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Author Topic: Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs
John Davis
Master Film Handler

Posts: 286
From: Dunfermline, Fife, UK
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted January 23, 2010 06:03 AM      Profile for John Davis   Email John Davis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was reading the Guardian yesterday (the Daily Sport was sold out) and there was mention of a new Disney film 'The Princess and the frog' in production with a black lead character. The article contrasted this treatment with past animation and cited 'Coal Black' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_Black_and_de_Sebben_Dwarfs , it also mentioned this film was on the 'Warners censored 11'.
I'm sure this film was brought out on super8 - is it really that bad or are we over sensitive?
The 'Warners censored 11' list only relates to animation so any hope that Cannon and Ball's film 'the Boys in Blue' will never see the light of day again will be forlorn.

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Gian Luca Mario Loncrini
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Posts: 1948
From: Verona (Italy)
Registered: Jan 2009


 - posted January 23, 2010 06:43 AM      Profile for Gian Luca Mario Loncrini   Author's Homepage   Email Gian Luca Mario Loncrini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very interesting topic, John.
Thanks for posting.

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I remember when I was (super) 8 years old...

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Guy Taylor, Jr.
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 606
From: Galveston, Texas, U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted January 23, 2010 07:43 AM      Profile for Guy Taylor, Jr.   Email Guy Taylor, Jr.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have this on Super 8. It is a very clever film and is listed as one of the top fifty cartoons of all time.

There is some racial stereo typing, as was typical in this time period. The lead character is a black girl called "So White."

She is drawn in a sexy sort of way. The cartoon is very patriotic as it was made at the time of the Second World War.

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Guy Taylor

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: Mountian Home, ID.
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted January 23, 2010 09:03 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Magnificent cartoon. Derann did a stunning print of this cartoon and it is one of the absolute best Warner Brothers cartoons you will ever see on Super 8.

Yes, racial stereotypes, but then Warners stereotyped all races, white, black, hispanic, Indian and asian, whatever the situation called for. I love the cartoon for it's scat music/jazz soundtrack. It moves at an incredible pace and is among Bopbn Clampett's best.

I already have this Derann print. Are they still releasing this print? I know that some of their earlier Warners are out of print, (such as my highly desired "Gruesome Twosome"!)

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Stewart John Boyle
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From: Glasgow,Scotland
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 - posted January 23, 2010 12:20 PM      Profile for Stewart John Boyle   Email Stewart John Boyle   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Im sure i`ve seen this too,John, maybe it was Glen Michaels Cartoon Cavalcade back in the days.. [Wink]
Stewart

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I`ve, seen things you people wouldn`t believe,

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

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From: Essex, UK
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 - posted January 23, 2010 01:02 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For anyone who hasn't seen this cartoon:

http://www.archive.org/details/CoalBlackAndDeSebbenDwarfs1943

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John Davis
Master Film Handler

Posts: 286
From: Dunfermline, Fife, UK
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted January 23, 2010 02:57 PM      Profile for John Davis   Email John Davis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade - that takes me back. I always remember the Cup Final edition where the participating team captains were guests and stood at the side looking bemused as Glen michael had a chat with palladin the lamp (it's as bizzare as it sounds!)
I've watched the film on the link and it certainly is of it's time. The video quality is appalling but it actually looks slickly and imaginatively animated and it cracks along at a frantic pace. I felt a little ackward but I think it's valid as a film as long as it's watched knowing the context. Warner could release it and use the usual studio get out clause on DVD releases of saying the 'opinions expressed are not those of Warner Bros...'

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Stuart Fyvie
Film Handler

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From: Amersham
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 23, 2010 05:03 PM      Profile for Stuart Fyvie   Email Stuart Fyvie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah , Glen Michael, Paladin and his magic lamp. for those who are not Scottish, this was a tv programme that ran in the seventies and was a kids cartoon magazine show
that went out on a Sunday. Only at xmas time did we see Disney cartoons as STV would of forked out more money for the rights.,,,

'coal black' is worth seeing I have the Derann print and it is a cracker.

