Thursday, January 10, 2008

A trip in the Way Back machine...

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the Disney cartoons wherein Jiminy Cricket would do a safety lesson. He always sang, "I'm No Fool". Well, I found two of them (tonight) on youtube.



This particular one dealt with fire. I watched it with our nanny (who is back from Kosovo) and Owen (P4). It struck me, midway through, that I'm not sure that Disney would air this show today. I say that because my nanny seemed a bit...not offended, but uncomfortable, with the way the cartoon dealt with man's discovery of fire. Jiminy talks about man learning to deal with fire in a pretty accurate descriptive process with references to humanity being more than 6000 years old. He speaks of man before the Homosapien (Adam/Eve) version. Then, he brings you up through the stone age and bronze age. It got me thinking about how sensitive we've all become to offending Christians and how we've pandered to their fantasies about the age of the earth and evolution. In this cartoon, first aired in 1956 (thank you expensive Disney encyclopedia) in 16mm film... the discussion of "cave men" and the evolution of the species to learn to use tools and weapons created nary a stir. There wasn't an outcry against Disney or the cartoon series. No one boycotted. This kind of blows apart the common evangelical fantasy of America-past being a more Christ-centered America. Interesting. In fact, I watched all of the I'm No Fool series and can't remember a single, solitary nod towards religion. What happened?

Of course, then I watched this "I'm No Fool on a Bike" (1956) and cringed when neither example was wearing a helmet. hehehe.


Anywho... enjoy them. I was comforted by the knowledge that I'm not crazy about the secular nature of the past. It seems that the "Christian lifestyle" and "Christ-centric America" *is* really a pipe dream of the evangelicals.

5 comments:

arana-suteshi said...

Ha. I was shown those things in school! And then, we watched them at home. Man, I miss old-school Disney. My family was deeply religious, but I don't recall a single uproar about these things. Not even a talking to about the "inaccuracy" of the cartoons and the "truth" of the Bible.

PS: I so hate the word verification on this thing...

Betsy said...

I had similar thoughts when I saw The Jungle Book with my boys recently. You would think there would have been an uproar over King Louis calling Mowgli his cousin.

Hannah King said...

Oh, I wish I could watch these! But my computer (poor thing that it is) dies every time I try to watch something. Meh.

Something else that aught to amuse, though it has nothing to do with religion - the original original version of Fantasia - in the sequence with the Centaurs - there is one female centaur that walks down, filing her nails. In the original, she stopped at the bottom of the stairs and a small 'negro' centaur buffed her hooves for her - and when I say that, I mean it in every way, full on large-lipped sterotype. In the currently available version, this has been cut - so all you can now see is the female centaurs upper torso as she looks pretty and does her nails.

Oh - and hey - long time reader, first time poster ^^

H

Katie said...

I remember in the 80s as a kid they would show those cartoons on those special weekends when you got disney free for the weekend to get people to buy the channel.

The disney channel today really disgusts me but I still watch it (at 23 years old) for the re airings of Gargoyles the series that have been ripped a part by censors.

Kazim said...

I remember these cartoons! I used to watch them on the Disney channel. Thanks for posting them.