What is an Homage?

The picture above really does answer the question, but you would be surprised how often people don’t consider the possibility of an homage.  It might not be a common phrase, especially in these days of reboots where it’s more likely to be a copy.  Still, it is a thing and one that I’ve had to consider because of the following:

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On the left is the cover for the first ‘Castlevania’ video game.  On the left is the cover for my story Quest of the Brokenhearted.  I did research and talked with my cover artist about the concept of an homage.  The story is heavily inspired by those games and I wanted to do a tribute with the cover.  I asked what the limits were and we stuck to those, but I get someone calling me a copycat about twice a year.  People see the picture and jump right to the conclusion that I copied with the hope of not being found out.  It can be frustrating and frightening, especially when it’s a public call out.  You’re stuck deciding between responding, which is dangerous, or leaving it alone and coming off guilty.  I’ve yet to know exactly what to do, but I’m lucky that things have diffused.

So, what are some things to consider if you’re doing an homage?

  1. Check the limits of what you’re about to do.  Homage does come very close to plagiarism regardless of ‘imitation being the sincerest form of flattery’.  That really doesn’t save you from a lawsuit and Cease and Desist letters.  Research is important here and you may have to follow your instinct.  If you think something goes too far then don’t do it.
  2. Don’t hide that it’s an homage.  Dive into it and wear it as a badge.  I wouldn’t say it in the blurb, but mention it on social media.  If you do an interview to promote the book then slip that in there.  Talk about it before your creation is available.  Make sure it is out there that you were inspired by another work and this will make it easier to prove this is an homage.  As I said before, people are more inclined to jump to the plagiarism idea than consider an alternative.
  3. Do not confuse retelling with homage.  The latter is a work that acts as a tribute to a previous creation by way of nods and influence.  The former is taking that original creation and remaking it.  If you do this and try to say it is an homage then you have made a mistake.  People will hold you over the coals for it.
  4. If called out for plagiarism while you know it’s an homage and did your research, do not get nasty.  People make mistakes and they get defensive of stories and characters that they love.  They don’t want to see someone steal from their beloved tales.  You can ignore the comments, which may work.  It can also leave the accusation hanging for others to latch onto.  Responding may be easier if you’ve already done #2 because you can prove it is an homage.  Be polite even if facing insults.

What do you think of when you hear about an homage?  Have you ever done one or would you do one?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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75 Responses to What is an Homage?

  1. All good points. I’m sorry you’ve had negative repercussions.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    I agree with Chelsea. Great points. You brought up something I’ve only thought about because others were doing them. I just watched a recap of the trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The YouTuber talked about the trailer as an homage to Sega games and pointed out all of the Easter eggs.

    I’ve seen so many scenes in movies that pay tribute to various other movies or famous directors I’ve also read books that pay tribute to other beloved books. The book I’m working on now is an homage to Lord of the Rings. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hold there is nothing new under the sun. We regularly absorb what’s come before, then produce our own versions. Let’s face it, Tony Stark/Ironman is Bruce Wayne/Batman. This stuff has always gone on, and always will. We also live in an age of rage, where people cannot wait to be triggered by something. I have no answers, but applaud you for talking about it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post from Charles Yallowitz’s blog on the topic of homage.

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  5. You do have the option mention the original in various small ways. On the cover, you can usually include a subtitle like “homage to X”, although with a cover image that wouldn’t exactly apply. You also can put it into the description. “Character X does Y in this homage to Z.”

    If people confront you, I guess you can pleasantly congratulate them for spotting your homage. Then maybe share how much the source meant at a certain time in your life. But if they don’t seem to know what “homage” means, I guess you could call it a shout-out, instead. Maybe they’ll come around if they see you’re sincere in your appreciation.

    As long as it’s in e-mail, they won’t know you were grimacing and tearing your hair before you wrote back to them!

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    • The problem with putting it into the description is that you immediately take away from the story. Now, you’re made it nothing more than a copy that needs to be compared to the original. Keep in mind that this isn’t an adaptation or retelling, but a work with some level of nods towards the inspiration. So, you solve the one problem and create another that is harder to counteract.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another great post, Charles. As to mentioning it in the blurb, I’d actually use it in a well-placed editorial review, if someone has been kind enough to leave one. Alternatively, I’d mention it in the “From the author” area. You can add a couple of lines as to why you enjoyed the original so much that you wanted to honor it this way.

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    • That last one becomes difficult if you don’t typically do a ‘from the author’ section. I only did that for my final Legends book. For Quest, I’d have it only be about the homage and that can still be misinterpreted. I’ve found that you’ll always have those who miss the disclaimers or see them as admittance of guilt.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
    Some great writing points on homage by Charles.

