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?Tweet
Originally a Disney or Universal Studios-style show with pirate ship battling a British Navy vessel with great stunts and a sinking British ship, the new T.I. decided to be more hip and redesigned it as a nighttime only show with female sirens seducing pirates.
It was a terrible idea, and closed within a year. Not saying that the same will happen with Disney's Pirates, but the moral of the story is: if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.
Video of original show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMZ2YOFZ2Rs
Video of Sirens show:
The new scene makes no sense. Do something different. Auction an object with some red coat prisoners and Union Jacks flying about.
On the other hand, as a parent with young children, do I really want a representation of violent invaders capturing and selling off women? And seeing the humour of those men disparaging the "fat one" while calling for the "sexy one" for sale?
In the end, its a family ride, for a family audience. Were I to suggest an accurate, historical, representation of pirate behavior, we would require lots more violence and animatronic non-consensual carnal activity.
That's absurd, leaving me to figure the line of acceptability lies somewhere between the accurate-horrible and the diluted-bland. Between the horrific reality of pirates and the adventurous thrills of pirate lore.
So, it seems, modern sensibilities have changed, and I guess the pirates will have to change with them, to fall in with where that line sits. I think I will miss the blissful ignorance of enjoying such scenes more than I will miss the actual scenes themselves.
Those are bad days for you as a human being. Just remember that.
and keep the scene, as is. as someone else, strongly hinted, trader sam, and the bar, have to close too. if, we are serious, about the morality of it all, and having strict morality, trump entertainment.
there have also, been scenes victimizing women in the pirates films and other disney movies.
i'm not seeing much consistency
It might end up working well. Or I may end up disappointed (either way, I will always remember the auction scene fondly). But until I see how it actually turns out, it's too soon for me to express either joy or outrage (or something in between). On one hand, an iconic scene is being changed. On the other hand, selling women off to the highest bidder isn't exactly a good thing (and no, the attraction has NEVER been fully historically accurate, so that argument doesn't enter into it).
I'm in "wait and see" mode.
with this news, they are going to manage to offend a decent percentage of their customers, either way. odd, they would want to open, this hornet's nest. Am i being offensive to bees, saying that? I apologize to the bee's.
why don't they just not make any immediate changes, and announce plans soon to import the version from China.
I think, that would be one overseas import, everyone would applaud. I believe, the criminality in that version is limited to male on male violence.
When I saw the headline (on another site) "Massive Changes to Pirates Ride", I hoped that they would put in some effects similar to Shanghai Pirates. No such luck. All we get is more watering down of a great attraction, I guess because some people are offended. Some people make a career out of being chronically offended.
The cavern narration in the original DL Pirates made it clear that what we just saw (the pirate skeletons in the first 1/3 of the ride after the drops) was the pirates' punishment for their misdeeds.
The whole moral of the ride has been lost because of the additions from the 2000s era movies (most prominently Jack Sparrow changing the narrative of the ride). The message that, "yeah, the pirates sure do seem to be having fun, but boy are they in trouble because they’re horrible people" is lost (because of the change in narrative).
As in the world of cinema, people increasingly struggle with the idea of "depiction does not equal endorsement," that is, Disney including the auction scene or the pirates chasing women scene does not mean that Disney says such behavior is acceptable.
Here are my questions: Do you as a parent feel that your child should not be seeing depictions of such scenes because it will result in uncomfortable questions or discussion? Why not have an honest discussion with your children (when you feel they understand what is going on in the scenes) to tell them that such behavior is not acceptable?
Is the reason it is necessary to change the scenes in 2017 because in the 1960s and 70s such behavior was more acceptable to American society than it is today? Did children and young adults leave the ride in the 1970s with the wrong idea of how men and women should behave toward each other? Does watching the auction scene contribute to boys and girls growing up into men and women who think that women should be objectified, and women can be bought and sold like property?
Or did what was going on in those scenes just go over their heads with no lasting harm done?
I agree with AJ Hummel, just take the entire ride down for a year to fix the story (hurt by the shoehorning of Sparrow) and scenes, and add new effects and other cool stuff.
Part of the reason why it is a humorous scene is because it is so wrong.
