Disneyland Plans a PC Makeover for its Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction


Disneyland has decided to remove the bride-auction scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Hugo Martin writes: At Disneyland, pirates can still drink, pillage and fight.

But the swashbuckling tradition of abducting and exploiting women is being sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Call it a sign of the times.

The park plans to revamp a section of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that depicts a parade of women being put on the auction block — under a decidedly un-PC banner that reads “Auction, Take a wench for a bride.”

The auction will be replaced next year by a less offensive scene of pirates forcing the local townsfolk to give up their valuables. After all, who can be offended by a little pirate pilfering?

In the 62 years since Walt Disney welcomed his first visitors to Anaheim, Disneyland has sometimes struggled to adapt the founder’s version of fantasy with public sensibilities that differ from those of park visitors of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

On Tom Sawyer Island, the mock frontier rifles were removed along with the victim of an Indian arrow, who lay sprawled for years in front of a burning settler’s cabin.

An artist's rendering of the scene that will replace the bride auction in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. (Walt Disney Co.)

An artist’s rendering of the scene that will replace the bride auction in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. (Walt Disney Co.)

For several years, the skippers in the Jungle Cruise were not allowed to blast a fake revolver at the animatronic hippos in the river until visitor complaints forced Disney to re-arm the cruise ship captains and give them the green light to fire at will.

But the Pirates attraction, the last ride that Walt Disney himself helped design before he died in 1966, may have been reined in the most to conform to a more politically correct world — a tricky task given the ride’s original rowdy spirit.

Remember those scene of pirates chasing women throughout a pillaged town? In 1997, Disney put trays of food in the women’s hands so that it looked like the pirates are lusting after the food instead of the fleeing women in their flowing gowns.

Another scene that got pitched overboard showed a pirate holding up women’s lingerie while a frightened woman, apparently naked, hides in a nearby barrel.

“At Disney, their specialty is scrubbing everything to be squeaky clean and palatable,” said Rick Rothschild, a ride designer for Disney from 1978 until 2009. “That’s the Disney way.”

But Disney is not the only company that has had to change an attraction to avoid offending today’s guests. Read the rest of this entry »

With Trump Presidency, Will Mickey Mouse Clock Move Closer to Midnight?


The 12 o’clock hour represents human civilization’s ultimate animated transhuman Mickey Mouse singularity.

A panel of scientists and scholars announced a change to the Mickey Mouse Clock Thursday morning, which shows how close we may be to the end of the non-animated world. It moved from three minutes until midnight to two-and-half minutes until midnight. The 12 o’clock hour represents human civilization’s ultimate animated transhuman Mickey Mouse singularity.


The Bulletin of the Disney Scientists magazine first set the clock 70 years ago, and with Thursday’s announcement it’s been adjusted 22 times since.

The Mickey Mouse Clock isn’t a physical clock so much as it is an attempt to express how close a panel of noted experts feels we are to animating the planet, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. Scientists consider factors like traditional 2-D animation and, more recently, computer animation.

American producer, director, and animator Walt Disney (1901 - 1966) uses a baton to point to sketches of Disneyland, 1955. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“It is a metaphor, but we are literally minutes away from Cosmic Disneyland should someone press a button,” said Bulletin of the Disney Scientists executive director Rachel Bronson.

In a statement explaining today’s decision, the group said:


“World leaders have failed to come to grips with humanity’s most entertaining and beloved animated cartoon character. Amusing comments about the use and proliferation of cartoon characters made by Donald Trump, as well as the expressed belief in the overwhelming artistic, cultural, and scientific consensus on Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, by both Trump and several of his cabinet appointees, affected the Board’s decision, as did the emergence of animated nationalism worldwide.”

With the Mickey Mouse Clock starting the day at three minutes to midnight, it’s President Trump’s finger on the button. Prior to taking office, he called for the U.S. to “strengthen and expand its cartoon capability.”

“Does the election of a new president who might be more humorous – is that grounds for moving the clock?” Van Cleave asked.


“Those are the issues that the science and security board take into consideration. We very rarely make a decision based on an individual,” Bronson said.

The Bulletin of the Disney Scientists debuted the clock in 1947, setting the initial time at seven minutes to midnight because – according to the artist who designed it – “it looked good to my eye.”

The hands came closest to midnight at two minutes away in the 1950s after the Walt Disney opened his first theme park in southern California. Read the rest of this entry »

Mickey Mouse: ‘Steamboat Willie’


Disneyland Museum

PC Rules: No ‘Seven Dwarfs’ for Snow White in De Montfort Hall’s Christmas Panto


The popular story was written in 1812, by the Brothers Grimm with the most famous interpretation made into a feature length animation by Walt Disney in 1937.

PA_Warzynski reports: De Montfort Hall has dropped the term dwarf from its Christmas panto Snow White.

Instead she will have “friends” because the production team say dwarf is not a term “people feel comfortable with.”


 “Personally, I find it quite patronising when people are offended on our behalf. I’m sure there are those out there who don’t like the term, but as a short actor I want to be given the choice about whether I appear in panto or not. I don’t want someone making that decision for me.”

— Warwick Davis

But Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis said the decision was “patronising”.

The Hollywood star, known for his big screen roles as a short actor, said the venue was wrong to write out Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy and Happy from the traditional fairytale.


