This Classic Disney Movie Is Making Parents Uncomfortable 7 years ago

This Classic Disney Movie Is Making Parents Uncomfortable

From sexism and old-fashioned stereotypes to golliwogs and violence, many of the movies and books we grew up contain a hefty amount of material that is no longer be deemed suitable for today's children. 

That's why Channel Four viewers who sat down to watch the family favourite Dumbo over the weekend were horrified to discover that the movie is not as sweet and innocent as they remembered.

The film, which premiered on October 23, 1941, is the story of a baby elephant who is ridiculed for his big ears, but later discovers that he can use them to fly. So far, so good, right?


Quite early in the 64-minute cartoon, when Dumbo's mother loses her temper at a group of boys for tormenting her baby, she is deemed mad, locked up and lashed as punishment. Later on, Dumbo accidentally drinks a bucket of champagne, prompting drunken hallucinations of pink elephants. Trippy...

The inclusion of the black crows as African-American stereotypes also left Channel Four viewers reeling. The name of one Crow, Jim, is a reference to the infamous Jim Crow Laws,  state and local laws enforcing racial segregation in the Southern United States.

Viewers took to Twitter to vent their shock and surprise:


While some have pointed out that the crows were portrayed by African American actors and such stereotypes were common at the time, most said the film's dark undertones were a surprise in the cold light of adulthood.

Have you ever been shocked when you re-watched a childhood favourite with your own children? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.