The story of the boy who never grew up and the Darling children who joined him on an adventure battling pirates on a magical island, is one of four Disney classics that have been banned from children’s accounts on the company’s streaming platform.
Disney animated favorites Peter Pan, The Aristocats, and Dumbo, along with live-action island adventure, Swiss Family Robinson, were blocked from being viewed by children under seven years old on the company’s streaming platform Disney+.
The classic films have been removed for breaching content advisories that were implemented in October for “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.” Disney made the decision to censor the movies after a group of external experts who “represented global audiences” assessed that younger audiences needed to be protected from the portrayal of racial stereotypes.
In 2019, Disney announced that the company’s streaming service Disney+ would “come with a warning about offensive tropes.” Classics like Fantasia, Lady and the Tramp, and The Jungle Book are preceded by an unskippable disclaimer preceding offensive content reads:
“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”
Disney’s Stories Matter initiative, which views the disclaimers as “an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all,” includes explanations for the advisories and outright ban on content.
According to Disney, 1953’s Peter Pan negatively depicts “Native people in a stereotypical manner,” by repeatedly referring to them as “redskins.” Aristocats was yanked for a Siamese cat that, “sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks.”
Swiss Family Robinson was pulled for portraying pirates as “a stereotypical foreign menace,” that appear in “yellow face” or “brown face,” while the crows in 1941’s Dumbo perform musical number that pays “homage to racist minstrel shows, where white performers with blackened faces and tattered clothing imitated and ridiculed enslaved Africans on Southern plantations.”
The titles are still available on Disney+ for viewers over the age of seven.