Who wants the Redhead? Be careful what you wish for, Pirates fans
Disney is revamping its Pirates of the Caribbean ride yet again, and this time, it's changing the Redhead.
The "star" of the iconic Auction scene in the ride, the Redhead is a buxom young animatronic woman who's next in line to be sold off to a leering collection of drunken pirates, who are heckling the auctioneer trying to sell a "stout-hearted, and corn fed" captive, taunting him with chants of "We wants the redhead!"
The Redhead is staying in a revamp of the scene, which will debut at Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom next year. But instead of waiting to be sold off, this time, she will be doing the "buying," joining the pirates to relieve the people of the Mercado of their possessions.
The redesigned scene will be included in the Disneyland Paris version of the ride, which reopens after an extended refurbishment on July 24. Disneyland Paris' version does not follow the traditional narrative established by the Anaheim original, though it does share several elements with the version familiar to American fans.
Disney has changed the ride several times before, most recently to add Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, who will be making their debuts in the revamped Paris version next month, as well. But Disney also previously changed the Pirates rides in the United States to remove (or at least, soften) the insinuation of impending sexual assault in the Chase scene, which follows the Auction in the traditional ride design.
Now, the women being chased by the Pirates are carrying trays of food instead of simply running for the lives. That change also managed to add the sin of gluttony to the ride, allowing the pirates to check off another one of the Seven Deadly Sins in their adventures.
Let's face it. There's no way in Hades that the original version of this ride would get green-lit for production today. The skeletons, naval battle, burning city, and even the water torture are probably good to go in a modern corporate decision-making environment, but the whimsical depiction of human trafficking and sexual assault are definite proposal killers among any non-psychopathic corporate executives.
The assault scene got its tray of food to address that problem, and now the Redhead's getting a gun to address the other, too. (I am now proposing that in honor of her getting a gun, the Redhead be dubbed by the Disney fan community as "Annie.")
So long as Disney doesn't change the way the ride smells, though, I'm good. What do you think of the changes coming to Pirates of the Caribbean?
I'm still irritated about the addition of Jack Sparrow, so you can imagine what I think of this latest change. The original was fine.... But, yes, changing the smell would be the ultimate betrayal :-)
This is terrible.
"Non-psychopathic corporate executives"? Do they really exist?
I don't have a problem with this.
We should just axe the entire Adventureland then
As I said, be careful what you wish for....
These changes remind me of those made by the Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas to their free pirate battle show on the Las Vegas Strip.
The nostalgic part in me is a little disappointed, but when my 4 and 6 year old asked me to explain this scene in January, I was a bit stumped. Some concepts aren't appropriate for kids, and nostalgia shouldn't blind is from this
I think its amazing! Wall street got Fearless Girl, Wonder Woman was a huge hit, the star of the new Pandora boat ride is the female Shaman of Songs, now this change-- lets keep it going in Disney and beyond! Its time for a whole new way of thinking for our daughters.
The edgie parts are slowly being replaced. I thought the chasing food scene isn't a good substitute for chasing women. How about chasing something often shown in the movies like an valuable treasure, a supernatural piece, Davy Jones' heart, or a bottle of rum.
Soon the Red Head will have white hair and the skeletons become snowmen. FROZEN of Arendele Christmas overlay. Best of both worlds. Let It Go.
It's a tough call, really. Do we get rid of the torture/well-drowning scene next? That's actually quite twisted, if you think about it.
I don't mind Disney changing it up. Keeps things fresh, new things to see.
Sometimes you log onto a website and say, "actually, depictions of implied sexual assault at a theme park are good."
Nobody said that Jacob. I am not surprised the scene is finally being changed, but they could have found a better way to do it. Maybe they should have changed it so the pirates were looking for dates. As is, the best line of the ride is going away. That line could be kept if they just lightened the tone of what the pirates were doing instead of totally changing the scene.
I'm fine with the changes. Just change the ride name from Pirates to Political Correctness of the Caribbean and we're good.
I give up...I just give up. These are Pirates they do horrible things. It comes with the territory.
If they can fix the classic Pirates attraction and Tower of Terror, why can't they put Tomorrowland out of it's misery? Looking ugly for 19 years.
Since when did it become wrong to enjoy a little dark humor now and then? When all's said and done, you're just watching a bunch of singing dolls.
Um we're going to change this historical fact , but let a sexist, racist, mysoginist, nativist, tyrant speak at the hall of presidents? That's the real problem.
pinocio, also has human slavery. what is the difference, exactly? It's ok, if the victim is a male? or. maybe people can agree, that it is bad, in either case, and the people doing the buying are the villians.
