Since there was a fair bit of discussion in this topic about censoring scenes that portray characters smoking tobacco in classic Disney productions, I wonder if anyone would care to take a crack at sending an e-mail to a news site that has recently published letters from a student group that's blasting Disney for such scenes in their classic animated classics?
The e-mail for responses is Letters@NorthCountryNow.com
So far, only one response has been published that was only complimentary. Yet these are obviously full of holes and it deserves a differing viewpoint in response. But I don't feel like I could personally do full justice to it even though this news source is in my neck of the woods (Especially if my response is to be short and concise enough to stand a chance at being published... brevity isn't my strong suit as this post demonstrates).
For some starting thoughts, they're not rereleased to theaters these days and the vast majority of buyers of these on home video are adults. So not only would rating a classic such as Dumbo with an R rating, which is a nonsensical suggestion if there ever was one, not even be needed or accomplish anything, but the ratings system isn't going to keep sensible parents from showing harmless animated classics at home.
Not only that, but the very thought that something like the minor bits and pieces for something such as the Disney release that's the subject of this topic, could ever influence a young child to start smoking, is of very questionable value.
Would be worth setting them straight that the target they need to concern themselves with is primarily their peers. It's peer pressure that's the problem, not harmless classic movies and shorts from many decades ago.
Rather than censorship, I would think such a thing could present a learning opportunity for the responsible parent that accomplishes the exact opposite of what these allege to be the case. They're a product of their times and should be viewed as such, rather than be modified decades after the fact or worse yet, be kept hidden from view.