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Don't buy the Fantasia DVD unless you want to waste money.


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121 replies to this topic

#41 of 122 Robert Crawford

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Posted May 23 2001 - 04:06 AM

quote:
I have an analagous reaction to Casablanca, perhaps my favorite film. Every time I have seen it since I was 15, I have cringed at the part where Ingrid Bergman inquires about the "boy" playing the piano. I'm glad they have not censored it, but then again it's not being marketed to children. I don't look forward to explaining to my kids some day why a woman would refer to a man almost 20 years older than her as a "boy", but take umbrage in the fact that maybe they will learn something via the explanation.[/quote]

Ken,
Excellent example because I can't tell you how many times I've watched that scene and had the same reaction.


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#42 of 122 Brett Jason

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Posted May 23 2001 - 04:13 AM

Just to weigh in on this, I have the box set laser disc of Fantasia and my kids now 5 and 8 have always loved it. Specifically the centaur flying horse segement. probably cause they've always liked horses/ponies and these fly so it's even cooler right? Posted Image

#43 of 122 Michael Shannon

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Posted May 23 2001 - 04:16 AM

James, the comment was in reference to Seth's post. I feel Disney should have left it alone and provide both versions instead of ZOOMING.

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#44 of 122 Dave Scarpa

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Posted May 23 2001 - 04:16 AM

I'm really of two minds on this. While I somewhat agree with Ebert about Children not understanding theses images, and we can't always bank on Parents being there to explain it to them, I also don't like the idea of pretending these images and ways of thinking ever existed. Would we be better off to hide the Holocaust from our children. There's an old addage about those who cannot learn from their pasts are more likely to repeat those mistakes in the future. I think we avoid racism by explaining to our children why it's wrong. I don't oppose either the Fantasia or the Bug's bunny auguments but I don't want to lose the originals or Speedy Gonzolas for ever, these should be available with a disclaimer.
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#45 of 122 Alex Johnson

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Posted May 23 2001 - 04:27 AM

i find it somewhat ironic that everyone remembers the fantasia edits (it does get a lot of air time around here, and other places), but no-one remembers that dumbo has also been cut as well..

sequences with the crows have been edited out, also for stereotyping.

it can be read about here:
http://www.dvdtalk.c...s113falco1.html

a

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#46 of 122 Rob Willey

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Posted May 23 2001 - 05:22 AM

quote:
"As adults we have the ability to discern that out-dated, racially stereotypical modes of representation are bad, but we can still view them in a historical context without taking them at face value...
...children, by-and-large, cannot make this distincition. [/quote]

I wanted to retch when I heard Ebert say this. As adults we have the ability to provide perspective to children to allow them to make the same "distinctions" we make. It's called "parenting".

But the Cartoon Network's self-censorship, even with appropriate disclaimers, played in the middle of the night denies everyone, including adults, the ability to see these historical rarities.

It makes my blood boil when I hear otherwise reasonable adults applaud programming adult entertainment for the sensibilities of eight-year olds.

Program for adults and let parents make the call they feel comfortable with, but give us the CHOICE!

Rob

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#47 of 122 Michael St. Clair

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Posted May 23 2001 - 10:12 AM

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But the Cartoon Network's self-censorship, even with appropriate disclaimers, played in the middle of the night denies everyone, including adults, the ability to see these historical rarities.

My understanding is that CN's current rights allow them to show EVERY Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie. However, Warner pressured them to not show this set of 12 politically incorrect Bugs cartoons. CN probably could have gone ahead with their plan, but it would be bad business for them to piss WB off.

If anyone knows better than me, please speak up.

#48 of 122 Seth Paxton

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Posted May 23 2001 - 11:09 AM

The problem with such edits and art is that the EDITS themselves are subject to the thinking/morals of the times as well.

You shouldn't have to change who you are to suit the company you keep.

Now, if you are a bastard and decide to start being nicer, then ok. But lying about who you used to be is not so cool to me. Not even for the tricking of others, but the shame of yourself. If you can't stand up for what you used to be, then you have a real problem.

Same with films.

