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Backlash for Classic Cartoon releases?


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#1 of 37 buttmunker

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Posted August 07 2007 - 08:45 AM

I'm curious to know if there has been any uproar or complaints from both the public and private sector over the "racy" cartoon shorts released these past couple years.

I know they probably couldn't complain against the Tom and Jerry Spotlight collections because, for the most part, the discs were botched for retail, and those "in the know" knew how to trade them in for the "real deal."

However, last year's Looney Tunes collection had such questionable shorts as Southern Fried Rabbit and Mississippi Hare, which depict slavery - something that has been avoided for many years on TV and early DVD's (the racy stuff was included in some 1990's VHS tapes - Tom & Jerry's 50th Anniversary collections; and laserdisc).

Reason why I ask is because they haven't quite finished releasing everything there is to release on DVD, and if there are powerful people protesting against this type of material, the process may be halted, and what currently is available may be yanked from the stores and gone forever (only to be bought for hundreds of dollars on E-bay).
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#2 of 37 Kevin Martinez

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Posted August 07 2007 - 11:35 AM

Nope, no noticable backlash so far (at least nothing has been reported). The Disney Treasures, Droopy, Popeye, and Woody Woodpecker DVD sets also have varying amounts of Un-PC content as well.

#3 of 37 BarryM

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Posted August 08 2007 - 08:10 AM

Anybody who's a fan of the classic cartoons era will not be offended by those kind of films. This is why I can't understand why Warners has been holding back on the Bob Clampett titles. So many of his cartoons are "a bit much", but noone will be offended.

We're strong....we can handle it.

...and besides, i've yet to meet a Classic cartoon fanatic who all that politically correct, anyhow.

#4 of 37 buttmunker

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Posted August 08 2007 - 08:12 AM

trust me, I'm not speaking about the people who love these cartoons. Of course we want them released; its the people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson I'm worried about.
"The power of love will keep you home at night" -Huey Lewis & The News

"I give in to sin because you have to make this life liveable" -Depeche Mode

#5 of 37 PaulP

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Posted August 08 2007 - 08:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryM
...and besides, i've yet to meet a Classic cartoon fanatic who all that politically correct, anyhow.

Politically-correct people usually have no sense of humor.

#6 of 37 Robert Harris

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Posted August 08 2007 - 10:48 AM

I would hope that Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson would want the errors of the past exposed. Much better that way than to have them occur again by acts of the "uninitiated."

Not long ago, I was researching continuity on a 1939 production -- not GWTW -- and found an actor referred to as "Darky," as the innocent transcriber of the continuity did not know the actor's name.

I found it shocking, humorous and unfortunate, all at the same moment.

Inappropriate and condescending to a fine actor?

Absolutely.

RAH

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#7 of 37 chas speed

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Posted August 08 2007 - 02:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by buttmunker
trust me, I'm not speaking about the people who love these cartoons. Of course we want them released; its the people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson I'm worried about.
You worry too much.

#8 of 37 ChrisPearson

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Posted August 08 2007 - 09:54 PM

Buttmunker, if you're concerned about future DVD releases of sensitive material, I wouldn't draw attention to the issue if the signs are that nobody has protested against what's been released so far. There are plenty of people out there who would seize upon the excuse for self-promotion that such a protest would provide.

Leave well enough alone.

#9 of 37 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted August 08 2007 - 10:24 PM

There never has been any "backlash" that's always been a scapegoat for hoarding the material out and not allowing access to films that political correct studio nazis dub as "sensitive material".

#10 of 37 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 08 2007 - 10:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris
I would hope that Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson would want the errors of the past exposed. Much better that way than to have them occur again by acts of the "uninitiated."

Not long ago, I was researching continuity on a 1939 production -- not GWTW -- and found an actor referred to as "Darky," as the innocent transcriber of the continuity did not know the actor's name.

I found it shocking, humorous and unfortunate, all at the same moment.

Inappropriate and condescending to a fine actor?

Absolutely.

RAH
Jesse James? As far as films from that era, "it is what it is". As an African-American classic film buff, I want all film material from that era released to the general public in order to educate and hopefully enlighten today's society.

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#11 of 37 John Hodson

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Posted August 08 2007 - 11:34 PM

I'm probably badly quoting him, but IIRC it was Spike Lee who said something to the effect that 'If we don't show these things, how will people know that it happened?'
So many films, so little time...
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#12 of 37 Scott-S

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Posted August 09 2007 - 01:07 AM

Quote:
Politically-correct people usually have no sense of humor.

That is the truest thing I have read in a long time.
-----
Scott

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#13 of 37 BarryM

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Posted August 09 2007 - 01:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulP
Politically-correct people usually have no sense of humor.

Hear Hear.

As far as the PC police, let 'em stew in their own natural juices.

Seriously, I'm not happy to see the PC police REWRITE history....like on the cover of the Fletcher Henderson biography (he was a 1920's through 1940's Black bandleader of great importance). The really nice photo they used - like the Simon & Garfunkel CD box set - had the cigarette AIRBRUSHED out of his hand.

