November 8, 2016

"When you sign a contract with Disney, the things it says your film cannot have are beheadings, impalement or smoking."

"Those are literally the three things you are not allowed to put into a Disney film."

Said David Lowery, the director of "Pete's Dragon."

The outlier on that list isn't smoking. It's impalement. Nixing smoking is a standard Hollywood thing — trying to undo the deadly damage movies have done glamorizing smoking for so many years.



And beheading is understandable, being so extreme.

But impalement. Of all the violent things that might happen to a character — and violent things happen all the time in cartoons — why single out impalement? It's got to be sensitivity about the sexual metaphor. They don't want an image interpreted — even if misinterpreted — as sexual intercourse.

41 comments:

Michael K said...

The most notable ban in movies for 15 years is the depiction of Muslims as bad guys.

Tom Clancy's excellent novel, "The Sum of all Fears," was made into a movie. The plot was a Palestinian nuclear bomb with a plausible story of how they could do it by finding an Israeli nuke that was lost.

The movie was awful and the villains were white South Africans. I could never figure out why the studio made it. It made no sense.

Unknown said...

Tell it to Ursula..

pdug said...

no, its not sex. Doctor Strange (just saw it) has a ton of impalements. Its SHOCKING. Its obscene in the gore/sensitivity violation of bodily integrity sense.

Brando said...

I never thought of impalement as sexually hot, but here we are.

rhhardin said...

Sexual intercourse is sheathing the sword.

mockturtle said...

With you, Ann, everything is a sexual metaphor! ;-)

Balfegor said...

No impalement? Does it have to come out the other side for impalement? Because if not, I'm pretty sure Maleficent (in Sleeping Beauty) and Ursula (in The Little Mermaid) are both killed by impalement (by a magic sword and, um, the bowsprit of a ship respectively). And, you know, they're both female antagonists being killed by the main male love interest if you want to make something of the suggestion of sexual intercourse.

rhhardin said...

Disney is probably still sensitive from Tinkerbelle's death.

Steve in Toronto said...

https://m.popkey.co/5777c7/zgKqb.gif?c=popkey-web&p=po

Steve in Toronto said...

http://popkey.co/m/NXYX4-pipe-smoke-wizard-camelot

Curious George said...

Banning male on male impalement? HOMOPHOBIC!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My words of wisdom upon dropping my son off at college:

Don't do anything irreparably stupid. Nothing that leaves anyone impaled, imprisoned, or impregnated.

EMD said...

It's obscene in the gore/sensitivity violation of bodily integrity sense.


Yeah, it's this. Impaling is a rather gruesome thing to depict. The worst to me was in Excalibur, when one guy gets run through with a lance and a chunk of him falls out of the back. Ewww.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"The movie was awful and the villains were white South Africans. I could never figure out why the studio made it. It made no sense."

I do love the PC Stretch. Going by BBC productions, you'd think the world was awash with villainous Christians, misogynists, and homophobes.

Henry said...

Defenestration? No problem.

Owen said...

Is impalement where you are skewered along your longitudinal axis? What about back to front, or side to side? What about superficial penetration, not beyond halfway?

What about running people through a chipper?

What about voting for Trump?

I think Disney's legal department has not thought this through.

buwaya puti said...

Smoking was ubiquitous without Hollywood.

I think the net benefit of smoking/tobacco/nicotine has been miscalculated.

It was a help vs modern stress. I am sure more smoking will reduce obesity through overeating, diabetes, depression and illegal drug addictions.

Wilbur said...

I could've sworn Tim Considine got impaled in The Shaggy Dog.

Rob said...

No wonder Vlad can't find work in Hollywood.

rhhardin said...

I think I've never hought a Disney DVD.

David said...

"They don't want an image interpreted — even if misinterpreted — as sexual intercourse."

No trains going into tunnels either.

David said...

Brando said...
I never thought of impalement as sexually hot, but here we are.


You are way behind on radical feminist doctrine, though they would disagree with the hot part.