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  8. Does calling it fan fiction take care of the problem?

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  9. ospreyshire says:

    Homage can be tricky. I felt so smart about the baby carriage scene since I did see Battleship Potemkin during my college years. If one is doing an homage, then own up to it, but be original about it. I have characters who are stealth homages in some of my stories, but I do everything to make them different to make them their own characters. What I can’t stand is when people say there’s nothing new under the sun or everyone steals from someone since they justify their own laziness. Originality is certainly rough and I also can’t stand how people are forgiving to actual works of plagiarism like The Hunger Games (Battle Royale), Inception (Paprika), and The Lion King (Kimba the White Lion) to name a few examples.

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    • The thing is that you really can connect everything to something else in some fashion. It can be small or large, but stories typically follow at least one of a finite paths established long ago. As far as the forgiving plagiarism thing, I think a lot of it is people not believing it or focusing on the differences. Plagiarism is also a heavy accusation. While Hunger Games and Battle Royale are the same at the core, the worlds and characters and themes are different. I’d say HG is more of an altered clone than full plagiarism, which is supposed to be taking something exactly with only cosmetic changes. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of either anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        That is true how so many things can be connected which I don’t deny. I do like when people try to make things original and innovative. What infuriated me is that those examples are easily forgiven, but if the situations were reversed then everyone would freak out. I do not forgive rip-offs or when people make excuses for them.

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      • I get it, but it’s hard to prove if some things are rip-offs. You need to show that the creator of the newer work is aware of the first one and they are more than similar. Battle Royale and Hunger Games both have fights to the death, but the settings and themes are different. I could accuse both of copying Most Dangerous Game since it’s humans hunting humans for ‘sport/competition’. Not to mention The Running Man predates both only it’s convicts instead of kids. My point is that you need more than similar basis for it to be plagiarism or a rip-off. I think the issue with the examples given is more that the fan-bases are very protective and defensive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Some can be, but others are quite obvious. I hate it when there are obvious things and the creators lie about it. Yes, I’m well aware of Most Dangerous Game and The Running Man. There’s even a racist aspect to it with those and others because if a nonwhite creator steals something from someone who is white, then they will be punished. Paprika and Kimba have more obvious examples. Paprika and Inception have similar concepts of a machine that can go inside dreams with the concepts of the convergence of reality or dreams within dreams are explored. That and there are multiple identical scenes. Kimba the White Lion was ripped off harder than any form of animation or film. Several characters, scenes, plot points were plagiarized to make The Lion King. Not only that but Roy E. Disney called the Sarabi character “Kimba’s mother” in a 1993 Prodigy transcript, Simba was drawn as a white lion in pre-production, they tried a cease & desist lawsuit against the Fantasia Film Festival for playing Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 (sequel to Kimba), and that’s not even getting into using the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” which plagiarized the South African song “Mbube” by Solomon Linda as seen in the documentary The Lion’s Share. No one else would get away with this rampant thievery and I despise people who defend this and other examples despite the evidence. I could even go on with patent thievery or music plagiarism as well.

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      • Disney is infamous for grabbing public domain ideas and locking them down. They look for ways to get around copyrights, which aren’t international. You also have the confusion from both taking from Hamlet. As far as convergence of reality and dreams, I’ve read and seen many stories that revolve around that concept. As I’ve said, you need much more than that to condemn. Sometimes stories run similar themes without copying. I remember when two asteroid movies came out in the same year. Just happened that way.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        The thing is that Kimba wasn’t public domain and the original creator Osamu Tezuka died 5 years before that movie came out. The Hamlet excuse is just a smokescreen and those plots are different from Shakespeare’s story (even though I heard even the Bard ripped off things, but I digress). They still haven’t owned up to it even despite the evidence from that 60s anime and other factors. Are you defending people just blatantly stealing things?

