Classic Disney Characters Are Being Labeled As “Problematic”

stories matter team



According to The Post Millennial, the crows in the 1941 movie Dumbo are being flagged by the Stories Matter team (which is the name of the team reviewing old Disney content) because they serve as an “homage to racist minstrel shows, where white performers with blackened faces and tattered clothing imitated and ridiculed enslaved Africans on Southern plantations.” In addition, a cat in the 1970 film The Aristocats is being flagged as “a racist caricature of East Asian peoples”.
Ursula, The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney


Certain episodes of The Muppet Show are also causing concern on the Stories Matter team, and Ursula (the Disney villain from the 1989 movie The Little Mermaid) was flagged because “her dark color palette (lavender skin, black legs) could be viewed through a racial lens” and “she is also a ‘queer coded’ character, with mannerisms inspired in part by those of a real-life drag queen“.

Two Peter Pan characters were also flagged during the Stories Matter team’s review of the Disney archives (as well as the native people who were given negative depictions in Neverland): Tinker Bell was “marked for caution” because she is “body-conscious” and “jealous of Peter Pan’s attention”, according to anonymous Disney executives, and the Disney villain Captain Hook could apparently “expose Disney to accusations of discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities because he is a villain”.

The 1960 film Swiss Family Robinson has also been flagged by the Stories Matter team due to the pirates’ negative depictions in the movie; it’s used as an example on the Stories Matter website! 

Captain Hook

Captain Hook from ‘Peter Pan’

The Walt Disney Company has recently come under fire for its “wokeness”, particularly after its reaction to a recent Florida bill, but dissenters and dissatisfied Guests do not seem to be swaying the Walt Disney Company from its shift towards progressive “political correctness”.

Time will tell if these efforts to filter Disney’s past for a modern audience manage to please Disney fans or if instead (as the New York Times put it) “in trying to offend no one, Disney [will have] seemingly lost everyone”!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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