Racism in Disney is not completely unheard of. Disney Racism goes back to the beginning. Disney has racist cartoons dating back to the 50's. Disney's "The Princess and The Frog", opening December 11, marks the first time the Disney hero is African-American. When I watched the preview I thought, "This should be interesting". Disney isn't exactly known for it's cultural sensitivity. Granted, they've gotten better over the years, but I did notice that the African-American heroine in this film is only slightly darker than a white person with a good tan and was colored using the same paper-bag litmus test used to cast African-American women in hip-hop videos. And her prince is white, so way to promote positive Black love. This has been discussed in several forums, with Cracked.Com recently compiling a list of racist Disney characters, and star tribune discussion the films listed below. It will definitely be interesting to see people's reactions after the film's release in December.
In the original 1940 version of this film, there was a scene depicting a group of playful characters with a black centaur with exaggerated features cleaning the hooves of a graceful white centaur. Since 1969, that scene has been removed from the film.
Oh man. I think this one might be featured in the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. Take your pick, there's the crows, one named "Jim Crow" who has such great lines as "I be done seen 'bout ev'rything when I see an elephant fly," or the faceless black men who perform menial labor and sing about how they never learned to read or write.
I think this cartoon has inspired two of my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches, Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor (featuring Tracy Morgan) and probably my favorite Saturday TV FunHouse, "The Disney Vault" ( http://www.hulu.com/watch/1521/saturday-night-live-disney-vault-vt#s-p12-sr-i2 )Well maybe more than one racist Disney film inspired that short...
Song of The South features Uncle Remus, speaking in a dialect reminiscent of post Civil War setting (think how blacks were portrayed in Gone With the Wind) and inappropriate for modern day viewing. Disney stopped releasing the film in 1986.
The portrayal of Native Americans in this film is what gives it a position on this list. Thankfully, we have moved light years ahead and there are no more racist stereotypes of Native Americans in modern day society, not in the names of our sports teams or mascots, or...oh wait. Well at the very least, Native Americans are healthy and happy with health rates that don't rival those of some developing countries...oh nevermind.