No one is saying Disney should be proud of that aspect of the film, but it's part of the film never-the-less. Maybe Disney has decided to no longer make NEW films with such content, but whatever shame they have with the older films is the burden they brought on themselves. Apologising or explaining is one thing, and perhaps some sensitivity on the matter as well. But moving it aside is just dumb.

Not to mention that it represents Disney trying to do the thinking for us, as if we couldn't deal with such an issue. Bad news Disney, people DO DEAL with this stuff everyday, still. We understand why it was and we don't think such content is some racist movement on your part.

If anything such content keeps us aware and sharp on what ideas we find offensive or what morals we now keep.

A milder example is the smoking edits Disney has done. Now what happens when we go back to a smoking society, does it come back in? I know you guys think "no way" right now, but if you asked me in 1980 if we would end up being an almost smokeless society I would have said "no way" myself.

My point with that is that we can't tell where society and it's morals are headed next. Violence could easily come under fire and the sort of edits that could result from that would be mind boggling (SS is already working on removing the guns from ET, so it's not fantasy).

Just think, if we keep something like Fantasia as is now, then keep editing out the lastest "offensive" bits in the film, the running time could drop 10, 20, 30 minutes or more. If society were to become very religiously conservitive, would all demonic imagery have to go? No more Bald Mountain.

I don't think it's that crazy. Society can change quite a bit in 20 years - again, think smoking, American Indians, the whole PC movement. When you are right in the middle of it you can feel like whatever YOUR society is doing is right, morally speaking. But what happens when that moral base is modified, overthrown, or changed significantly, do you give up the rights to the art that expressed what society was to you in the past?

I would think that at least in America we would want to avoid that.

How long before animal rights people get Clyde edited out of Every Which Way But Loose? Or the violence out of Bonnie and Clyde? Or the "orgasm" out of When Harry Met Sally?


To me it seems as easy to leave Fantasia as is, and spend that time that was used to explain the zoom to discuss the changes in society. I would bet that a film historian might like to discuss the issue. Heck, I bet Spike Lee would like to discuss the portrayal of blacks in film. I would think that someone involved in fighting for equal representation of blacks in film/filmmaking would LOVE to have an example from such a harmless film.

Or you could zoom it in, explain, and then wish it all away. Cripes, if BoaN can be seen then why in the hell does any Disney film need editing? How the hell are kids going to even understand the civil rights movement in 20 years?

#49 of 122 Kevin M

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Posted May 23 2001 - 08:10 PM

Quote:
Dumbo has been cut... sequences with the crows have been edited out, also for stereotyping.

So they did finally cut out the "Jim Crow" sequence in Dumbo? I have been wondering for years & years when they would get around to doing this. "Classic" or not it was a pretty offensive scene.

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#50 of 122 george kaplan

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Posted May 23 2001 - 11:21 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by the Jim Crow sequence, but just to be clear, the crows are still in Dumbo, but only at the end when they help Dumbo to fly. In the uncut version they had shown up at earlier points in the film to comment on the action (such as when Mrs. Jumbo is locked up) and it is these scenes that have been cut (they certainly aren't on my laserdisc, and I doubt if they'll be restored to the dvd) Posted Image

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#51 of 122 Todd H

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Posted May 24 2001 - 02:05 AM

First the Dove Foundation and now this. *sigh*

There has got to be a better way than censoring parts of movies that we find "offensive."

You know, history books contain lots of bad stuff...slavery, the Holocaust, the Crusades, the Reagan era Posted Image. Should we edit out the bad parts in those as well just because we find them "offensive?" No, because if we don't learn from our mistakes, then we will be doomed to repeat them.

Movies are like history books. They are snapshots of the times in which they were made. Sure some of the stuff in them is considered politically incorrect today. But that's the beauty of history. It gives us a chance to see our mistakes and learn from them.

I believe we should NEVER let anyone practice revisionism on movies, whether it's right-wing religious groups or left-wing political correctness zealots.

Here's a novel idea...how about parents stop being so lazy and actually raise their children? Do you really want someone else to raise your child?

#52 of 122 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted May 24 2001 - 03:18 AM

Disney has made the choice of marketing Fantasia to children. With this choice in mind, they have chosen to alter it. They have not included the disclaimer on the disc saying it is edited for content, which I think is their biggest misrepresentation. They do, however, describe the change in their supplement disc for the Fantasia anthology.

