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Disney Movie Banned Due to Sensitive Audiences

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Credit: Disney

Disney movies have been a beloved part of popular culture for nearly a century, enchanting audiences of all ages with their captivating storytelling, memorable characters, and stunning animation.

The Walt Disney Company, founded by Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney, released its first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937, forever changing the landscape of animated cinema. Since then, Disney has continued to produce a vast and diverse array of films that have left an indelible mark on the entertainment world.

snow white

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Disney has also been the lead in the field of animation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the medium. Films like Fantasia (1940) showcased the potential for combining classical music with animation, creating a visually and musically stunning experience.

In recent years, Disney has continued to evolve, adapting its classic animated films into live-action remakes, such as The Jungle Book (2016) and Beauty and the Beast (2017). These remakes pay homage to the original while introducing these stories to a new generation of viewers.

young walt disney holding a bunch of Mickey Mouse stuffed animals

Credit: Disney

Controversial Films

While Disney movies are generally known for their widespread appeal and positive impact on audiences, there have been instances where certain Disney films faced bans or controversies. These situations often arise due to cultural sensitivities, perceived offensive content, or political concerns.

Disney’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is also reflected in its more recent films, such as Moana (2016) and Frozen (2013), which have featured strong and independent female protagonists, as well as culturally diverse settings and characters.

Frozen: Princess Anna and Queen Elsa reunited, voiced by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel

Credit: Disney

One film that Disney has banned is Song of the South (1946). This live-action/animated musical film has been widely criticized for its alleged racial stereotypes and problematic portrayal of African Americans in the post-Civil War South.

Due to concerns about its racially insensitive content, Disney has chosen not to release the film on home video in the United States for many years. Additionally, the company has made a point to scrap any resemblance of Song of the South from attractions such as the former Splash Mountain – which will soon be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Another Disney film that has not been banned but has dealt with backlash is Beauty and the Beast (2017), the live-action version. This remake of Beauty and the Beast faced backlash in certain countries due to the inclusion of a minor LGBTQ+ character.

Some groups and governments banned or restricted the film’s release, citing concerns about the character’s sexual orientation, but these have not been confirmed by Disney.

Beauty and the Beast

Credit: Disney

The Skeleton Dance

Of course, Disney has banned some significant films along the way. One banned film comes to mind. ScreenRant reported that Disney once had a film banned due to being “too dark.”

The Skeleton Dance was the beginning installment in Walt Disney’s renowned Silly Symphonies series of animated shorts. This five-minute masterpiece was both produced and directed by Walt Disney.

The Skeleton Dance portrays four skeletons emerging from their graves, engaging in a macabre dance, playing eerie music, and causing mischief in the dead of night. While the cartoon ultimately achieved success, it was evident that its dark narrative and eerie animation did not resonate with everyone upon its initial release.

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Credit: Disney

“The New York Times reported in the 1930s that Denmark had banned The Skeleton Dance entirely for being “too macabre” for audiences,” the report from ScreeRant shared. “There was concern that the black-and-white animation combined with the intense music was too graphic and frightening for its target audience at the time. Since the cartoon’s release, the ban in Denmark has been lifted and Disney has continued to expand their work in the horror genre following the short’s initial release.”

Several other publications jumped in, urging audiences not to watch the film, including Variety Magazine.

“In July 1929, Variety magazine posted a review warning parents not to bring their children to watch The Skeleton Dance. They deemed that some scenes, such as where the four skeletons use their bones as instruments and scare owls and cats, were too dark for young audiences. Critics also pointed out that the musical accompaniment and the graveyard setting of the cartoon proved too gruesome for children to watch.”

Ban Lifted

In the end, as we shared above, the ban was lifted but it certainly is an interesting story of how things have come to be over the last century for The Walt Disney Company, especially with work that included Walt Disney himself at the helm.

Disney Plus goosebumps

Credit: Disney+

Currently, Disney+ viewers can watch The Skeleton Dance with the click of a button. The Disney+ edition is described as:

A lively quartet of graveyard skeletons come out to play and dance the night away in this spooky Silly Symphony, set to the macabre music of Edvard Grieg (adapted by Carl Stalling). Ub Iwerks’ inventive animation uses plenty of graveyard gags involving animals and a skeletal xylophone.

True fans of The Skeleton Dance can purchase canvas artwork online at the Disney Store. A limited edition of The Skeleton Dance Canvas Artwork by Michael Provenza is available for $150. Other merchandise pieces from the film are typically sold by Disney closer to the fall/Halloween season.

Have you ever seen The Skeleton Dance? Do you think it should still be banned? Let us know in the comments. 

About Brittni Ward

Brittni is a Disney and Universal fan; one of her favorite things at both parks is collecting popcorn buckets. While at Disney World Resort, Brittni meets the princesses and rides Kilimanjaro Safaris. At Universal, Brittni enjoys the Minions and watching Animal Actors on Location! When not at Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, Brittni spends time with her family and pets.

20 comments

  1. I’m getting so sick and tired of things like this being scrutinized but yet it’s acceptable for people to be male when they’re actually female and vice versa and then subject it to our elementary school age children in school ..
    I also personally don’t like to see men running around with their pants down showing their underwear…
    But we live in a society where people grip about Disney movies but ludicrous sexual preferences and content that elementary school age children should NOT be hearing is OK? I think NOT!

    • I agree with you 100%.