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      • I’m just saying it might not be as blatant as you think. I’ve noticed that people pounce on these things and ignore aspects that make it unclear. Could Disney have stolen it? I’d say there is definitely evidence to show that. Could it not have been theft? Maybe, but definitely less likely than your other ones examples since both involve lions. I only bring up Hamlet because I believe both took inspiration from it, which isn’t a bad thing. One thing I just noticed is that you’re taking Japanese stories than are related to American ones. This means there’s no copyright involved and the second can said to be influenced by the other or a coincidence.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        That the Kimba/TLK plagiarism controversy isn’t as blatant? Doubt it. I’ve done my research on the matter and have seen four installments of the original series. There’s no way all of this was coincidental. If Kimba came out after TLK, then they would sue the brakes off of Tezuka Productions and the Disney fans would call it a cheap Japanese piece of crap rip-off. That’s a fact and everyone knows it. I hate how they never apologized or gave credit given the several similarities going on. Those were the first examples that came to mind since I do like anime and world cinema. Actually, Japan DOES have copyright laws which are similar to America’s, so all of those examples aren’t in the public domain yet. I’m sick of it when people give what’s popular in America carte blanche but would never give those in other countries and those with certain complexions the same treatment when it comes to these matters.

        Recently, I came out with a full-length album that is a concept project about innovators and those who had their works stolen such as artists, animators, inventors, musicians, etc. It was my way of honoring the originators and bashing the clones when necessary. I know I’d want to punish ANYONE who dares to steal my work.

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      • While countries may have similar copyright law systems, those rights don’t protect internationally. That’s why you see other countries with copies of American superheroes. I do see fans of older series attack newer stuff for being even remotely connected, so I think a lot deals with perspective. There are those that appear blatant like Kimba/Lion King, which seems to be the one people always grab and never let go of in these conversations because of how it comes off. I never researched it thoroughly, so I won’t say if it is or isn’t.

        Honestly, I see you wielding a lot of anger and hate here. Also, I see you hinting at racism. I’m going to bow out now because I’ve learned that such a combination leads to a stalemate. Neither of us will move the other, so thank you for the discussion.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        This is more passion than anger and whatever hate you see is about these injustices, not you, so I should’ve made this clear. Sorry about that. I know what I’m talking about when it comes to that particular plagiarism issue and that’s not getting into the cultural appropriation or racism of that Disney movie franchise. I hope you weren’t implying that I was racist because I’m not given my heritage. If this conversation has to end here, than so be it. I don’t take stealing people’s work lightly and I call out racist double standards when I see it. Thank you.

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      • Okay. Sorry for jumping to the wrong conclusion. I have the same passion when it comes to the Disney cookie cutter and domination thing that makes it hard to do anything new. I wasn’t implying you were racist, but saw you bringing the topic of racism into the conversation. I’ve run into a lot difficulty when that comes up and I haven’t seen the racist double standard in this. So, I wasn’t clear on the relation. As far as stealing, I do agree that blatant theft is wrong. My concern comes about when people level the accusation at those who do homages, are influenced by previous stuff, or simply came up with a similar idea that has plenty of differences. For example, I write action adventure fantasy inspired by my time playing D&D. I’ve had people accuse me of stealing from various fantasy series even if I never read/saw them or if the targets are fixtures of the genre. So, I’m always hesitant to make that mistake.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Thank you. I’m glad you feel the same way with Disney’s cookie cutter stuff and corporate domination (You can throw those constant remakes on that list. Haha!).

        When I brought up that double standard, I did it in the context of those Japanese IPs and what would happen if they came out after their American counterparts. I’ve had bigoted idiots tell me that only white people come up with everything original which is so not true and that was a reaction to those words spoken to me especially given how many stories and inventions that would prove them all wrong. That and so many POC creators rarely ever get credit or recognition, but that’s a whole other conversation.

        I may not have seemed that way, but I’m also annoyed when people throw the term rip-off or plagiarism so flippantly. Even though I’m a fan of Satoshi Kon’s work, but some fans hound on Black Swan for stealing from his debut film Perfect Blue (side note: Kon also directed Paprika later on). I disagree since Aronovsky bought the rights to Perfect Blue to recreate the famous “girl screaming in the bathtub” scene for Requiem For a Dream and was inspired to make Black Swan. I’m sorry to hear that people called some of your works rip-offs. I would hate to be called an art thief, so I do what I can to make something people haven’t seen or heard before or at least what I haven’t seen or heard before in the media.

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      • There is definitely a lack of true recognition and credit. I think part of the problem you speak of is that American culture is very lawsuit happy, especially the big companies. Disney once threatened to sue a daycare for using Winnie the Pooh (or was it Mickey) paintings in the sleeping area. Foreign artists typically don’t do this for some reason. I wonder if it’s cultural and they have a higher tolerance as long as it’s not a carbon copy. It does feel like we as Americans are much more sensitive to this act. Possibly even over sensitive at times because we can mistake genre tropes and trends as plagiarism. I’m writing about vampires right now and it’s amazing how many landmines I stumble into.

