Disney movies are supposed to be pure and innocent, but these moments prove that the company has a racist past. Check out these racist Disney moments producers want you to forget.
Song of The South
Song of The South is so racist that even Disney has banned the movie from being replicated or sold due to its intense racial undertones. The character of Uncle Remus is a former African American slave who tells two white children folk stories. Uncle Remus tells these stories to the two children of his former masters while still living on the plantation he was enslaved on. WHOA!
The story also includes the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” which features racial stereotypes, such as whistling, skipping, and over-the-top blatant racism. The movie also details why “white trash” children should not be respected. This movie is better off being destroyed and we can understand why Disney would want to forget about it.
Fantasia was released well before Disney started trying to be politically correct. The film features a character called “Sunflower,” who is a black centaur with braids. The character is also a servant to a light-skinned, larger, blonde, and beautiful centaur.
Watching this clip is very uncomfortable because of how apparent the racial undertones are. Creating a centaur character who is black, with braids, as a servant to a white centaur is not okay. Even though there are no humans in this clip, nothing about it is PC. In many releases of Fantasia, this clip has been deleted.
Dumbo is known as an American classic, even though many of the scenes are filled with racist imagery and words. In one scene, Dumbo is confronted by a group of doo wop singing crows, which is racist in itself. But, the worst part of the scene is that the main crow is actually named “Jim Crow.”
Jim Crow is a reference to the Jim Crow laws which was a series of anti-black laws created after the end of the Civil War to limit the social advancements of African Americans. The crows in Dumbo also talk in “jive” which is an incredibly racist stereotype of African Americans.
The Siamese Cats
The Siamese cats in the film Lady and The Tramp are portrayed as being slinky and secretive. The Siamese twin cats are also known by the names of Si and Am, which is a clear play on the name of the country Siam. The two cats are meant to medical anomaly of Siamese conjoined twins.
The cats also speak with a heavily exaggerated stereotypical accent, that is neither politically correct or funny. Also, their physical features are meant to represent the horribly racist views many Americans had of Asians during the 1950s. The cats are very skinny with small, narrow eyes.
Peter Pan is an age-old tale, but the Disney retelling is pretty racist. The Native people that are featured in the film are not only dressed in racist garb, but they sing one of the most offensive songs in Disney history. The song is entitled, “What Makes the Red Man Red,” which uses the old and racist stereotype of “red men,” to reference Native people.
The song also states that the “red man” became “red” because a girl kissed him, which is truly offensive to the history of Native people in the United States. The song is racially tone-deaf and proves that the racism in Disney movies applied to everyone who was not white.
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book was originally written by author Rudyard Kipling, who also wrote the poem “White Man’s Burden,” which is solely about colonization. The movie The Jungle Book is filled with racist moments, including its depiction of King Louie. King Louie is an ape, who speaks solely in “jive,” while every other character in the movie speaks proper English.
King Louie is also portrayed as being lazy and as slacking off in order to be king of the jungle, which is an old racist Disney stereotype. He is also pictured as being fat, and for eating way too much. These stereotypes contribute to an overall racist film about British colonization.
You might be surprised to find out that the film Aladdin has key moments of racism. The opening song of Aladdin is entitled “Arabian Nights,” which features small hints of racism that target many different stereotypes of Arab people. The lyrics of the song state, “I come from a land, from a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam … where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense, it’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!”
The term “barbaric” is a an old stereotype for Arab people, which is often overlooked, even though it is seen as incredibly racist today. This movie also came out in the early 1990s, when anti-Islamic sentiment was growing in the United States.
Sebastian’s Jamaican Accent
Sebastian is one of the main characters in the film The Little Mermaid, and is the only character who has a very heavy accent. Sebastian is played with a thick Jamaican accent, even though Ariel is clearly American. During his song, “Under The Sea,” Sebastian tells Ariel that she should stay in her home under the water because she doesn’t need a job in the ocean.
Sebastian is portrayed as a lazy Jamaican, which is clearly a stereotype. The racist ideology behind this is the misconception by some that Jamaicans are lazy, due to their cultural attributes and the color of their skin. This is just plain ignorant.
Pocahontas Wasn’t Even Remotely Accurate
The film Pocahontas is a completely white-washed telling of the historical figure. Pocahontas is portrayed in the film as a sexual woman, even though in history she was eleven at the time of the colonization of Jamestown. The film also features the song “Savages,” which details the Powhatans as being either noble or savages. This is a terrible way of detailing a group of people.
The Native people in the film are also portrayed as sexual primal beings, specifically the racist outfit which Pocahontas wears to “lure” John Smith. The entire film is a white and romanticized version of what actually happened back in the day.
The hyenas in the film The Lion King are a key example of racism in Disney films. First off, Disney portrays Africa as just being an animal land, without mentioning key civilizations which live on the continent.
Secondly, the hyenas which are featured in The Lion King are over-the-top stereotypical. The hyenas are meant to portray African and Hispanic characters, whose purpose in the film is for comic relief. Also, one of the hyenas is meant to be intellectually disabled for the sake of “comedy,” which is just awful!