Fernandinande said...

"Those are literally the three things you are not allowed to put into a Disney film."

Besides a lot of other things.

mockturtle said...

Wilbur said: I could've sworn Tim Considine got impaled in The Shaggy Dog.

No, I think Tim was impaled by the Shaggy Dog. Oh, wait! That was the hard-core porn version.

n.n said...

No beheadings. No abortions.
No impalements. A one-way womb.
No smoking. No babies on the barbie.

So, no movies from Planned Parenthood or the abortion industry. At least not that will be produced by Disney. We wouldn't want to normalize sadism, torture, cannibalism, and a culture of death. Positive progress.

J. D. said...

Since when are there no impalements in Disney movies?

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Frozen+Olaf+I%27ve+been+impaled&view=detail&mid=DEDBD1917EF00BC7ACEEDEDBD1917EF00BC7ACEE&FORM=VIRE&qpvt=Frozen+Olaf+I%27ve+been+impaled&ts=1478623762281&nclid=A5B5732C7635F5D879EF01A81ABF59DD

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I think the no-impalement thing has to do with the way it's almost always the endgame of every action thriller ever. Something has to go right through the bad guy, be it a missile or a steampipe or a radio antenna (racking my brains for more James Bond examples, but you get the idea). And, yes, there's something sexual about it -- at least, about the ubiquity with which that game is played. Note that in Bond at least, it's not the female villains who get impaled, only the top male ones.

William said...

Snow White was kind of hot. The plot line with the dwarves also had some erotic, Oedipal undertones if you care to go there. Cinderella was also hot, but the story line was too vanilla. Handsome prince. Where's the kink? Maybe if they threw in some lesbo stuff with the wicked stepsisters if could work....... I've read that the cartoon with the most porno versions on the internet is the Simpsons. I never had a thing for blue hair, but apparently many people do. Maybe if you grew up watching the Simpsons, the idea of Marge having sex with Krusty is deliciously taboo.

holdfast said...

Stabbing is not the same as impalement. Impalement is specifically a slow death from having a sharpened stake up the ass, and then the victim is slowly forced down onto the stake by his or her own weight.

Big Mike said...

@William, in Laslo's version of the story Sleeping Besuty is awakened when the prince tapes her anally.

Big Mike said...

Damned spelling autocorrect!

lemondog said...

So.... guns are good, also hanging. How about use of the rack to tear off limbs, and of course burning at the stake.... or is that smoking.

mockturtle said...

Anyone mention drawing and quartering? That was great public spectacle back in the day.

Dave in Tucson said...

Does impalement include light sabers? Cuz it seemed like there was one in Force Awakens near the end (being deliberately oblique here to avoid spoilers, even if the movie has been out nearly a year now)

Bob Loblaw said...

Hanging, scaphism, the brazen bull, having a character broken on the wheel... all okay. But not impalement or beheading.

SukieTawdry said...

One of the things I love about old movies is that everybody smoked. Everybody. Cigars even. And no one minded.

Walt had lots of rules about the attire and appearance of his Disneyland employees. For one thing, no obviously dyed hair. And certainly no smoking. I'm trying to remember if anyone was impaled or beheaded in the Haunted Mansion. Guess not.

Real American said...

If you believe that movies and TV contribute to smoking by glamorizing it, then don't you also have to believe that movies contribute to unwanted [teenage] pregnancies by glorifying sex or contribute to [youth] violence by glorifying violent acts? Seems to me, you do.

SukieTawdry said...

William, read the original Grimm Brothers. Much darker than the Disneyfied versions.

Pugsley the Pug said...

Ummm....what about Han Solo being impaled by Kylo Ren's light saber? Or does this ban only extend to movies with the Disney name on it and not its subsidiaries?

traditionalguy said...

Disney wants to be seen as beyond the impalement. Cute Alligators chomping young children is OK, but impalement seems crude.

mikee said...

It isn't sexual innuendo, it is grotesque violence Disney wanted to avoid.