        Wasn’t aware of Black Swan. I think things would be easier if people either admitted to inspiration or said ‘I wasn’t aware of that work, but I can see the similarities’.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        There truly is across multiple disciplines and I’m appalled by it. You do make a good point about America being so lawsuit-crazy and my friends outside of this country have certainly noticed that. I do remember that story with the daycare center and I heard a similar story of Disney forbidding a family for putting Spider-Man on their dead child’s tombstone. I do wonder about this from a cultural standpoint although Japan did block Guitar Hero from their country because of the Konami game Guitar Freaks (from the creators of Dance Dance Revolution) which predated the former. There are times where companies want to sue, but can’t because they don’t have as much money compared to the American conglomerates. From a copyright infringement standpoint, I know one can make a VERY strong case with Claw from Kimba because there’s no way Disney came up with the concept of a villainous lion usurper with a black mane, wounded left eye, and has hyena henchman by themselves, but I digress. That certainly is insane with vampires.

        Yeah, I don’t hate on Aronovsky for it even though he could’ve handled it better. I do wish that’s the case, but people are just too arrogant to admit inspiration or obvious similarities even when there’s documented evidence.

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      • I remember the Spider-Man tombstone thing. Their reason was that they refused to let any of their characters be associated with death. Guess they forgot that they have villains who die and I think there’s a statue of Walt Disney with Mickey Mouse. Didn’t know about the Guitar Hero/Guitar Freaks thing. Not surprised there are two of those though. Once you create the game attachment, you’re going to get similar things. Hard to copyright the concept of a game letting you play music when the guitar is a controller. Be like saying only Mario Kart could use that Wii Wheel thing that I hate so much. I’ve never actually seen Kimba, so it does look like it’s too much of a similarity. I read an interview with one of the Lion King guys who said they all grew up watching Kimba and didn’t realize they were copying, so wondered if it was subconscious. From reading that, I wonder if the original idea was to do an homage or Americanized version, but then somebody higher up the food chain in Disney said that they couldn’t admit to it. Just finding it odd how you can have such a large team of animators who don’t get paid much going in on this with the same dark insight. Maybe I’m looking too much for an ultimate evil master here though. It’s the fantasy author in me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        The Spider-Man tombstone issue was one I didn’t know about until I had a conversation with another blogger about Disney’s double standards with copyright and trademarking things. Yeah, it is ironic given most of the villains die in those movies or with the statue of Walt himself. Guitar Freaks was made first with that guitar controller with the buttons and all. That’s not even getting into DrumMania or Keyboard Heaven with their respective controllers, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Rock Band got nixed for being imported to Japan, too. Even though I haven’t gamed in a while, I also was not a fan of the Wii Wheel. Haha!

        Sure thing and I wasn’t sure if you watched any of the series or movies associated with Kimba. Gotcha. I’m aware of Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba) admitting to watching the original show when he was a kid. I seriously doubt that nobody knew about Tezuka’s work and I found out last Summer that Roger Allers (the co-director of TLK) lived in Japan in the 80s which makes his denial even more ludicrous in hindsight since Tezuka was still alive and is still respected in that country today and the first Kimba remake came out in 1989. I’d blame the directors and the higher-ups at Disney at the time. Here’s a link with more information. https://web.archive.org/web/20170126132424/http://www.kimbawlion.com:80/kimbawlion/rant2.htm

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      • Well, most game systems and innovations do start in Japan. Surprised they didn’t try to do something to make money off Guitar Hero, but I guess you can only do so much with the concept. I don’t think Matthew Broderick and the other voice actors were part of the script and animation though. The thing is that many who worked on it within the lower levels have admitted to watching it. There really is something fishy with the whole thing if you look at it. The connections made are very clear to the point where you wonder if the original idea was to do an homage/American version. Part of me wonders if the creators were told that this was the case and things were kosher, but found out after the fact that they were under contract to never say that there’s a connection. Looking at what you’ve sent, it is a strange anomaly within Disney’s use of public domain and mythology. They’re usually fairly careful about it, but this one is a clumsy ball drop. A possibility could be that they were negotiating rights while it was being worked on, things fell through, and they did it anyway. It isn’t even the story similarities, which one could chalk up to it being coincidences due to theme. It’s the visual and animal choices. Disney could have told the same tale with wolves (another pack animal) and it would have been in the clear. Found this article: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/lion-king-kimba-white-lion-does-disney-need-come-clean-1225822

        Does look like they deny way too much when you get to the quotes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Fair enough since Japan has been innovators in gaming for decades now. It is kind of surprising without Guitar Hero over there even though I kind of understand why.