Then again, they might be able to keep most of the script which was my favorite part:
"Shift your cargo baby...no need to show off your superstructure!"
"We want the Redhead!"
And yes, I know that those are wrong too! :)
Plus, let's not forget, there really were female pirates so this does make sense and I'll reserve judgement until we see it.
Do you as a parent feel that your child should not be seeing depictions of such scenes because it will result in uncomfortable questions or discussion? Why not have an honest discussion with your children (when you feel they understand what is going on in the scenes) to tell them that such behavior is not acceptable?
Or did what was going on in those scenes just go over their heads with no lasting harm done?
If you feel your 4 year old is old enough to understand what is going on, then you might think about having an honest discussion with her. If not, wait until she is old enough. But I suspect that most of what is going on in these scenes are going over young people's heads. They know something not right is going on. It's not right to sell other people. But that's as much as they really care about. Your family's mileage may differ.
The difficulty is that in a lack of understanding of what is going on, kids interpret things in unusual ways. I'm not about to make up a story about what's going on (ie - lie) to appease my kids interest, and they're too young for me to explain what's going on. So maybe the message that they get is that it is ok to auction people, or make lewd comments about women.
The arguments posted here against changing it seem to fall into 2 categories. Firstly is that it messes with the narrative and the original ride. This may be the case, but I think the introduction of Jack Sparrow did this in a far worse way. Rehashing the whole ride (as suggested) is a possible idea, but overhauling such an immensely popular and iconic ride like that is risky.
The other argument here is that its always been this way, its great, never offended me and that changing it is "political correctness". This is almost always a poor argument (occasionally political correctness does get in the way of rational thought though). Change is inevitable, and generally for the better. It was political correctness gone mad that allowed women to vote and that freed slaves. While I don't put POTC in the same class as these events, this part of the ride clearly does not belong in a kids park, particularly today. Changing it for something more suitable, as much as we will miss the original, is for the better.
Han did shoot first though.
If we're going down that route, they'll end up shutting this classic ride down. Hello, people, they're PIRATES.
Grant I think you can just not ride if you feel it is so inappropriate your kids. That's generally what parents do isn't it?
There are four incarnations of the classic version of the attraction, the fourth (third built, chronologically) is at Tokyo Disneyland, and yesterday's press release did not mention the Tokyo version.
Why not? Tokyo Disneyland is owned by Oriental Land Company, which has final say over changes to the park. If they do not want to make changes to their version of pirates, they don't, pure and simple. By mid 2018, the only classic version of the ride that doesn't have PC-mandated changes ordered by Disney corporate will be in Japan. (Too bad some of the dialogue is in Japanese, as are other classic attractions like Country Bear Jamboree and the Haunted Mansion.)
Here's a video of the Tokyo version from Attractions 360:
After watching the video, here are some observations:
1) The ride is 90% in English, except for the talking skull before the drop.
2) Jack Sparrow is prominent in the ride.
3) BUT the Pirates are still chasing women in the looting scene, not women carrying trays of food. And one has no reason to think they will change the auction scene, either.
Purists often complain about change merely because they have a "that's how it's always been" mentality, or this is the ride that Walt created. The truth is that Walt Disney was all about innovation and advancement of technology. Had he lived to today he'd be the first to say rip out all the old in favour of the new. Pirates was awesome in it's day, fascinating kids of all ages, and it matched the pirate films of the day. But now, if I were 7 years old, had watched any of the new Pirates movies and went to Disneyland or Disneyworld filled with excitement to ride that ride, I would be extremely disappointed with the clockwork characters and old Hollywood sets.
Essentially Pirates is now just a ride for families to go on to get out of the Florida or California sun for a bit and savour the air conditioning and nostalgia. Shanghai's version captures all the excitement of the modern pirates lore and thrills today's audiences with the magic of what Imagineers can do without their hands tied to the history of the parks.
Walt didn't want things to stand still in time, he always pushed the boundaries of storytelling and technology. We should take the shackles off of the Imagineers and let them do their thing.
The Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress and the American Adventure are the perfect places to celebrate Disney's long history of animatronic prowess, but with an attraction that is supposed to be filled with excitement, action and adventure, a light boat ride really doesn't cut it anymore.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.