Walt’s Ashes

It’s only a matter of time before they cut these scenes from your favorite Disney films:


  • Paul N

    At least they won’t need to worry about that scene from “The Aristocats” – that movie is unwatchable! :0)

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Smokescreeners describes itself as “an educational program
    to take the glamour out of smoking in the movies.” It sounds like another New Age watchdog group that presumes to know what’s best for everyone. Just what we need.

    Just thinking out loud here – I wonder what their stance on censorship is? Does anyone think they’d mind a bit if these classic films were suddenly “re-edited”, and the “offending” smoking sequences removed or digitally altered? Bullying the Disney company into doing just that would be quite a feather in their collective caps, wouldn’t it?

    I hope I’m wrong, but I know the type all to well. They may not like burning cigarettes, but something tells me that burning books and films would be much less objectionable.

  • http://classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    That’s what I was so skeptical about when they announced to release Pinniochio.

    But they are ALREADY doing their part, because they edited the smoking scenes from “The Three Caberellos”!

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    All that and they managed to miss the big one – Goofy’s 1951 short ‘No Smoking’.

    Oh wait, that short has a cautionary slant and he’s trying to quit…

  • s porridge

    Think Tom Servo just said “See, kids? Smoking IS good for you!”

    (For those who watched MST3K’s treatment of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”)

    If the faceless They were responsible for removing the cigarettes from Robert Johnson’s mouth on a commemorative stamp, and vintage cover photos on Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen box sets, wouldn’t be surprised if Disney places bubbles where there’s smoke rings now.

  • Mitch K

    Most of the smokers are either villains or children who get sick from puffin’…

  • uncle wayne

    and it’s funny….i’m 55….have adored alllllllll these films!! And i have never ONCE had the slightest teeniest inclination to smoke. How silly!! (But not HALF as silly as trying to “abolish” “Song of the South!”)

  • John

    Eh, what a load of bollocks. Even as parody this is pretty far off the mark. Smoking’s portrayed as an unsavory act in almost all these clips, something that primarily villains do – when the good guys smoke they get sick. Look how toxic the smoke around Cruella looks, it’s meant to be something nasty.

    And calling animation “children’s films”…. ouch.

  • http://www.inklingstudios.com David Nethery

    It’s already started of course … the infamous digital erasure of Pecos Bill’s cigarette … and recently on the beginning of the “Pinocchio” DVD I noticed a little moralistic “warning” about how smoking is evil .

    How long until these Disney classics are rated “PG-13″ or “R” for “offensive tobacco use” .

  • Roberto

    The Pecos Bill censorship may have happened because the galoot rolled his own. For several years Disney withdrew “Alice in Wonderland” because the smoking Caterpillar might be construed by some as stoned. Didn’t stop Disney from designing ‘trippy’ posters for both “Alice” in the 1974 re-release and “Fantasia”, to cash in on its rep as a head film. Smoking was of course ubiquitous everywhere in the America of yesteryear, when many of these films were made. Walt chain smoked to such an extent that he had a very loud smoker’s cough, edited out of most (but not all) audio interviews he gave. The animators could usually hear Walt coming because his cough preceeded his entrance.

  • Trevor

    I don’t think they’re going to edit out this stuff from Disney films. 101 Dalmations and Pinocchio had PSAs at the beginning, and that’s fine with me. I think they’d be more likely to edit out politically incorrect depictions of black people before they edit out smoking. With the nostalgic manner Disney has been handling things recently though, I don’t think we’ll see any sort of tampering with old footage now.

  • Tekena

    Bah and Humbug, where do these pricks get off? Personally, I think nobody should smoke, but everybody has different ideas. In fact smoking is part of my culture, so I’ll do it if it comes up. but by God if they, by some chance, get those Disney punks to change the films, I’m gonna be the worse thing out since Manson.

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com Tom

    I wish Disney would stop George-Lucasing all of their past triumphs and accept them as historical documents. At least release adult collectors’ editions and kids’ editions separately. It’s not that difficult, is it?