        I never implied that Matthew Broderick would be a shot-caller in this field and same for the other voice actors. It really is fishy as well as aggravating. That (not) live action remake would’ve been a perfect time for Disney to fess up and apologize, but they still have never credited Osamu Tezuka for that movie. If someone wants to get on my bad side, then one of the quickest ways is to not take responsibility for their words or actions. Trust me, I’ve had bullies who never owned up to their actions and I despised them ever more for not doing that or with people not believing me when I was slighted. This is corporate bullying with this rampant denial. I can’t stand how fans defend TLK’s plagiarism by saying that it’s a coincidence when the known evidence would say otherwise. The whole Kimba issue wasn’t my only thing of hating that Disney movie (okay, I used to like it as a kid), but the Mbube/The Lion Sleeps Tonight plagiarism case, trademarking “Hakuna Matata” which is pure cultural appropriation against the Swahili-phone parts of Africa, misrepresenting the continent (this goes for Tarzan as well since there were no black characters), and for the racist implications of the hyenas. No one would give Kimba a pass if this came out after Disney’s movie. I know there are differences with there being humans in the Kimba series or how Timon and Pumbaa are the only TLK characters with no Kimba counterparts, but I dare anyone to tell me that TLK would exist without Tezuka’s work.

        It really is rampant denial. It saddens me how people actually believe these forms of denial and lies.

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      • With the way Disney acts now, I’m not surprised that they didn’t say anything about it. They’re more corporately monstrous than ever. Just look at how they betrayed George Lucas with promises of using some of his 7-9 stuff and then admitting they never intended to even look at it. The thing with fans though is that many haven’t seen Kimba and only see it as an attack on something they love. With Disney, many are raised to be emotionally connected to the brand since childhood, so it’s a really thick layer of brainwashing to get through. You see it now with MCU fans these days too. Not sure I know about the ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’ thing and ‘Hakuna Matata’. I’m not 100% certain on the cultural appropriation thing because I worry that it goes a bit too far. I remember learning that cultures grow as they adopt aspects, language pieces, and technology of those that they interact with. It prevents stagnation and evolves society, so I can never tell when it’s cultural appropriation (bad) or when it’s cultural diffusion (good). Yeah, not a popular opinion, but I do worry that we’re spending so much time going ‘my culture’ that we’re not letting human society evolve and becoming more territorial.

        Question about Tarzan: Wasn’t it deep in the jungle with all of the human characters being explorers from outside of the continent? If that’s the case then would there be black characters within the group? I always saw the humans as outsiders to the entire region, which is why they were so ignorant of even the animals.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        Yeah, as much as it angers me, I’m not surprised that the company wouldn’t admit guilt even though I certainly don’t excuse what they did (obviously). Good points about Disney screwing over George Lucas with his movie franchise. That’s true about the fans not seeing Kimba and not wanting to believe that their beloved Mickey Mouse did bad things. Brainwashing is a good term in that regard. I can see that with the MCU crowd, so no disagreement there.

        I would recommend watching The Lion’s Share which is on Netflix which covers the case with the music. Long story short, Solomon Linda’s song was swindled by an American licensing company and he died penniless. After TLK came out, his daughters (with help from the South African government) sued the licensing company and Disney for not crediting their father or paying royalties. The Hakuna Matata trademark is cultural appropriation since it’s been a very common saying in the Swahili-speaking parts of Africa for centuries. They’re making a buck off of that phrase with the massive amounts of merch. Would Disney or any other conglomerate get away with trademarking a common non-English phrase that even English speakers know about such as “C’est la vie”, “Que sara sara”, or even “Mazel tov”? It’s one thing borrowing words or phrases from other languages, but monetizing it and having it as intellectual property is inexcusable.

        In regards to the Disney version, you ask? There certainly is the jungle environment, but even that’s not an excuse since you have various groups in that kind of environment. The fact that Disney (from an animated canon standpoint) is 0 for 2 in regards to having black characters in their animated movies that take place in Africa is very suspicious at best. Would they try this with America or Europe? It makes me wonder if there was some mass extinction of native Africans in both Lion King and Tarzan before their respective opening scenes. No, I’m not giving Disney a pass because of movies outside of the animated canon like Queen of Katwe or Black Panther. That’s not good enough.

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      • Were there people in the same area as the gorillas in Tarzan? From a story standpoint, that would cause a problem. If there were other humans in the area then Tarzan would have interacted with them and had their language as well as more civilized social skills. Part of the story was that he never saw another human before Jane. Once you show a village nearby, you create a really big plot hole.