Based on what I've seen/read so far, I'm reserving judgement until I see it in action. I've seen people on other sites say that the pirates seem to be auctioning off furniture, but I think your take on it is more accurate -- they're relieving people of their possessions (and the Redhead with the gun seems to imply "give us your stuff...or else").
until, they dropped this bombshell, disney had it made. attendance, so high, they had to turn people away on some nights.
More political correctness gone insane. So the pirates are running a Sotheby's auction now? The new scene will make little sense, and be boring, besides. Boy scouts of the carribean, indeed.
The two paragraphs immediately below are not my ideas, so I will credit @21royalstreet and @scottrenshaw.
My problem with this change is less about the change itself and more about the way Disney continues to treat this attraction. As good as the ride is, Pirates of the Caribbean just isn't a ride that really works in the modern world. There are certainly some good elements to it, but probably 1/3 of the scenes are questionable for a family environment and if it wasn't for the films the attraction would likely be passed over by a majority of today's visitors. However, by changing only small portions of the ride, it has resulted in a disjointed attraction with a series of tonally inconsistent scenes and an incoherent story. I would much rather Disney just shut the ride down for a year and give it a complete overhaul, revising everything at once and creating a new version of the ride that remains true to the original yet is appealing to modern audiences. There's no telling for sure, but I would be incredible surprised if this is the last change the attraction sees.
Bunch of women tied up and about to be auctioned off and raped.
I can't stand this PC culture anymore. "We wants the redhead" is a pivotal line in the pirates ride, they already changed the one in Disney World so that there's no skull and bones saying "dead men tell no tales". This ride will very soon lose what made it special. if you have children that ask about it, why not inform them about history? Why not use the ride to open a dialogue about what pirates did; use that line to inform them of the subjugation and oppression that women have faced throughout the decades, and how it relates to what we face today? Even a three year old would understand if you simply said "women used to be treated like things that you could buy in a store, they weren't treated with the respect they deserve, and that wasn't ok." We can't change history, we can only learn from it. When we laugh at the darkness, we tend to become stronger, and it gets brighter. As a woman, I don't want them to brush aside how we have been treated historically. That's like discounting all of the hard work brave women and men did to get us where we are today, and that which is currently being done for our equality.
As it is, the scene is not accurate because there were no "marriages" going on in reality.
I never understood Disney's glorification of pirates to start with. Now, what, we're trying slowing tamp down on their bad side over the years? At Disney, the girls can be princesses and the boys can be pirates (rum swilling, woman chasing, murdering thugs). All in good fun or not so much?
They are pirates for goodness sake! This is a slippery slope. How can you take out human trafficking and leave the burning and pillaging of a city? These are thieves and murderers. Think on that. If they want to sanitize the ride, they will need to remove it completely. The opening message of the ride with the dead pirates, and "dead men tell no tales" is meant to show what the evil of piracy will lead to, so there is a moral to the story. If you think the redhead scene was somehow the unique thing that showed some really evil stuff, then you better check yourself, because the entire city portion of the ride is some really evil stuff. Careful what you wish for.
Maybe it is just me, but I never thought the Redhead was a sad victim in this darkly humorous scene. I always thought she knew that she was driving the pirates wild and she LOVED IT.
AJ is correct that "Pirates" was in a different time. I know folks love to talk about the "Western River Expedition" but that was going to show Indians as literally red-skinned with giant noses doing rain dances and scalping. Just imagine the reaction to THAT one today. Even as a kid, I admit a tad troubled by the whole "Auction of women" bit as it may be classic but let's face it, a lot of "classic" stuff of the past doesn't translate well today.
Why are the townspeople in this Spanish colonial town dressed like French Aristocracy?
What possible need would the average pirate have for a chandelier or a grandfather clock? And why would a pirate auctioneer even bother trying to sell such items to fellow pirates?
Why does the concept art for this have to be so terrible? It looks like they traced over a photo of the scene then made changes? They couldn't hire someone who knows how to draw? Marc's original drawings had so much life and personality in them. This feels stale.
So maybe in the next iteration of the ride, the characters may sit and gently discuss their transactions, just like bankers. Being so politically correct is absolutely lame.
Spaceman Spiff, are you seriously suggesting I should sit down with my 4 year old daughter and explain how pirates were bad and would rape women and auction them off as slaves??? I'm all for educating my kids but that's a discussion for when they're much older and are able to comprehend these stories and the message I'm giving.
It's ashamed. The "auction a bride" redhead scene is one of my favorites in all the pirate rides! Ugh, I guess we'll see how the new scene will turn out.
grant crawford: Here is what I wrote earlier:
This is all quite useless when Disney recently started selling shirts specifically with the 'we wants the redhead!' part of the ride on t-shirts. I saw umpteen men wearing them on my recent trip in May. They don't care about the message it sends. They really don't.