    Sigh.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    isn’t it bad enough that jackson pollock can’t smoke on his own stamp? He wasn’t even a cartoon. And that was years ago.

  • http://chrisallison.blogspot.com Chris Allison

    Anybody know who this lovely song is by?

  • Pedro Nakama

    Not only are they banning smoking, but they are banning the work of some great fx animators.

  • Tim Hodge

    How about the scene in the 1933 short “Mickey’s Mellerdrammer”, in which Mickey and the gang put on their own version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: Mickey Mouse intentionally puffs on a loaded cigar which explodes and covers him in blackface! (For shame, Mickey!)

  • s porridge

    Re: Roberto’s recap of Disney’s ‘trippy’ posters

    First saw “Fantasia” at age 10, c. 1971 (with ersatz psychedelic advertising). Two seats for me and mom. Approximately 648 other chairs occupied by hippies. Disney inspired rampant bogarting that night (along with a standing ovation for Mickey Mouse, and mock-shock cries of “Shame!” and “This is G-rated, huh?” at the bare-breasted centaurettes).

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Glad to see this vid is up again!

    The song for those that may not know is “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette)” by Tex Williams & His Western Caravan.

    > Not only are they banning smoking, but they are banning the work of some great fx animators.

    What startles me is just noticing that now, that is some very terrific work that is not being thrown in the ashcan all because of today’s sensibilities.

    Thanks S. Porridge for your childhood experience seeing Fantasia, you made me feel jealous and sad for having grown up in a different era! That must’ve been one wild time indeed!

  • RODAN

    Jerry,

    I don’t think eve Walt himself would want those clips cut…Just because of the negative conotations tabacco has today that’s no reason. Has there ever been a better prop than Cruella’s cigerette lighter? I mean…classic stuff there.

    If it would help… I’d take up smoking if it meant I could draw and animate like Marc Davis…

  • Dimwit

    yay, more liberal praddle…

  • Dan B

    Yes! Damn those liberals trying to keep prayer out of school and smoking out of cartoons!

    Hyper-sensitive parents are represented by all political parties.

  • http://gogopedro.com Gogopedro!

    The above statement of these films as historical record appeals to me, I love these films.
    Also, I am sick of people rattling there sabres on issues like this.
    To me its kinda like saying, Lets rewrite history and pretend that it never happened, smoking never existed.
    Very unsettling…A horrific act of omission.

  • steppo

    Thank you, Gogopedro!

    Preserving History is important. Weather it’s the appalling performance of Rooney as a moody Chinese man in Breakfast At Tiffany’s or the true behavior of Columbus in the new world.

    But – these are marketing decisions. . .whole different ballpark. . .

    It was marketing that justified a lot of historical travesties. Goodbye west coast Native Americans – Hell-OOO GOLD RUSH!

  • steppo
  • Randy Koger

    To Dimwit:
    FYI, it’s “prattle”, NOT “praddle”.

    To Steppo:
    FYI, it’s “whether”, NOT “weather”.
    RK

  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    How dare the values of one age not be deemed appropriate for another! Now, excuse me while I have my slave fetch my fourteen year-old wife.

    Honestly, I hate the idea of retroactive censorship. If it was made, it was made and that’s just the way it is, especially when we’re talking classics. That’s how I feel anyway. But I don’t know if people getting up in arms over smoking in children’s films (and most of these are children’s films) bugs me any more than people getting up in arms over people stepping on their cartoons, especially in this case where just about all of those shots are still intact.

    Either way, it’s just a bunch of people gathering their pitchforks or, as Gogopedro put it, rattling their sabres. Just as anti-smoking groups probably never ask themselves about the artistry of animation, I suspect few people in animation genuinely ask themselves about the appropriateness of content.

    Besides, I suspect it’s going to be more likely that some of these classic will be more butchered by the addition of songs from the cast of High School Musical or something. Or has that already happened?

