Disney+ Blocks Children Under Seven from Viewing Dumbo, Peter Pan, Other Classics

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(Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Disney has restricted access to classic movies including Dumbo and Peter Pan on its streaming service over concerns about racist stereotypes that appear in the films.

The movies, which also include Swiss Family Robinson and The Aristocats, will be removed from Disney+ menus for children under the age of seven, while viewers older than seven will continue having access to the film, according to the New York Post.

The decision comes months after Disney added content warnings to the movies in October, which read: “These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”

Disney detailed the stereotypes over which it was concerned in the service’s Stories Matter section.

In Peter Pan (1953)which was made in 1953, it is racial stereotypes of Native Americans, including a song called What Made the Red Man Red that yielded its restriction, while Swiss Family Robinson (1960) reinforced “otherness” in showing the pirates who attack the family as a “stereotypical foreign menace,” with many of the pirates in “brown” and “yellow” face.

The Aristocats (1970) features a Siamese cat named Shun Gon who uses poor English, plays the piano with chopsticks and has stereotypes such as slanted eyes and buck teeth.

Dumbo (1941) depicts a group of crows who “pay homage to racist minstrel shows, where white performers with blackened faces and tattered clothing imitated and ridiculed enslaved Africans.” The head crow, Jim Crow, shares a name with the laws that enforced segregation in much of the U.S. until the Civil Rights movement.

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