There are three ways that they could deal with this issue if the material is truly offensive and/or at least requires context/explanation to make it less offensive. One is to release it in a manner that is not targeted towards children, but towards adult collectors. The second is to withhold it from release. The third is what they have done as described above. A purist would advocate the first approach, but any reasonably sane Disney stockholder would advocate the third. To which group do you think the mouse house is ultimately beholden?

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#53 of 122 Robert Crawford

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Posted May 24 2001 - 03:27 AM

Quote:
Movies are like history books. They are snapshots of the times in which they were made. Sure some of the stuff in them is considered politically incorrect today. But that's the beauty of history. It gives us a chance to see our mistakes and learn from them.

I have to respectfully disagree with that analogy. First off, movies are made to entertain and hopefully make a profit to finance future films while history books are written about factual events to teach others about those historical events. When I read a history book I'm reading it to gain knowledge, however, my main goal in watching a film is to be entertain.


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#54 of 122 Todd H

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Posted May 24 2001 - 03:53 AM

Maybe some people see movies as strictly entertainment. But I see them as commentaries on our society as well. That's the great thing about movies I guess. Each person comes away with something different after watching them. Personally, I like movies that require me to think and challenge my beliefs as well as entertain. That's why I cringe everytime I hear about someone censoring a movie because the material is deemed "inappropriate." It's like taking out the stuff that challenges me and turning the movie into mindless entertainment. Trust me, there's plenty of mindless entertainment out there already *cough*Pearl Harbor*cough*.

#55 of 122 Keith Paynter

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Posted May 24 2001 - 03:55 AM

Robert;

I think the analogy was meant to illustrate that that movies are reflective of the times they were made. All cartoon studios were making animated caricatures of blacks in this manner at that time, so to single out Disney is a bit unfair. We also don't see wartime cartoons on video or television anymore because of the exaggerated caricatures of the Japanese (especially where Paramount's Popeye cartoons and several Warner shorts (ie Bug Bunny Nips The Nips) are concerned).

A modern day example of what would be classed as inappropriate content today in my view would be Crocodile Dundee, with the party scene demonstrating the cavalier attitude towards cocaine, which I now find totally unnecessary. Seeing this on TBS is a snapshot of the overindulgence and glamourizing of drugs that was prevalent in the '80s.

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#56 of 122 Patrick McCart

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Posted May 24 2001 - 05:14 AM

Actually, there is no mention that the *DVD* is censored. The way the publicity materials were written makes it look like the 1969, 1982, and 1990 versions were censored while the 2000 edition wasn't.

I find it hard to believe that they screened the edited version at the film festival they mentioned...those zooms look bad enough on a TV set...imagine them on a huge theater screen!

I actually called Disney's DVD department and they're certain that they didn't edit Fantasia for DVD...although the representative I talked to did mention that they edited previous DVD's.

You know what I think? I think this editing was a last minute effort...why else would they put glaringly bad zooms into a movie and act like it was never edited...after all, they spent a lot of money restoring the movie...so why mess up a minute of the footage to adapt it?

Why not put it in the supplemental section where it could be explained?

#57 of 122 Richard Kim

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Posted May 24 2001 - 05:31 AM

Quote:
Why not put it in the supplemental section where it could be explained?

Actually, I think they did.

I have to agree with you, the zoomed in scene looks pretty out of place and obvious.



#58 of 122 James D S

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Posted May 24 2001 - 05:36 AM

quote:
I have to respectfully disagree with that analogy. First off, movies are made to entertain and hopefully make a profit to finance future films while history books are written about factual events to teach others about those historical events. When I read a history book I'm reading it to gain knowledge, however, my main goal in watching a film is to be entertained.[/quote]

(I just fealt that Robert's comment bears repeating.)

quote:
Here's a novel idea...how about parents stop being so lazy and actually raise their children? Do you really want someone else to raise your child?[/quote]
Here here! And stop using movies to teach history lessons they weren't meant to teach and put your kid in school.


#59 of 122 Seth Paxton

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Posted May 24 2001 - 05:57 AM

I agree with Robert on that one. It certainly is a tricky subject, and I acknowledge that even if my rants indicate otherwise. Posted Image

But I just can't help but have a uneasy feeling about such things after reading something like 1984 or Animal Farm, or seeing a biographical film like Before Night Falls. Why is America so safe from what happened to creativity in Cuba?