    • You are 100% right

      • I totally agree! I’m tired of of what was Walts creation being Scrutinized to the point of idiocy. Walt was a very nice decent man and he had of course a cool sense of humor. I used to work at Disneyland when it was fun back in the day.

    • Agreed!!
      My grandson is autistic, and he’s LOVED The Skeleton Dance since he was little. In fact, as a child, he’d ask TO WATCH IT. Sometimes it’s what brought him down from a crying episode or being upset.

  2. This is getting out of hand, sensative audience people are taking over everything. All was good and normal when Walt Disney created his parks so why is Disney bulking to these random people? Disney is allowing these weak minded people to remove the magic from Disney

    • Your point of ALL WAS GOOD AND NORMAL is what there’s a push back.Once it was ‘good and normal’ for many people to be treated badly , even by the government t. It was OK the up root people who owned land and put them ‘IN THERE PLACE’. There are a LOT of people who want things to go back to the GOOD AND NORMAL days the were not GOOD nor NORMAL for them

  3. I find amazing sensitive and offensive material available overseas but banned here example song of the south available there but not here recently the splash mountain ride dismantled in fla but available overseas shame on Disney for going woke ba.mbi lastest to be banned have to go abroad to bad Disney can’t let the rest decide for themselves instead of accommodating groups no wonder it’s got problems and desantis is dealing with it surprised woke hasn’t banned walt..

  4. People they are just cartoons and fairy tales. If you don’t like those things, don’t watch. My son and I have watched Disney movies since he was 2. I have no problem with them at all. Crazy

    • I agree. If you feel sensitive and/or offended, don’t watch it. No one is making you! Why should you care what I watch. I’m 76 years old and I think I have learned how to tell the difference between truth and fantasy. I’m tired of sensitive people bannig what I want to watch. I do agree that there is more offensive behavior in real life that should be addressed. I don’t want to see some man’s underwater because his pants are hanging so low they look like they’re going to fall off either; nor do I want to see some woman’s butt cheeks on display or wearing extremely revealing tops!

      • I agree, especially in the case of song of the south, considering it was documented that the African American actors in the film were very proud of the film and many in Hollywood back then campaigned for James Baskett who portrayed uncle Remus to get an Oscar. Also no one in the naacp ever saw the film but they still called it racist. It should also be noted that walt disney was being more I clusive of African American actors in a time when most other studios weren’t.

        • Exactly! The only thing these sensitive folks can focus on is that slavery is portrayed at all. Well, yeah, it existed. That’s a fact. We can’t change that. Are we supposed to now pretend it didn’t?? That’s willful ignoring of historical facts, and doing so will only allow it to happen again. This is becoming as bad as those who insist the Holocaust didn’t happen either: they either truly believe that lie or they want to forget it, and NO history should be forgotten.

        • This all started 2-3 decades ago when traditional family started to change to single mothers households , as each generation grew up in these single mothers households there became more aware and sensitive as females lean into emotional states where the men would stabilise the emotional rollercoaster .
          This lead us to today as these kids grew up there ultra sensitive even believing there women . This ultra sensitivity can be traced back to when the traditional family Mom , Dad & siblings were a unit became
          Single Moms with kids.

  5. Well this is all just ridiculous as I see it it used to be you could make a movie, cartoon,show what ever platform you wanna used and if people didn’t like it they just didn’t go see it plain and simple but now you gotta deal with everyone’s feelings and opinions..well get over your sensitive feelings boo hoo and opinions are like asshole everyone’s has one and it’s full of shit

  6. Kitty in California

    All these “sensitive people” don’t have to watch it but. They are infringing on the “insensitive people’s” rights to happiness.

  7. Kitty in California

    All these “sensitive people” don’t have to watch it but. They are infringing on the “insensitive people’s” rights to happiness. Walt Disney is rolling over in his grave!!!

  8. I love Disney movie and my children are all grown up my grandson is five he watches Disney movies all these sensitive people who claim to be sensitive have too much time on their hand so they sit and criticize anything and everything that can give them FIVE MINUTES OF FAMEfor me to heck with them I’m 68 and I’ll go to theater to watch Disney movie whenever a new one comes out.

  9. You are 100% correct I’m sick and tired of seeing so many good shows and good movies band because people are too sensitive Buck up stop crying being a crybaby and deal with life as it is there’s good parts of life and there’s bad parts of life we all have to deal with it The purpose of some of the older movies is to make you cry so you realize what’s good and what’s bad

  10. The only way people are too sensitive to or are offended by movies like Song of the South are bc they don’t know history. The actors in that movie were proud to be represented, and in a positive light. The characters were the kind who were upbeat and positive DESPITE their circumstances. Uncle Remus used stories as teaching devices, as well as distractions for scared and lost children, until they were able to get back home. The boy’s mother and grandmother did not mistreat any of the slaves there: they spoke to them in respectful manners. No talking down to, no insulting, no name-calling. Disney actually broke the mold with this movie by portraying the black folks in such a positive way. A human way. &The story wasn’t sugar-coated. Did it include terminology that’s not ok today? Yes, it was accepted then. Will people 80 years from now object to terminology we use now? Absolutely. Should they judge us thru their lens of the future? No. Should we judge the past thru the lens of today? No. We need to realize how the stage was set then, and if we don’t like it, don’t do it now, but also not condemn people for every single thing that wasn’t PC by today’s standards. These films should be watched with those things in mind. If someone doesn’t want to do that, by all means they shouldn’t have to. But they also shouldn’t prevent others from watching as well, and making up their OWN minds.

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