Stuart

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted January 24, 2010 08:33 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, this is a great cartoon, the Derann print is stunning and i have put this on a kids show before and not one single child or adult complained about it, the children laughed all the way through, the adults sniggered, and if anyone tried to have any verbals about it i was ready for them, [Big Grin]
I think a lot of the PC nonsense comes from the adult world, refer to my previous editions of FFTC on cartoons, you can see where it just goes OTT. I love a laugh, todays cartoons teach kids how to back chat there elders and with some of the faggot, ere sorry ,gay paradys i say give me the good old Warner and Tom & Jerrys any day. Although there may be racial undertones in some of them you never hear anything said which is directly nasty. IMHO [Wink]

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: Mountian Home, ID.
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 - posted January 24, 2010 02:07 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good points, Tom.

There's something else quite important to factor in, especially when it comes to Asian characters.

We were at war.

The japanese were the enemy. Now today, we live in such a mixed-up world that we actually have people who would say, "We can't make fun of that arab (or name whatever nationality)! Thats insensitive", completely ignoring the fact that these people are KILLING our fellow americans, and not just solders, women and children.

The world war 2 cartoons were dealing with people who wanted to kill us, and destroy our way of life and that was a fact, so when Bugs Bunny would say "Here ya go slant eyes!" (giving the japanese solder an "ice cream grenade") or Daffy making fun of stereotyped German's or Italians ...

... if this was the worst that was done, it was incredibly upperhanded.

That doesn't mean that any kind of racism is OK. The world war 2 cartoons, were not a matter of racism, it was a matter of these are THEE enemy. You aren't going to endorse and make nice and clean the enemy. It strange, because today, we almost tend to do that.

I don't necessarily agree with the idea "well, that was just what was done back then", as Chuck Jones was quoted as saying, but I would also say that to place the morals and methods of today on a very different period of time, is equally wrong. I don't think for a moment that the Warners lot, (and lets not forget that Disney himself equally had its own share of "racist" material, though they have done a great job of hiding it), or any other studio was made up of a bunch of racists or bigots.

There I go being long winded again. It's just a GREAT cartoon folks!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted January 25, 2010 01:25 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ere ere well said [Big Grin]
Seriously though, at the end of the day its a cartoon and it makes kids laugh. Jokes are always at someones or some events expense. In my real world, as an example, When Michael Jackson died recently it was only a matter of hours before the jokes went around in work. Obviously they would never be heard on TV,radio or in the papers but like it or not that is the world we all live in.
Bernard Manning always said, "Its a joke, you must'nt take jokes seriously".

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Stewart John Boyle
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 - posted January 25, 2010 01:44 PM      Profile for Stewart John Boyle   Email Stewart John Boyle   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, Another great example of a sign of the times,is Mickey Rooney in Breakfast At Tiffany`s, Completely un offensive back then,but now some people would be up in arms over the character.
Hindsight is 20/20
Stewart

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I`ve, seen things you people wouldn`t believe,

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John Skujins
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From: Greensboro, NC, USA
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 - posted January 25, 2010 03:52 PM      Profile for John Skujins   Email John Skujins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I do not believe any classic cartoons should be censored or altered in any way, or restricted from the public for any reason. They are what they are and history should not be "revised."

That said, I considered ordering "Coal Black" from Derann (after a fuzzy preview on YouTube) because I found it to be interesting, shocking, and I just like having rare stuff! But I decided against it because I wouldn't want to show it to an audience. I would just be uncomfortable with having to explain why I own this cartoon, as some of the black stereotypes are extreme.

In this case you can't explain it by saying they were "the enemy" and so we had to dehumanize them as a race. Blacks were not an enemy of the US, although groups like the KKK considered them an enemy obviously.

As for the asian stereotypes in other cartoons, I don't agree with the reasoning that it was okay to criticize their physical appearance because some of them wanted to kill us. The dehumanizing of an entire race of people, though it may get the troops excited about killing them, is not right in my opinion. And that goes for middle-easterners too: Most of them don't want to destroy the US so insulting their appearance will only cause harm to their image of Americans (or westerners).

Basically, I don't want to insult people, even if I think they have no good reason to be insulted. It's the effect that matters, not the intention.

My two cents.

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Bill Phelps
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 - posted January 25, 2010 04:48 PM      Profile for Bill Phelps     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's my thoughts...

I've seen this film (Coal Black) and I thought it was really funny. As for the stereotypes...Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam don't exactly strike me as very smart individuals, actually quite stupid and I enjoy there antics as well.

Cartoons poke fun at EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.

They are made for laughs. These are my feelings on the subject.

