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News Splash Mountain retheme to Princess and the Frog - attraction discussion only

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I think this is a somewhat unfair and reductive characterisation of what the video is suggesting. Acknowledging that a character’s portrayal might reflect certain outdated attitudes and approaches is not the same as deeming that portrayal racist.
King Louie is Louis Prima. That’s how the man sounded and sang. He was a famous jazz singer from New Orleans who if anything was once considered “too ethnic.” The entire portrayal is built around him. The character is named after him. in this instance there is no separating the two.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I think this is a somewhat unfair and reductive characterisation of what the video is suggesting. Acknowledging that a character’s portrayal might reflect certain outdated attitudes and approaches is not the same as deeming that portrayal racist.
Perhaps, though putting King Louie alongside images like the crows in Dumbo and 'natives' in old Mickey Mouse cartoons reflected in the eyes of a young African American girl as the last image before such representations are 'switched off' and more positive ones like Raya are 'switched on' seemed a pretty clear and damning commentary on Disney's contemporary view of the character. At least that's how it read to me.

Again, I could be wrong and they did just mean that the character's portrayal reflects certain outdated attitudes and we'll still see The Jungle Book all over the parks, etc. Would seem odd to me, though, from what I see implied in that clip.
 
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LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
King Louie is Louis Prima. That’s how the man sounded and sang. He was a famous jazz singer from New Orleans who if anything was once considered “too ethnic.” The entire portrayal is built around him. The character is named after him. in this instance there is no separating the two.
Louis Prima was also understood as sounding a lot like his semi-namesake, Louis Armstrong. A modern production would almost certainly avoid portraying an ape character in ways that evoked, even second-hand, a Black celebrity. Again, that doesn’t make King Louie racist, but it does mean he’s a product of a different time who would be handled differently today.
 
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LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Perhaps, though putting King Louie alongside images like the crows in Dumbo and 'natives' in old Mickey Mouse cartoons reflected in the eyes of a young African American girl as the last image before such representations are 'switched off' and more positive ones like Raya are 'switched on' seemed a pretty clear and damning commentary on Disney's contemporary view of the character. At least that's how it read to me.

Again, though, I could be wrong and they did just mean that the character's portrayal reflects certain outdated attitudes and we'll still see The Jungle Book all over the parks, etc. Would seem odd to me, though, from what I see implied in that clip.
I don’t think the suggestion is that everything included in that montage is equally “bad”. The Dumbo crows, for example, are certainly on the “better” end of the spectrum. I understood the video to be saying that Disney’s past portrayals and evocations of racial otherness tended to be limited and caricatural—which they were—and that current and future stories will do better.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Louie Prima was also understood as sounding a lot like his semi-namesake, Louis Armstrong. A modern production would almost certainly avoid portraying an ape character in ways that evoked, even second-hand, a Black celebrity. Again, that doesn’t make King Louie racist, but it does mean he’s a product of a different time who would be handled differently today.

I feel like I've read that originally King Louie was going to be Louis Armstrong but Disney decided that having a black person voice an ape would be an issue.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the version of Louie we ended up with, and wouldn't be anything wrong with him today. Almost everything about him was based on Louis Prima; he's not really reminiscent of Louis Armstrong.
 

owlsandcoffee

Well-Known Member
I feel like I've read that originally King Louie was going to be Louis Armstrong but Disney decided that having a black person voice an ape would be an issue.

I don't think there's anything wrong with Louie, and wouldn't be anything wrong with him today. Almost everything about him was based on Louis Prima.
I don't think anything's wrong with him either, but it's fair to say that being a white guy I'm not going to always get what's offensive to others.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I don't think anything's wrong with him either, but it's fair to say that being a white guy I'm not going to always get what's offensive to others.

Which is fair, but I'm not really aware of any significant backlash against King Louie (although I would not be surprised if some existed) -- and if there is, I think it's potentially misguided by not realizing the portrayal is based on a real person and not any type of caricature.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
I feel like I've read that originally King Louie was going to be Louis Armstrong but Disney decided that having a black person voice an ape would be an issue.

I don't think there's anything wrong with Louie, and wouldn't be anything wrong with him today. Almost everything about him was based on Louis Prima.
Do you not agree, however, that such a portrayal would in all likelihood be avoided today given that Prima was frequently compared to Armstrong?
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Which is fair, but I'm not really aware of any significant backlash against King Louie (I would not be surprised if some existed somewhere) -- and if there is, I think it's potentially misguided by not realizing the portrayal is based on a real person and not any type of caricature.
I think we’re getting caught up in the “backlash” narrative again. That’s not what the video, or really any of these debates, is about.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Do you not agree, however, that such a portrayal would in all likelihood be avoided today given that Prima was frequently compared to Armstrong?

I truly don't. I honestly do not see a single issue that would require avoiding it today -- everything else that appears in the video has varying degrees of problems, but I simply do not see one with him.

I think I would see a bigger issue in the Jungle Book as a whole due to Rudyard Kipling's pro-imperialist views at the time (which changed significantly later in his life) than I do in the character of King Louie.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I agree, but I don't think King Louie belongs in that category, which I believe is my and @Sir_Cliff's issue.
Indeed. In general, I think what Disney is trying to do around representation is positive and I take the 'backlash' point, but King Louie seems the most debatable characterisation they've deemed as racially insensitive and outdated. On some level, it almost seems a little racist to presume the character is supposed to represent an African American in a racist way. To see the character so prominently branded as such in this clip does jump out for that reason, I think.

Also agree Kipling is a far more obviously problematic character!
 
According to someone online the Brer Rabbit statue has been removed from the fountain area at magic kingdom I’m gonna guess this is where the golden variants of some are going there are pictures
 

FantasiaMickey2000

Well-Known Member
According to someone online the Brer Rabbit statue has been removed from the fountain area at magic kingdom I’m gonna guess this is where the golden variants of some are going there are pictures
Dang, taking a picture with him was one of the few things I had on my list for my trip this weekend. Guess I’ll have to cross that one off the list.
 
Dang, taking a picture with him was one of the few things I had on my list for my trip this weekend. Guess I’ll have to cross that one off the list.
There are pictures of him missing and I was just there a few days ago and he was still there I’m guessing cause the fountain statues are getting gold ones too maybe to replace them we know Brer Rabbit wasn’t one of them
 

EagleScout610

What a wisecracker
Premium Member
According to someone online the Brer Rabbit statue has been removed from the fountain area at magic kingdom I’m gonna guess this is where the golden variants of some are going there are pictures
Screenshot_20210902-140550_Instagram.jpg
 

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