We have evidence that we are not, actually. We've had banned books, burned books, and edited books.

And as much as we like to seperate films from other art as mostly entertainment. I would argue that actually MOST art of any form is done to entertain and perhaps make some money. What are publishing houses all about if not making some money? What are record companies about? Paintings are sold, as are sculptures. Surely art is about transferring thoughts and emotions from one person to another, and the people who engage in this process find such a transfer ENTERTAINING, enjoyable, rewarding.

I think the mistake is sometimes muddying the waters by assuming "high" art and "low" art are not both art. But Shakespeare was for the masses, meant to make some money, so does that mean that we can edit out the "Queen Mab" soliloquy when society deems it "offensive". After all, it was written to be shown to the unwashed masses and to make a buck, no different than Fantasia, so it's ok to edit it so we can make more money with the play.

I think the REAL slippery slope in such discussions is confusing cutting ANY content with cutting content you don't like. Think about this, saying "don't cut content" is an objective view, it doesn't rely on what the content is to pass that judgement.

But saying "Cut offensive material" is VERY subjective, and that subjectivity can even vary over time, so WHO MAKES THAT CALL? In fact, who PICKS the PERSON to make that call? And so on and so on. THAT'S where you hit the slippery slope, once you give your stamp of approval to cutting in general you open it up to SUBJECTIVE INTERPRETATION, and I guarantee that you won't always agree with those choices AND that those choices could be turned against you. History is full of artistic oppression that we currently find offensive but at the time was perfectly acceptable.

Finally, money. Yes, I can see the bottom line with Disney. BUT, wasn't this bottom line ALWAYS there, yet they made the film anyway. So I could argue that perhaps some of the money made with any of this offensive content (not just Fantasia) is a slap in the face to society in the first place. I would say "Hey, you didn't mind making a buck by portraying a black sterotype before, so you shouldn't mind losing that money now. You made your bed, now lie in it."

I mean, those images and characters were in those films for a reason. If it was simply creativity, then do you really want me to support the OPPRESSION of ARTISTIC efforts from the past just to make another buck now. And if they were originally included to "enhance" the film's entertainment/money-making ability by making the white people laugh, or to take some money from a cigarette company, then I am even less sympathetic now to their losses if it was released in an offensive way for money in the first place.

And since I grew up with Goofy smoking and didn't start smoking myself, why is it that kids today need to be sheltered from such images.

I saw these films as they were, and I had black childhood friends no different to me than any other friends, and I didn't smoke, and I didn't do all of the other stuff that this offensive material is supposed to support.

The ART can remain the same while society's VIEWS on the art change. What used to seem cute can now be considered offensive, but it's still part of the art and a definate connection to society's past. Art may not be a history book, but it most definately describes the social history of ideas and morals within the community that created it.

Or do we all need to sit down and watch Quills and Before Night Falls to appreciate the opportunity we have to hear all ideas, both contrary and similar to our own.

Again, I point to BoaN which can still be viewed from a knowledgable sense of understanding without content modification. And while that is adult content compared to Disney, there's no reason why a parent couldn't explain what's right and wrong about the film from a modern morals standpoint. Or do we expect the films and shows our kids watch to do ALL the teaching for us?

#60 of 122 James D S

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Posted May 24 2001 - 06:03 AM

quote:
...so does that mean that we can edit out the "Queen Mab" soliloquy when society deems it "offensive". [/quote]
It's funny you bring that scene up. That was the scene I illustrated for a local book. I had NO IDEA what an antimone (sp) looked like much less knew how to draw one. Posted Image

Quote:
Or do we expect the films and shows our kids watch to do ALL the teaching for us?
I think this is a valid criticism on films in general, but it doesn't quite apply seemlessly to a Disney product. i.e. I wouldn't expect Disney to release BOAN strictly on historic merit under Disney's name, and I believe Fantasia to be such a part of Disney, any outdated and improper references left in that do nothing to enhance enjoyment of a film that exists solely to entertain (not teach) would be a detriment to the Disney name and Fantasia as a national treasure.



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