10 Offensively Racist Moments In Kids Movies That You Never Noticed
Kids movies, by their very nature, are generally quite lighthearted and innocent. Anything that’s aimed at the younger generation should have as little offensive material in it as possible – but that’s not always the case.
Disney in particular – as you’ll see in this video – are guilty of some truly terrible racism. Granted, most of the movies in this video are quite old – so it’s a tiny bit more understandable – but there are some modern movies – both Disney and non-Disney – that have some really shocking racism and racial stereotyping in them. In recent times, Disney have become known for their sensitivity and awareness about being politically correct. This year, for example, they’ve tried to tackle the subject of racism quite admirably in Zootopia, but other movies can’t say the same.
So, let’s take a look at ten offensively racist moments in kids movies that you never noticed.
Despicable Me 2
Whilst still an enjoyable movie, Despicable Me 2 didn’t quite live up to its predecessor for a number of reasons – and one of those reasons is undoubtedly its portrayal of fairly racist Mexican stereotypes. The movie’s main villain Mexican – and he’s presented in quite an offensive way. An obese Mexican restaurant owner with a mustache and a gold chain around his neck, “El Macho” had a very thick accent and, when he spoke, he sort of danced around in a way that suggested the people behind the movie just assumed all Latin people did that. Moreover, his son Antonio was presented as an exaggerated version of the stereotypical smooth “Latin lover” – and he even ended up cheating on his love interest, Margo.
Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp has a couple of very racist aspects, not least in the form of the movie’s cunning and sneaky villains, Si and Am. Si and Am are Siamese cats who are portrayed with stereotypical Asian speech and, for want of a better term, stereotypically slanted eyes. They also move in complete symmetry and have no individuality – as if suggesting that they’re “all the same” in that sickening old-fashioned way. The movie also has Pedro, the chihuahua with exaggerated Mexican attributes, but that’s not quite as bad.
The Little Mermaid
In The Little Mermaid, there are a number of problems regarding racist portrayals of characters. For example, Ariel’s friend Sebastian the crab has a Jamaican accent and advocated staying “Under the Sea” because you don’t have to get a job down there. Disney really do have a terrible history of portraying dark skinned people as being lazy, which is absolutely awful. In addition to that, the Duke of Soul and Blackfish characters are made to look and sound like popular black musicians and singers and are drawn with much more prominent and plump lips than the other characters.
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book features an abundance of great and beloved characters, but there’s something inherently racist about a particular type of animal in the movie. The society of apes in the movie were quite obviously meant to demean black people. They speak with African American accents and sing about a desire to be human, with lyrics describing how they want “to walk like you” and “talk like you” – all of which had an offensive minstrel show feel to it as well. In fact, the ape leader – King Louie – was quite obviously modelled on legendary black jazz musician Louie Armstrong. Thankfully, the live action 2016 remake of the movie didn’t make the same mistakes as the classic version.
Aladdin is the only movie on this list in which the lead character himself is actually quite a racist creation. In spite of the fact that Aladdin comes from the same Arabic nation as the other Arab characters who are portrayed as barbaric savages, he is basicalled designed as a white character. Moreover, Jafar – the film’s main villain – is depicted with far more striking Arab features than he is. The movie is essentially saying that people with Arabic appearances couldn’t possibly be portrayed as heroes, and that the more Arabic in appearance a character is, the more evil they are – which is absolutely horrific when you think about it.