I find that kind of thing most offensive.

Releasing Classic cartoons like the Betty Boop's, "Coal Black An De Sebben Dwarfs", et all will NOT polute the minds of free thinking people. PERIOD.

#14 of 37 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 09 2007 - 01:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulP
Politically-correct people usually have no sense of humor.
In fairness to them, I don't believe that, they just believe humor can be funny without offending others. The question is how do you not offend anybody?

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#15 of 37 buttmunker

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Posted August 09 2007 - 01:36 AM

The way I see it, there really was a minimum of offensive gags. Tom and Jerry had "Mammy Toe Shoes," who was simply a southern black woman - nothing racist there. The only times T&J were racially insensitive, I guess, was when mud would be splattered in their faces and they'd appear as pickaninnies with big lips.

Bugs Bunny, well...there was a war on, after all...

I know this is not a cartoon, but they fall into the same trap, sometimes: The Little Rascals were never mean-spirited when it came to the black characters. Whatever happened, it was all in jest - like when Farina would talk about his daddy being in jail, or when they put the measles on Buckwheat (painted white dots because they couldn't see the black dots on his face when painted on). The boys never excluded their black friends from activities - only the shrimps and small-frys.

I mean, if some of these cartoons or shorts from the 1930's and 40's had called the black people names like "nig@#$" then I guess we'd have a problem.
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#16 of 37 Kevin Martinez

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Posted August 09 2007 - 02:11 AM

There was a very real controversy that happened 13 years ago when Turner released on of Bugs Wartime cartoons (one where he fights Japanese soldiers) on VHS. A Japanese civil rights group complained, and that's led to Warner being very careful about releasing un-PC cartoons as a mere precaution.

However, so far, DVD's featuring un-PC material haven't generated that kind of controversy, probably because they contain disclaimers and intros and such putting cartoons into context for that exact reason.

Disney's been releasing it's Un-PC short subjects on DVD for years (and they've historically been even MORE fidgety than Warner Bros about this kind of stuff- see Song of the South and Fantasia). There was a time not too long ago when everyone, including Disney, were postive that the Donald Duck wartime cartoons would never be made available on home video. Now, those, as well as Mickey Mouse's "sensitive" takes on Uncle Tom's Cabin and Robinson Crusoe are readily available on DVD for the price of a couple of disclaimers by Leonard Maltin. No visible complaints

Universal released some very, very, un-PC cartoons on it's recent Woody Woodpecker collection (and this was their first DVD release of them), and the cartoons didn't even get intros. Again, no real controversy generated.

Even Warner's own Droopy set, and whatever Tom and Jerry cartoons made it to disc uncensroed contain really Un-PC moments. The Popeye set (also Warner) has some un-PC content of its own, mostly in the bonus materials, plus un-PC cartoons await Warner in future Popeye volumes. Complaints? Hell, the only controversy those sets attracted was because of the censorship of the Tom and Jerry cartoons.

I think Warner should release the cartoons, with disclaimers or whatnot that contextualize the cartoons and when they were made.

#17 of 37 Joe Lugoff

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by buttmunker
The way I see it, there really was a minimum of offensive gags. Tom and Jerry had "Mammy Toe Shoes," who was simply a southern black woman - nothing racist there.

I think that was mildly racist, to the extent that they needed Tom and Jerry to live in a house where there were mouseholes and a mouse running around all the time -- and the idea may have been it would seem more likely to be in a black person's house than a white person's.

#18 of 37 buttmunker

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
I think that was mildly racist, to the extent that they needed Tom and Jerry to live in a house where there were mouseholes and a mouse running around all the time -- and the idea may have been it would seem more likely to be in a black person's house than a white person's.

Have you ever seen the house(s) Tom and Jerry lived in?! Those are mansions! Its not like T&J lived in a slum tenement...
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#19 of 37 ChrisPearson

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Posted August 09 2007 - 04:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Martinez
There was a very real controversy that happened 13 years ago when Turner released on of Bugs Wartime cartoons (one where he fights Japanese soldiers) on VHS. A Japanese civil rights group complained, and that's led to Warner being very careful about releasing un-PC cartoons as a mere precaution

This is why it's important that Warner's classic cartoons are handled by its Classics Division and not its Family Division. Quite apart from the fact that children today are less interested in cartoons from the 40s and 50s than they once were, some of them simply aren't suitable for children by our own standards. I think that today it's more widely understood that adult collectors are the audience for these films and not children, so censorship is less of a problem. Except when Warner lets its Family Division handle them, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
I think that was mildly racist, to the extent that they needed Tom and Jerry to live in a house where there were mouseholes and a mouse running around all the time -- and the idea may have been it would seem more likely to be in a black person's house than a white person's.

It wasn't her house, Joe. She was the maid.

#20 of 37 Bob Furmanek

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Posted August 09 2007 - 04:39 AM

I'm always amazed that people have problems with these non-PC elements in 50+ year old films, and how they may harm our children.

Don't any of these people see what's on daytime TV nowadays? They should check out some of those judge shows, or the Springer-type nonsense. Yikes!

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From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

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