        Interesting on the Hakuna Matata thing. I actually didn’t realize it was trademarked to that extent. Reading an article on it, seems they are only supposed to stop it from being used in regards to Lion King. Other people can use it for their own purposes, but Disney lawyers jump at anything. This I would definitely call appropriation because they’re taking and trying to keep for themselves. Seems alcohol companies have a habit of trademarking Mazel Tov. As a Jew, I’m not sure how to take that connection.

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/world/africa/hakuna-matata-disney-trademark.amp.html

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      • ospreyshire says:

        The only people who showed up besides Tarzan were the Brits who came in with Jane and company, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still an unfortunate implication with monochrome casting. Why would Disney make two animated movies in Africa without black characters? This is bigotry by pattern recognition. Would they show someplace like France, Sweden, or England without white people in it and only showed humans of other ethnic stock there? That’s not getting into how most Disney fans are stupid by not knowing things about African cultures. Both of those movies have this amorphous environment with jungles and savannas, but people couldn’t tell you which countries they take place in.

        It was and I found out about that controversy close to this time last year. Disney would eventually enforce that trademark against a Chinese company who used the phrase “Hakuna Matata” for their business. Think about it: An American company is suing a Chinese company over a common phrase from a language that isn’t spoken in either nation. The timing of me finding out about the trademark issue came weeks after finding out I was part Congolese, so since the DRC has Swahili among 4 other languages that have official status, I became even more offended by this. Thank you for understanding as to why this is horrible. Alcohol companies actually trademarked Mazel Tov? That’s bogus and shame on them for doing that!

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      • All I’m saying is that Tarzan and I assume the other is Lion King are supposed to take place away from human civilization. To include locals changes the narrative. Most people in general don’t know much about foreign cultures. It isn’t just with Africa. I would say a lot of their movies have amorphous environments. Sword and the Stone and Robin Hood take place in a version of England that looks very generic with woods, castles, and simple villages. That’s basically the only setting they used for most of their fairy tail settings. Honestly, I don’t know anything about African culture. I’ve found that most people know very little about Jewish culture too. Seems to be a human thing these days and I’m not surprised. Very few people want to share their culture with others and prefer to stay in their corners shouting about how nobody understands them.

        The trademarks for Mazel Tov were reviled I believe. That or it had to be connected with the company logo too. I can’t find anything on the Hakuna Matata with China. Saw they sued for a movie about talking cars that had the exact characters from Cars.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        I still find that problematic and it still hinders how Africa is portrayed in general. At least Sword and the Stone has human characters and Robin Hood has a real locale with Nottingham. While there’s a case for inaccuracy on medieval European areas, they still take the characters seriously and they aren’t doing anything disrespectful to those cultures. To be honest, I didn’t know that much about African culture until a few years ago. I’ve been learning more especially after finding out what ethnic groups I got in my DNA test (side note: I’m black/white mixed). It’s important to know about one’s culture. Some things have been so fascinating with civilizations and inventions made centuries and millennia ago, but also saddening like the colonization and genocides against the Africans by the colonizers (Leopold is a big example and I’m angry for not knowing about that demon when I was in school). I have even shamed people for believing Africa is nothing but war zones, mud huts, jungles, or safaris. To be fair, I’m not an expert on Jewish culture, but I’m not going to do anything disrespectful to that culture and I’m willing to learn a few things about it.

        Reviled? Rightfully so. I hope those trademarks got dropped. https://www.worldipreview.com/news/disney-enforces-controversial-hakuna-matata-tm-18429?utm_source=change_org&utm_medium=petition

        Like

      • I understand what you’re saying. Although, I think with the Disney movies, they didn’t do it to be disrespectful. This is something that I think many people ignore these days. I think we do need to factor in intent to decide on the level of response. With Tarzan and Lion King, they were working with pre-existing material. Major copying on Lion King considering the theft issue. Then again, that’s always what Disney does and I don’t know if Burroughs had it that way. These movies were from a period when people were more ignorant to these issues as well, but now the Internet brings them to the forefront. Honestly, I don’t know what can be done about the past in this regard because these movies exist and can’t be erased until someone designs a time machine. Sadly, people in the entertainment business do what they think will sell and don’t realize when they’re going to insult or disrespect a group. They only see green. I really do hope they do a real movie that respects African culture at some point, but they seem more focused on doing reboots.