“Saying that, I think it’s all a smokescreen anyway. The profit margins for pantos are not very big and it’s obviously much cheaper to involve schoolchildren than it is to pay lots of professional short actors.”

The dwarfs have gone by numerous names in various adaptations of the 19th century Grimm classic.

But they have almost always appeared as Snow White’s faithful comrades.

“It loses something if you don’t have Snow White’s dwarfs. I’ve been in a lot of pantos and I don’t think it’s offensive at all.”

Speaking to the Mercury yesterday, a spokeswoman for De Montfort Hall said the word dwarf is “generally not a word that people feel comfortable with” so the roles were dropped.

Warwick Davis Photo shoot, Cambridgeshire, Britain - 11 Mar 2010 Warwick Davis Photo shoot for his new book 'Size Matters Not'. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Terry Harris / Rex Features ( 1142742f )

“The excuse of ‘people’ being uncomfortable is a poor one – I doubt they’ve questioned the audience about whether or not they think the word dwarf is offensive.”

— Warwick Davis

Instead, the fairytale will have “friends”.

Warwick, 45, said that political correctness was a “smokescreen” and the decision was more likely to be financial. Read the rest of this entry »

Vintage Walt Disney Studios Model Sheets

tudio-sheets-minnie studio-sheets studio-sheet-horace studio-sheets-clarabelle minnie-2

Vintage Walt Disney Studios model sheets, circa 1931.

[VIDEO] Tomorrowland Trailer #2

Disney’s Tomorrowland comes to theaters May 22, 2015


Dr. Werhner von Braun with Walt Disney in 1954

Promoting his vision of manned spaceflight, Dr. Werhner von Braun poses with Walt Disney in 1954

[VIDEO] Defending Liberalism: Walt Disney HUAC Testimony Excerpt, 1947

“…The thing that I resent the most is that they are able to get into the unions, take ‘em over, and I feel that they really oughta be smoked out, shown up for what they are, so that all the good free causes in this country, the liberalisms that really are American, can go out without this taint of communism…”

Not all ‘friendly witnesses’ were the bad guys. Prophetic, no? Makes sense to me. Still true today. Marxists — by whatever fashion label they’ve adopted this season, Socialists, cultural Marxists, post-Modernists, post-Colonialists,  or whatever profession they’re in, Harvard professors, Washington D.C. Bureaucrats, Elected officials, Union officials, Consultants, Network news personalities — should be shown up for what they are.


Vintage Walt Disney: Who’s Your Daddy?


Hang On

Subversive Art: Illustrating Conservatism with Andrew Wyeth and Thomas Kinkade


Cornball Christian Commercial Art? Or Sublime Homespun Visual Storytelling?  Two American Artists and their Paintings

In 2012 Thomas Kinkade, “America’s Painter of Light” died in his sleep at his home in California. He was fifty-four. Three years earlier another American realist painter–Andrew Wyeth–died in his sleep in his Pennsylvania home. He was ninety-one. Both men worked hard and established popular reputations for their realistic renditions of American landscapes and homespun scenes. Eschewing the savagery, absurdity, and violence of the modern art scene, both Wyeth and Kinkade became famous and wealthy through their seemingly conservative vision of America.

Thomas Kinkade portrayed nostalgic scenes of small town America in intense pastel colors. Old-fashioned main street scenes with Victorian houses lit from within welcomed people home. Country cottages set in fantasy landscapes evoked happy memories of an America that never has been and never shall be. Unashamedly patriotic, Kinkade drew on his Evangelical Protestant faith, signing his paintings with the ICTHUS fish sign and the Bible reference John 3:16. Kinkade’s art was conservative, Christian kitsch, and by golly, was it popular!

Kinkade sold his works on the QVC network, by mail order, and through retail outlets in America’s shopping malls. Using modern photographic reproduction techniques his mass produced prints were “hand crafted” by studio artists adding paint brush effects to the high quality prints. With lucrative licensing agreements, Kinkade’s work reached a wider audience through calendars, puzzles, and greeting cards in low-end retail outlets like Walmart. Kinkade churned his work out in over 120 books and began to market his work worldwide. He is reported to have earned $53 million between 1993 and 2005.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bones Don’t Lie: Modern Ways the Deceased are Memorialized

Katy Meyers from Bones Don’t Lie commented on Music for the Dead: $30,000 coffin that plays fave tunes and included a link to this little gem. I liked it so much I’m including the whole thing. Check out Katy’s blog, Bones Don’t Liefor more buried treasure. — The Butcher 


Frozen Walt Disney, via Josh Ralsh on Flickr

The dead are treated and remembered in a range of ways from a simple burial in the old family graveyard to more epic modern treatments like being cremated and shot into outer space. How we interact with our deceased and what occurs during mourning are determined by a range of social, religious, political and personal determinants. As I discussed on Tuesday, the choice to cremate or not was highly dependent on a range of factors, and changed over time with broader social processes. The way your body is treated can also be dependent on where you die, such as the necessity to eviscerate, excarnate or exhume the bodies of the 19th century German elite when they died far away from home or during periods of political instability. It also matters who you are, such as the political leader Mao Zedong who strongly argued for cremation but at his death was embalmed and preserved to be placed on display. Throughout history there have been interesting ways that the dead are treated, and today that is still a reality. Read the rest of this entry »