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    I’m reminded of a review I heard on the radio for the rerelease of “101 Dalmatians” in 1991 or 1992. The reviewer noted that Cruella DeVil, one of the classic Disney villains, was more of a villain in the 90s than she was when the film came out because she chain-smoked and wore fur: “If you chain-smoked and wore fur 30 years ago so what, everybody else did. You chain smoke and wear fur nowadays, you may as well just be a Nazi, fer cryin’ out loud!”

  • Kate

    Give it time and I’m sure “Pink Elephants on Parade” will be cut to discourage children from drinking, since y’know, alcoholism is such a huge problem with six year olds. If you haven’t seen ‘Thank You For Smoking’, there’s a brilliant scene with Senator Finisterre (William H Macy) who’s working to edit smoking out of old movies. It’s not re-writing history, it’s improving history!

  • Jason

    My parents smoked. My sister, who’s a nurse for crying out loud, smokes. My brother smoked. But me? Never touched the stuff. Never even felt tempted. And temptation was all around me, even in cartoons. I’m old enough to remember seeing the Flintstones in cigarette commercials, but still, nothing ever convinced me to smoke. You see? There is such a thing as free will…

  • Mandy

    I think I saw this a year ago under someone else’s name…

  • John A

    It’s funny, I think, how smoking is one of the few actions that really make a character look like he’s breathing, and as a result, more alive. Anyone else notice this?

  • Robert DeJoy

    So when is PETA going to have Disney remove all scenes with Cleo from Pinocchio. Keeping goldfish in a bowl with no adequate filtration system is destroying our youth

  • Ron Price

    I’m pretty confused here. Are we mad about something specific that’s happened, or are we just preemptively mad?

    Somebody let me know, so I can pick the right outfit.

  • Keith Bryant

    I knew that Walt was cremated but were his ashes really scattered? I’ve seen pictures of his gravesite (or was it just a marker?). Sounds like these people were just (forgive me) blowing smoke.

  • Spike

    Am I the first to mention the fact that they added a clip of Edna Mode with her stylus-thing to make it look like she was smoking?

  • Shmorky

    Showing how someone smokes is a great way to get a lot of personality out of a character. Like it or not, lots of people smoke and the way someone does it tells a lot about them.

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    When I started at Disney in 1956, one of my essential office supplies was an ash tray.

    Smoking was considered normal back then. Most adults smoked and non-smokers were weird. Kinda like Vegans today.

  • http://www.inklingstudios.com David Nethery

    “I’m reminded of a review I heard on the radio for the rerelease of “101 Dalmatians” in 1991 or 1992. The reviewer noted that Cruella DeVil, one of the classic Disney villains, was more of a villain in the 90s than she was when the film came out because she chain-smoked and wore fur.”

    ——–

    Yes, they can almost make that work when it’s only an “evil”character like Cruella smoking , so the smoking itself is seen as an extension of the character’s basic badness. In “Pinocchio” the big smokers are the bad guys: Honest John, the Coachman , the street tough Lampwick (who temporarily has Pinocchio puffing away too, but it’s shown to have nasty results , so that’s OK. ) . But that simplistic Smoking = EVIL Character idea breaks down because there’s also gentle Geppeto puffing away on his pipe (smoking in bed yet !) before he turns in for the evening. And in One Hundred and One Dalmatians there we see nice guy Roger Radcliffe constantly puffing away on his pipe (Roger’s bachelor flat was a veritable ashtray; married life cleaned him up a bit ) . And good guy Merlin enjoys a pipe in The Sword in the Stone . (Merlin was a time traveling wizard who would have been to the 1960′s and had seen the Surgeon General’s warnings … and no one else in medieval England smoked because tobacco didn’t come in to vogue until the late 1400′s to early 1500′s when it was brought back from the New World , so Merlin was purposely smoking an anachronistic pipe in the Ye Medieval Olden Days when he should have known better because he was from the enlightened future.) There does seem to be a general trend of Cigars and Cigarettes = Bad Characters , Pipes = Good Characters. Hmmmm…. what’s up with that ?

