UPDATE: Since the launch of Disney+ on Tuesday, November 12, it has been revealed that Disney in fact did NOT edit out the controversial crow characters from Dumbo. You can read more about that update by clicking here. The original story, which elaborates further on why Song of the South will not be included on the service and other scenes that have been confirmed to be removed on Disney+, can be read below.
With less than a week to go before the highly anticipated Disney+ streaming service goes live, some fresh details on how The Walt Disney Company intends to operate the crop of films it shows there have started to come to light, including the use of potentially controversial movies and scenes from its varied vault of features. Though it was generally expected by many, and previously reported, that films like the ever controversial Song of the South will never be available for streaming on the platform, CNBC has confirmed the news in an extensive new report on Disney+. The hybrid animation/live-action film from 1946 has frequently been criticized for its racist depictions of African Americans and, as the outlet notes, “seemingly glorifying the plantation system of the post-Civil War South.” Despite introducing the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” to the American lexicon, which remains a staple at Disney attractions, the film hasn't seen the light of day on any home media platform domestically.
In addition to simply not adding that film to the roster of feature films available on Disney+, the company will also be editing out scenes from some of its movies in order to steer clear of potential controversy or to sidestep antiquated thinking. As previously reported, the “Jim Crow” characters seen in the original Dumbo will be edited out of the movie entirely as it appears on Disney+. Another racist caricature, the removal of the characters from the film will see about three minutes worth of footage excised from the movie, as well as one of its songs (“When I See an Elephant Fly”), bringing the already short movie (a brisk 64 minutes) down to an even shorter run time.
Disney isn't limiting their editing of their own films on the Disney+ platform strictly to older movies though, the 1999 Pixar hit Toy Story 2 will also feature an edit. Though not part of a scene in the feature's main story, a “post-credit blooper” from the film will be removed due to its suggestive nature. As CNBC notes, the scene features the film's antagonist character Stinky Pete being “interrupted while offering two Barbie dolls a role in the next 'Toy Story' film — suggestively taking one of the Barbies’ hands.”
The outlet goes on to note that a variety of other Disney-owned movies will not be available at launch on Disney+ but for less sinister reasons. The likes of Coco, Ralph Breaks the Internet, the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and even a variety of Marvel Studios movies won't be available at first due to previously negotiated contracts with other streaming services. Newer movies like The Lion King and Aladdin also won't be on Disney+ when it debuts, but only because they've yet to hit the home media market anyway. Those two films, which have grossed over $1 billion each this year for Walt Disney Studios, will arrive on Disney+ in the near future.
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