|Sunflower and WASP friend|
| The 1940 film Fantasia was astounding for it's time and
still amazing today. Classical compositions performed by the Philadelphia
Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, are the soundtrack for dazzling
Disney animation. It's been re-released a few times and was required viewing
for every pothead I knew in high school.
The little secret of Fantasia is in the segment set to Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony". Originally, there was a little female centaur named Sunflower who was pretty much a handmaiden/personal assistant for the tall, beautiful white, blonde, dare I say 'Aryan' centaurs. Sunflower is drawn along racist lines to be a "pickininny Negro" - big lips, nappy hair and all.
Well, we can't have that. She was removed from the 1960 release of Fantasia, and edited out of the 1990 50th Anniversary edition, and laser disks. The 50th anniversary DVD is so badly edited that after removal of the third appearance of dear Sunflower, the sound track isn't matching up with the film any more. In fact it's really out of sync.
What's fun though is that Disney says they never had such a character! We're all delusional! Fortunately, people who are more evil than Disney can find a copy of it. Was it was "acceptable" back then to portray characters that had such blatant racist features? I vaguely recall a few Bugs Bunny cartoons being withheld from release on some recent Big Deal Anniversary because it was decided they were racist or unacceptable, going by today's standards. Still, it's strange to deny it existed when..well, there it is. If you pay close attention to Disney's animation now, they're still full of racism and sexism. I guess the acceptable, trendy kind.