        I checked the case and was curious about what the Chinese company was doing. Looks like they’re both fighting over copyrighting ‘Hakuna Matata’.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        Thanks for understanding that much. Disney was certainly insensitive and I don’t like how people give them a free ride. When I make a mistake or do something bad, I’m treated like the villain no matter what, so I am wont to treat these companies the same way. I never got away with saying “I didn’t mean it.” They still did these things and I judge them for it. How is it they can be respectful to let’s say the Polynesian community with Lilo and Stitch or Moana, but can’t do the same for the African diaspora? Don’t even get me started on the protagonist centered morality on display with TLK with the main characters and how it contradicts a main “philosophy” of that film. I also wondered if a good amount of white people think people like me or darker shouldn’t be a part of the circle of life when it comes to the absence of human characters like that in those films as morbid as it sounds. I do wish that as well about being respectful. No wonder I watch lots of international movies and make up my own characters in my stories.

        That’s right and it’s just insanity with that court case on both sides.

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      • I always thought Lilo & Stitch ignored the local culture. I mean, they pushed a lot of Elvis and things seemed stereotypical at times. With Moana, I think it was more respectful because it’s from the current crop of films. Many of the recent Disney films have a focus of diversity and showing the connected culture. With Lion King era films, it was about the songs and making money with no interest in portraying the cultures correctly. I’ve heard similar arguments against Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan even if the movies are beloved. Different leaders and different times created different movies. As I said, it’s really about seeing green for places like Disney. Now that diversity is a selling point, they’re interested. Not an excuse for them, but the reasoning. I figure it’s a better use of energy to ignore them and support movies that do it correctly.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        I do agree that the Elvis thing was pushed too hard, so I hear you right there. I just thought that Lilo and Nani were better written as characters who happen to be POC than most others and you could at least take them seriously. Moana did a better job and I heard from a friend that they even researched the Tokelauan language and incorporate that into one or two of the songs. I also don’t see Disney trademarking “Ohana”, “Aloha”, or other words in various Polynesian languages. The diversity is there, but it’s the representation that I’m concerned about. I certainly agree with those 90s Disney films you mentioned. When Mulan is the most progressive of those four, then you know something’s wrong. Thank you for not excusing their bigotry or ignorance because I have been making Disney fans have to prove they aren’t bigoted when they’re talking to me online or offline. I can’t believe how much I’ve been lied to with mainstream media and how my self-esteem was destroyed while not realizing it.

        That’s right and that’s why I even have a separate blog where I review obscure and foreign films. I’ve been getting into African cinema and works from a bunch of other countries that actually put in effort for ethnic representation. It has been good expressing my thoughts on these films, docs, and forms of animation given my film background and coming from a unique perspective.

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      • Ohana and Aloha are too well known and American. I just read that US trademarks aren’t international, so they wouldn’t get away with it here. Swahili isn’t common in the country, so they had a better shot of sneaking that in. Wonder if they got some backlash from Hakuna Matata and never tried it again too. I wouldn’t attack the fans for bigotry though. Most grew up with Disney, so the accusation hits at their core. They don’t see anything other than the animated story, which doesn’t mean they’re bigots.

        The whole thing with more representation and diversity is that people need to support it with their wallets. I’ve met so many that shout for it, but never support the stuff that tries to push it.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        Yeah, the Hawaiian community would riot if any company would trademark that and I’m sure other Polynesian groups would be in lockstep and rightfully so. I do remember backlash from Africans in the continent and there was a petition about it that started last year about how Disney should drop the trademark. I first heard about that issue through Dr. Mumbi Seraki who’s a Kenyan YouTuber. Swahili is her first language, so she was justifiably angry when reporting it.

        To be honest, it’s hard for me not to and I wanted to do that because I have a hard time trusting others. I was bashed for the things that I like, so I’ve been tempted to bash others for their interests since those who derogated me are more successful. I want to shed light to these issues and I assume they got prejudice by watching mainstream movies. When it comes to Lion King fans for example, I assumed a few years ago that they all think black people are like the hyenas after watching the Mickey Mouse Monopoly documentary where a black mom talked about how some white kids thought her own kids sounded like them in a segment that talked about racist implications with different Disney characters.

        I do support it with my wallets and I make my own stories. I wish others would follow suit.

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      • I saw the petition, but I think it’s more that Disney overdoes it. The trademark is supposed to only be if used in connection to Lion King. That means it should be free to use outside of that restriction. They sue to bully others even though they legally don’t have the right. Problem is that they can afford lengthy legal battles and better lawyers than those they go after. And those Disney lawyers are vicious . . . I know firsthand.