I understand your point, but the issue I find is that this is primarily a kids park. Maybe it was once OK to have this content with kids. Today though, it really isn't.
You know what happens when you try to erase the past and act like it didn't happen........
Funny how 50 years and no complaints. Suddenly they are changing it and people discover that it's offensive lol.
Selling women at auction is not okay, but looting, burning, torturing, shooting at each other, etc. is okay? And all the skeletons certainly hint that people were murdered.
An excellent example of political correctness gone amuck!
Next thing you know, they'll be sanitizing/censoring Walt's classic movies. Children are kidnapped in Pinochio. Oh, that's disturbing, just take it out. Tinkerbell tries to get character bumped off. Oh, let's censor it, make her more nicey nice. Walt, the great storyteller, didn't know what he was doing anyway.
While the idea of change to reflect current social mores is one way of looking at it, changing this scene will also eliminate one bit of nostalgia and a sort of memorial. Th line, "We wants the redhead!" was recorded for Disney by the late Mark Lewis, an exceptional storyteller and entertainer. If that line goes, so does a bit of Mark.
As my 8 year old grandson said, "They are pirates."
I have the perfect solution. Keep the scene with a few changes. Remove the Auction banner. Change one or two women into male prisoners. Turn the fat woman into the Captain's wife. The Redhead is a Madam of a brothel (or implied). Change the chase scene to tie into the previous scene by having the Pirates chase after the villagers, male or female, who might have valuable treasures. What's lost with the changes is the villainy of the Pirates. Introducing a female pirate is too politically correct and can't be explained to anyone's satisfaction. They changed the original chase scene that ruined the original context of the auction scene. A bridal auction didn't imply rape because the subsequent chase showed they weren't caught. These scene changes can't be done in isolation. The attraction lost it's edge and narrative. Jack Sparrow is more a minus than a plus. Fix the whole thing or not at all.
For all those who are complaining about "PC changes" to POC, here's a thought. Real pirates were a big part of the slave trade. So would you be OK with having a slave auction in the attraction? If not, then why are you OK with them auctioning off women to be sold as (most likely) sex slaves?
That's the way it was by changing the ride you don't change history. For those who have young kids who ask why explain to them how things were back then. Tell them how we have gotten a lot better. Pirates were bad people.
I would be totally ok with a slave auction if it fit the story and what the original imagineers intended. Disneyland was dedicated to the "hard facts" that made America so it would certainly align with Walt's vision.
The future of the Pirates ride is happening right now in Shanghai. Once you've experienced or seen that version there's no going back. I say gut the experience at WDW and DLR and upgrade to 2.0. Sure the folks who want the parks to be a museum will whine and moan, but the general public (those who make up the vast majority of the park's attendance) will love the change. Besides, for the museum lovers, parts of the original Walt attraction can be made into an exhibit in the Walt Disney Family Museum where it can be preserved (in its conceptually original walkthru form) for all time (or at least until this morally, socially, and fiscally bankrupt world blows itself up).
Get rid of Jack Sparrow! Why make changes?
Has anyone noticed that kast week's press release about changes to the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions include all the parks that Disney Corp has direct control over? The Paris version will be changed first, and then Anaheim and Orlando in early 2018. (The Shanghai version is really a Pirates 2.0, and doesn't follow the narrative of the classic attraction).
I object to changing things only to make them more politically correct...that having been said, if Disney is going to go ahead and change that scene, then why not go for broke and modernize the ENTIRE ride. Rip all the old shiny faced animatronic characters out in favour of a ride more similar to the one now in Shanghai Disneyland.
Who doesn't want to think of violent sexual assault while at a theme park!
For as long as I remember visiting Disneyland, when I rode Pirates, I thought of the auction scene has the women being forced to get married against their will. Rape, sexual assault, etc never entered my mind. I would imagine the same is true for most kids doing the past 50 years that the attraction has been open, as well as today.
As I understood it when I was a child riding Pirates, the the 1st few scenes were of the cursed pirates who had done something wrong, they were stuck as skeletons and could never enjoy anything again. Which was obviously drinking, looting, hoarding, killing, etc. So the rest of the ride was examples of all their bad behavior which is why they were cursed. I totally got it that attacking innocents, robbing, fighting, selling women, burning down the city, etc. was wrong. As for that little ditty they sing, it was because they didn't care how bad they acted or who they hurt; they were pirates for goodness sake. After that, the impression it made on me was such that I did not want to play at being a pirate anymore.
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