“The Aristocats,” which came out in 1970, has also been criticized for a Siamese cat that plays the piano and sings about fortune cookies in a mock Asian accent.
Both “Dumbo” (1941) and “The Jungle Book” (1967) have drawn flak for depicting African American stereotypes, while “Peter Pan” (1953) has been accused of appropriating Native American culture.
“This program is presented as originally created,” Disney says. “It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Some Twitter users compared the network’s disclaimer with that of Warner Bros.’ which supposedly uses “a stronger wording”:
“The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society.
“These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While these cartoons do not represent today’s society, they are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would that [sic] same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
The live-action “Lady and the Tramp,” which also premiered on Tuesday, eliminated the problematic Siamese cat sequence with a jazzy performance from a pair of obnoxious Devon Rex felines.
Instead of wreaking havoc at the Dears’ home like the original Siamese duo, the new pair is reimagined as would-be interior decorators.
“This movie obviously did a big re-work on that, and I think it’s an improvement,” Justin Theroux, who plays the Tramp, told Yahoo Entertainment. “These are movies that are meant to be watched and enjoyed, and it’s nice to see them updated in several ways.”
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