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Mothers Day special

Marie Brown

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A friend of mine did her PhD thesis on racism in Disney productions. She started with clear parallels between "Steamboat Willie" and the black-face "Sambo" characters of earlier animated films (Betty Boop movies are hugely racist), and went on from there.

What troubles me more about Dumbo, though, is the whole "pink elephants on parade" sequence. The first mainstream American attempt at psychedilia? I think some of the animators weren't getting adequate ventilation in their work space.

Disney: Racist, pro-drug propaganda?

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The animated "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" also treats females as accessories and trophies. The 12 who pull Santa's sleigh are all males, and the group who go off on an adventure and discover themselves worthy are all males.

Bambi, I think, is more like thinly-veiled gay porn, which is why the mother is disposed of early on.

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If you read Antonia Byatt's work on fairy tales, it begins to look highly likely that the dwarves are metaphors for something other than undertall working folks. The evil Queen, the apple, the casting out are all straight out of Jacobean morality plays, and the dwarves and the whole magical realm in which Snow White finds herself are clearly representative of altered states, whether pagan ecstatic, Christian mytho-religious, or just drug-induced is hard to say.

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