    See ? It just gets ridiculous. Seriously now, I don’t think anyone ought to be making animated movies that are “pro-smoking” , to induce children or adults to smoke , but have some common sense: the cigars, cigarettes, and pipes in these older films are not moral statements or “product placement” trying to get people to smoke … they are props. Period. Their function is to lend some visual enhancement and verisimilitude to the scenes.

  • Robert DeJoy

    Ron,
    This is a preemptive mad. Wait till it happens, then it’s too late.

  • http://doujinshiland.blogspot.com adamvanmeter

    It’s funny, the idea that someone would be upset that the crows are /smoking/, but not so much over the fact that they’re… you know, racist charicatures of black people. Same thing with the indians.

    No big deal, right?

    I don’t advocate censorship at all. I think we deserve to see every film the way it was originally screened, because as intelligent and free willed people, we don’t need a nanny telling us what is and is not appropriate for us to see in films. We can make our own decisions, and we can be responsible for what our children see ourselves.

  • CCC Alum

    Walt also had an @$$ fetish. You could edit a reel of animated Disney arse shots but it would easily exceed YouTube’s 10 minute limit.

  • Dock Miles

    >If the faceless They were responsible for removing the cigarettes from Robert Johnson’s mouth on a commemorative stamp, and vintage cover photos on Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen box sets

    Well, it’s worth noting that Paul Simon reportedly approved the removal and that Springsteen never smoked, which makes the removal all the more bizarre.

    Same thing happened to Bette Davis –

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/10/thank_you_for_smoking.html

  • http://vincemusacchia.blogspot.com Vince Musacchia

    Let’s trash all the Humphrey Bogart movies!

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    It makes me wonder about the dope-smoking scene in the 1934 “kickin’ the Gong” with Mickey and the then-mulatto Clarabelle. I’ve seen no mention in print of that particular short. The only reason I know about it is because it was mentioned in the 1980s ‘zine MINDROT, and I saw clips from it on The Disney Channel in the mid-1980s, used as part of a “rock video” for a cover tune.

  • Thad

    Smoking is good for you! The old guy on the Monopoly box told me so!

  • vzky

    “Yes! Damn those liberals trying to keep prayer out of school and smoking out of cartoons!”

    Sweet smokin’ Jesus! :P

    Personally, I wish there were positive portrayal of smokers in American cartoons, not only villains. Japan and Europe are fine with that. Probably it wouldn’t be such a big deal if the stuff they were smoking wasn’t tobacco ;)

  • rab smith

    I bought ‘POPEYE’ candystick cigarettes simply because my childhood idol was on the ‘ciggie-box’, but I STILL have had no inclination to start smoking….EVER!

    The P.C. mob will be wanting to withdraw all WW2 documentaries next, in that it depicts humanity as ‘less than perfect’.

  • AdrianC

    I didn’t realize how much smoking has been depicted in the Disney animated feature canon. Imagine how long this montage would be if it featured clips of smoking from animated shorts as well.

    I guess they didn’t include Pecos Bill because they either consider that an animated short rather than feature (I suppose that’s true, but it was PART of a feature film) or because Disney already excised the objectionable part.

  • Steve Carras

    Mr.Floyd Norman, your point is very well taken [and always a pleasure to bhave insiders like you comment] most smoked–adults, that is,not kids., BTW Isn’t that Michael or John of Peter Pan in the video?[for Religious Reasons I do not smoke.]

  • Dock Miles

    >I didn’t realize how much smoking has been depicted in the Disney animated feature canon.

    It is interesting. You wonder how much of it was kissing up to the boss and his ways.

    I loathe the indiscriminate tossing around of the term “P.C.” It’s up there with “Nazi,” “Commie,” and of late “Socialist” as a meaningless smear.

    The problem with excising smoking scenes from old movies has nothing to do with any current “agenda.” It’s a very vintage sickness called “censorship.”