Bill

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted January 25, 2010 06:53 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If anyone has got the Derann FFTC magazine No 25 1993 there is a review of the Derann release. Quote.. not really a kiddie cartoon, but great fun for those not easily offended.

Well I like kiddie cartoons so I didn't buy it, and after reading Johns reply above thats pretty much how how I feel as well. I am sure its well made etc but not the kind of thing I would feel comfortable showing to others so I gave it a miss. However no resevations with any Tom and Jerry cartoons and my favourite "I tawt I taw a putty tat".. Sylvester and Tweety. [Smile]

Regarding modern cartoons I think they are very good, I really like The Simpsons TV and the movie, on Super8 "Gone Nutty" and "For The Birds" to name a few, other Pixar shorts like "Lifted" I have on 35mm...its brilliant but one I missed out on 8mm was "Geri'Game"... drat.

Graham [Smile]

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: Mountian Home, ID.
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 - posted January 25, 2010 09:55 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Your reply concerning the Tom and Jerry's is quite interesting, as the original Tom and Jerry's had a housekeeper "Mammie" character ...

" When I says out, I means out! O.W.T Out! "

Many of these were actually re-animated to show instead an irish housekeeper, (and, if compared to the original animation surrounding, not up to snuff). Though many of the original Mammie versions of the Tom and Jerrys are available on Super 8.

I just mention it as everybody, every studio, engaged in the stereotypes.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted January 26, 2010 02:54 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi
Its strange that I never thought of her as a housekeeper or even knew her name until just recently. I thought of her as the lady of the house and Tom as simply her cat. [Smile] I wonder if kids these days, if they were watching it would look on her as a housekeeper?

Graham.

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Tom Photiou
Film God

Posts: 4837
From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted January 26, 2010 06:04 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, this is what i mean buddy, you'd like to get the cartoon but you say you wouldnt have a audience to show it to?
Well. treat yourself up and get it for you, other than that, anyone who doesnt like it, well, then they wont have to see it a second time, no one should have to explain to anyone why we like anything. Its a cartoon, its classic and its very funny.
Strange how we never seem to worry about folks in the mid-east calling us everything they do, and Whites in movies being refered to white trash and do whites say to police, are you arresting me cos im white? so the list goes on, its always one way so why must we pick holes in kids cartoons,
Dont be afraid to put that rare (and top quality)film in your collection because of what others may think, if they ask you why you want it the answer is simple,
your a collector of rare titles and its dam funny [Wink]

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John Skujins
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From: Greensboro, NC, USA
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 - posted January 26, 2010 08:09 AM      Profile for John Skujins   Email John Skujins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom, I was tempted to buy a print for myself, and friends who would appreciate it for what it is, but whenever I've decided to splurge on a new print there's always something else I would rather have.

Yes, there are lots of crazy & stupid "white" cartoon characters, but there really aren't any offensive "white" stereotypes historically unless you break it down into specific ethnicities like Italian, Jew, etc... and people do get offended by these, understandably. I don't think Elmer Fudd matches any ethnic stereotype, so he's not offensive.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: Mountian Home, ID.
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted January 26, 2010 08:36 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Elmer speaks with a speech inpediment! How incredibly insensitive! How can we say we're PC if we tolerate such travesty!

OK, I'm being silly, of course. I think a factor of all this is white people being the "top dog" (so to speak) and the top dog doesn't have a long history of abuses, and the images reminding them of those said abuses of the past.

One of the other things I like about that cartoon is the little "microcasm" (I'm not sure if I spelled that right) of life in the 40's, especially during the war years. "Prince Chawmin" wsearing a zoot suit and that CRAZY hat, with sparkling dice for teeth, a figure who wopuld have been known as a "hep cat" back then. The cartoon had quite a few of the popular black artists as characters in the film, including Stephin Crechit.

" I wants you to black out So White "

This backlash took out another classic film, one of the classic MGM "Red Riding Hood" cartoons, "Uncle Tom's Cabana" where "Red" is a Southern Belle.

The cartoons of our history actually accurately show the change in tastes and the emerging of PC. You rarely see a lot of black stereotype or other racial characters after the war year.

The fdirst to disappear were black Characters, but interestingly, the one group where, to this very day, you see PC accepted stereotyping is the Irish.

They are always cops
They are always hard drinkers.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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