can choose to disengage if you'd like. I think you should consider who called conversation "pointless." It wasn't me.

Frankly, you don't know where I come from or what I've experienced, but you seem perfectly capable of making a world of assumptions about my beliefs. I didn't say you were at fault for being targeted. Go ahead and quote me if I did, you should only have to look through two posts. What you'll find actually happened was I acknowledged you had some kind of incident, but the fact is, I don't know you personally. I'm saying that it's been my experience that issues are rarely so simple as people make them. I specifically acknowledged that I've never been the recipient of police brutality, so I can't speak from that perspective. I certainly don't pretend to "have all the answers." I know for a fact I don't.

I think if you go back and try to be fair about it, you'll find that I said "racism" is a very broad concept, and just screaming about it doesn't really help anyone. I said there should be a specific plan of action, and I believe it starts with the enforcement of just laws and rendering real assistance to communities in need, whatever their color. Now please tell me why that's a bad idea. Even better, propose an alternative. If you think I'm being tonedeaf here, I'd sincerely be interested in hearing what you think the solution may be. If you don't want to talk, that's your call, no judgment.

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rasterror

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@ProjektInsanity: You're still talking?

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ProjektInsanity

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@rasterror: It's unfortunate that rather than have a meaningful conversation, you can only respond with rudeness. You suppose that other people should understand you, but you offer no way for them to do it. You raised an issue with what I said, I asked you to explain, and that's what you come back with?

Shame. I wish you well, hoss. I suspect some life experience will bring perspective. Have a good evening.

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rasterror

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@ProjektInsanity: And you're still talking.

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DataMeister

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@ProjektInsanity: This thread makes me wonder if @rasterror takes this kind of attitude throughout life with him. If so it would be no wonder people disrespect him or treat him as though is ideas don't matter.

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rasterror

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@datameister: And what attitude is that?

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DataMeister

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Edited By DataMeister

@rasterror: The kind that disrespects the actual person in a conversation rather than working toward understanding. The "talk to the hand" kind of attitude that says someone's ideas are irrelevant if they are different so why bother.

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rasterror

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@datameister: Exactly! Why bother when someone who's never had and never will have to deal will what you've had to tells you that they know better? They have all the answers and have convinced themselves they know better so why bother giving them your first hand experience on a matter when they feel third hand is better?

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DataMeister

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@rasterror: Sometimes a person from outside looking in can better say whether an injustice is widespread or just localized experience. That's not always the case though, so an in depth conversation is the best way to figure that out.

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xxmavr1kxx

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@sippio: Its the outraged whites who feel the need to express and apologize for their races sins. They must battle the injustices of the past because they feel POC cannot do it themselves.

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