The Princess and The Frog was meant to be a big breakthrough for Disney because it revealed the first African American Disney princess. Even though it was a step in the right direction, the film fell completely short. Tiana’s love interest, Prince Naveen, has an ethnicity that is completely confusing.
Naveen’s features and skin tones are lighter than that of Tiana and his country of origin is the made up country of Maldonia. Not only does this prove that he is not proudly black, but that Disney did not feel comfortable having two identifiable black characters starring in their movie.
Most of these racist moments have been small, but this moment is undeniably and over-the-top so. Released in 1930, Cannibal Capers was a short film which featured a lion-chief and a gypsy soul. Not only does this portray African Natives as being mystical gypsies, but it also depicts African people as being cannibals. This characterization of the African people is upsetting.
The characters are drawn with skinny limbs, big lips, large stomachs, and they speak by clicking their tongues. The cartoon is meant to show the “animal” side of these humans, which is the very definition of racism.
The Night Before Christmas
The Night Before Christmas is a cartoon by Disney which was released to the public in 1933. The 1930s was not a decade of political correctness, but this film is one of the most racist on our list. In one scene of the film, a child tries to climb the chimney to catch Santa. In doing so, his entire face becomes covered in coal and he proceeds to dance around the room in black face.
The entire scene is racist because it adheres to the old comic tradition of vaudeville and using physical attributes to receive a laugh. That boy shouldn’t have gotten any presents at all.
The Little Mermaid had many different moments which can be considered racist. Again during the song “Under The Sea,” a large black fish can be seen singing out a rather long note. The black fish is supposed to portray the very racist line, “until the fat lady sings,” which means that the end of the song is coming.
Other historians believe that the fish is also a character representation of the famous African American singer Aretha Franklin. In more recent adaptations of the film, the blackfish’s note is cut out and she is not visible, due to backlash from audience members today.
The character of Jafar in the movie Aladdin is the evil character, and he is also a racist representation of Arab people. Jafar’s appearance is filled with Arabic features, while Aladdin’s character is a whitewashed version of a character who has no Arabic physical traits.
Portraying the villian as Arabic, while the good main character is whitewashed is a sign of Disney’s racist intent. Jafar is also several skin tones darker than Aladdin, which is just another racist sign. Even though both Jafar and Aladdin live in the same place, Aladdin looks like he is European.
Zootopia’s entire plot is about racism and how animals represent America’s current race relations. Even though the plot is an effort to reflect our own current political correctness, the film’s plot falls short. The animal kingdom in the movie is split between predators and prey, but in this scenario comparing any race to either predator or prey is a racist idea.
Who in the United States is going to want to either be predator or prey? The film also uses a story about a sly fox for inspiration for one of the main characters, which is actually taken from the racist movie Song of The South. No one should use Song of The South as inspiration for a movie about race relations.
The Aristocats’ Siamese Cats
The Aristocats’ Siamese cats depiction of Siamese cats is just another racist portrayal. Disney seems to use the same old stereotypes for every Chinese character during their early films. Shun Gon is Siamese cat who plays the piano with chopsticks.His personality is racist, not to mention that this cat is filled with physical Asian stereotypes!
Shun Gon has buck teeth, a heavy Chinese accent, and small, slanted eyes. The cat is also heard singing the lyrics, “Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Fu Yung. Fortune cookie always wrong.” Could this portrayal of a Chinese cat be any more stereotypical or racist?
In the film Aladdin, Princess Jasmine is obliged to marry a prince before she can accept her role as Queen. This story line is low-key racist, and preys on the idea that all Eastern queens were obligated to perform in an arranged marriage. Even though arranged marriages do exist in the East, this portrayal is a whitewashed view of the old tradition.
Also, Jasmine’s outfits are incredibly over-sexualized and are not historically accurate. During this time, Jasmine would have worn loose fitting clothes and would have been wearing large amounts of fabric. She would not have been wearing her iconic two-piece blue jumpsuit.
In the film Mulan, the characters of the Huns are portrayed as being violent barbarians against the pristine and peaceful Chinese people. The Huns are also characterized with Asian looking features, while having skin tones several shades darker than the Chinese characters. Mulan and Shang’s skin tones are almost white, and many of the Chinese figures in the movie do not have any Asian skin tones or features.
The Huns also are featured with either red or yellow eyes, which is not correct or politically correct. These white attributes whitewash the Chinese culture and tend to lead to inference that Disney thinks that the “good guys” should be seen as white. Not only is that wrong, but it is just downright racist.
Pocahontas Two Is THE WORST
Even though the film Pocahontas Two was not released in theaters (it went straight to VHS,) the movie needs to be highlighted for its racist moments. The chief Powhatan in the film is particularly noted as a racist depiction because the chief speaks in grunts, rather than in English. Not only does he not speak full sentences, but at some points he speaks so slowly that watching the scene becomes uncomfortable.
The film also features a scene where Pocahontas runs around in her underwear and asks a man if he likes her dress. This over-sexualization of the character proves that Disney is trying to suggest that Pocahontas is a “savage” for not knowing what British underwear looks like.