back to top

Are These Disney Movies Racist?

That's what some people say about these 11 films.

Posted on

1. Aladdin, 1992

Aladdin came under fire soon after its release for its portrayal of Middle Eastern culture, especially the intro song "Arabian Nights," which originally contained the verse: "Where they cut off your ear / If they don't like your face / It's barbaric, but hey, it's home." (The DVD release changed it to: "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense.")


3. One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, 1978

Here's the plot of this long-buried gem from Disney's past: "Lord Southmere escapes from China with a microfilm of the formula for the mysterious 'Lotus X,' and is captured by Chinese spies who have been instructed to retrieve the microfilm from him. Escaping from his captors, Lord Southmere hides the microfilm in the bones of a large dinosaur at the National History Museum. However, he has been followed into the museum by the spies, and is recaptured."

SPOILER ALERT: The microfilm that started the whole mess is a recipe for wonton soup.

According to the blog I Will Not Love You Long Time, the language is also horrendously offensive: "This is the first film I have watched that has that stereotypical, over exaggerated accent. One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing is just the most God-awful representation of someone of Chinese descent that I have seen yet. Every 'r' gets mixed up with every 'l.' The speaking characters add the suffix '-ah' to every other word and butcher the English language shamelessly. Ustinov and Bresslaw employ a funky gutteral 'nnnnnnnnnnnnn' noise after every sentence. When Ustinov reads 'Chinese' out loud it sounds like this: 'foy toy mee shee loo mah tung ah...'"

There's also some really bad "yellowface" makeup, including taped eyelids and blue eyeshadow.


View this video on YouTube

There's also the song "What Makes The Red Man Red?" which just has to be watched to be believed.

6. The Jungle Book, 1967

View this video on YouTube

In the film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's book, Mowgli stumbles upon a group of monkeys (or possibly orangutans) who leap down from the trees and begin singing about their desire to be human. Though everyone else in the jungle speaks in British English, the monkeys are the only characters in the movie whose voices "sound African-American."

7. Pocahontas, 1995

View this video on YouTube

From a blog on Disney movies: "[Pocahontas] endorses the idea of the good/bad Indian. It also underscores the notion of Native Americans as 'savages.' Additionally, the happy and joyful ending of the film twist the history of killings and oppression of Native Americans."


9. Dumbo, 1941

In one scene, faceless black men pitch a circus tent, singing a song about how happy they are the whole time, including the lyrics, "We slave until we're almost dead / We're happy-hearted roustabouts" and "Keep on working / Stop that shirking / Pull that rope, you hairy ape."

10. Fantasia, 1940

View this video on YouTube

The original version of the movie featured a dark-skinned centaur named Sunflower waiting on the other, light-skinned centaurs. Disney later removed the scene from the movie.

For beauty & style as you are.
a brand