11 Screwed-Up Messages From Disney Movies We Learned As Kids

5. The Jungle Book

Another great one from the Disney volumes of race is The Jungle Book, based on the novel by noted Orientalist Rudyard Kipling. Instead of portraying them as crows or watermelon-eating babies, Disney instead decides to change their race stripes and make them monkeys. Although the boy speaks with a proper British inflection, Louie talks with a wild jive, clearly meant to be Satchmo. In song, he tells the boy: “I want to be like you,” or rather, “I want to be more white.” Louie wants to be a man, and the way to do that is to walk like him and talk like him.

Takeaway: Never adapt the book of someone who earnestly advocates for the “White Man’s Burden” being a thing.


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