Will Disney's decision to put disclaimers in front of four of its movies have any effect on the theme parks?
The Walt Disney Company has launched an initiative called Stories Matter, which includes four examples of Disney movies that now will include advisories due to culturally insensitive content.
Those films are Aristocats, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson. The films will preceded on Disney+ with the following disclaimer:
This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.
Disney does not currently have a theme park attraction themed to Aristocats, but the other three are depicted in Disney's theme parks, with all three in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Swiss Family Treehouse
The pirates that Disney mentions in its advisory are nowhere to be found in the Magic Kingdom's treehouse. Heck, the Robinsons aren't even present in the Adventureland walk-through attraction. The only live-action film on the published advisory list, this is probably the least-remembered of these four films. That alone would make this attraction a candidate for eventual retheming — heck, Disneyland already changed its installation of the treehouse to a Tarzan theme. But that franchise is not without its own problems, so I don't see Disney spending any money to switch to that soon.
The treehouse can put through a lot of guests at next-to-no operational costs, and if guests don't associate the attraction with objectionable scenes from a film that few remember, why mess with this right now? As an ADA-incompatible walk-through (all those stairs!), this attraction likely will be left alone until Disney finds some other use for its space.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
My youngest is 20 now (!), so it's been a while since I've take a ride on Disney's iconic carnival spinner. So forgive me since I cannot recall if the offensive crows are depicted anywhere on or near the ride. If they are, they'll be gone soon. If not, I cannot imagine Disney willingly suffering the social backlash by retheming or removing this wildly popular ride just because some crows who aren't even on the ride were part of the original animated version of a franchise that Disney already has given a live-action remake. Dumbo stays.
Peter Pan's Flight
Glendale, we have a problem. The offensive depiction of indigenous people in the film carries over into the Fantasyland dark ride. We've mentioned the Disney theme parks' Peter Pan problem before, and now that Disney officially is acknowledging it, Peter Pan's Flight now must be considered a candidate for changes, retheming... or removal.
Fans might object that Pan remains one of the Magic Kingdom's most popular attractions. But no one would claim that the ride is more popular than Splash Mountain, and Disney already has announced that it will retheme that attraction.
Is that Tick-Tock the Crocodile I hear? Because the clock is ticking for this attraction in its current form.
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