        I think there are those who think that way in regards to Lion King. Yet, I also believe they’re a minority that documentaries find to make it seem to be the majority. Most never make such a connection including the one where you see the talking animals as representative of people. I was a big Disney fan in the 80’s and 90’s, but I never thought about this or ran into anyone who did. To be fair, I was more into Aladdin than Lion King. Out of curiosity, what do you think of the Lion King Broadway show where most of the cast is black?

        Totally get trust issues stemming from being burned. The only thing I can say is to be careful that you don’t become what you hate. I’ve been struggling for a long time to avoid it and such a path is incredibly tempting because it’s an easy outlet for the pain. Yet, it brings a false scab over a wound that isn’t really healing.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        Yeah, I have that concern with Disney overdoing it. They shouldn’t have trademarked the phrase to begin with. I definitely know about them bullying others like the aforementioned attempted ban on Jungle Emperor Leo, suing Marvel (prior to buying that company out) for Howard the Duck and winning, and what happened in The Lion’s Share in regards to the Linda family. They are ruthless. Sorry you had to see that firsthand.

        I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way especially discovering so many things about life. Why would they have the characters talk in stereotypical African-American and Latino dialects? That’s just a dog whistle way of bigotry. When I did my Lion King rant last summer on my main blog, I asked people how they would felt if the hyenas talked in Yiddish accents instead especially given their situation in the elephant graveyard. I’ve actually seen the Chicago edition of the Broadway show when I was in middle school. I think that’s just lip service and in hindsight, I find it as a form of race buffering. I see the implications of Disney saying “The best you’ll ever be are animals! You should be thankful that you even got a role in our Broadway plays.” This is me seeing the big picture. No, just because you have black people in the movies or plays doesn’t give them a right to incorporate racist crap. This is the equivalent of racists getting caught for their hatred and saying “I have black friends!” as a defense mechanism. Do people seriously not see this or do they just not want to see this? It’s not the first time Disney has done very bigoted things with animal characters such as the crows in Dumbo (the lead one’s name is JIM!), the Siamese cats in Lady & The Tramp, or King Louie from The Jungle Book for example.

        Thank for for trying to relate to me. I’ve been bullied when I was younger, been discriminated against because of my heritage, and people have bashed the stuff I liked before. It is very tempting for me to do unto others that I’ve been subjected to more or less and I thought recently that I shouldn’t forgive others because I wasn’t forgiven for the things I’ve done or been accused of. I want to tell the truth, be creative, and expose injustices to others.

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      • Honestly, I can see the similarities between Howard and Donald. Overall, I prefer him with a full suit and think Marvel won out there. Disney didn’t actually sue though. They threatened to if Howard wasn’t given pants and Marvel figures it wasn’t worth the fight.

        This probably not what you want to hear, but I think you’re looking too far into what they mean. They’re a business and do things for money with little thought to anything else. You’ve put words in their mouth and thoughts in their heads with no way to confirm. It feels like the only thing they can do here is to shelve these franchises entirely and never bring them back. Yet, that means people can push for other movies to be removed and then you have nothing left. With the Yiddish accent, I’ve seen it get used for stereotypes all the time. I’ve decided to see it as whatever and move on since the use has already been done. It’s hard if not impossible to point at the use of an accent and call racism because you need more than that as proof.

        I’m a short, nerdy, shy Jew with glasses. Bullied a lot. Anti-Semitism has been a repeated experience, which most people in this country think is only a myth or a sometimes thing. Had people try to convert me too. I’ve been angry and upset. Still hold a few ancient grudges, but I’ve been learning that it isn’t healthy. Probably a root cause of various health problems. Since I don’t know what you haven’t been forgiven for, I can’t and won’t say more that. For me personally, I’m trying to believe that me forgiving those who wronged me even if they don’t know is better for me. Doesn’t matter if it helps them because I can’t keep wallowing in the pain.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        I did hear about that case and thanks for correcting me about that particular issue. For some reason I thought Disney won in that instance. I apologize for that mistake. That was still a crazy situation though.

        No, I’m not over-analyzing it and I can’t stand it when people tell me this especially if I know there’s coded meanings. They would never do this kind of portrayal to any other group and get away with it. As much as I would like to erase The Lion King from existence, I don’t think that would be the case. I just want Disney to own up to stealing Kimba, disrespecting the African diaspora let alone the other ethnic groups they’ve offended for decades, and to realize how problematic that film franchise is onscreen and offscreen. Even seeing the Namibian Genocide documentary vindicated me when I saw the Shark Island Concentration Camp. Seeing them being starved out in a food desert filled with bones made my jaw drop and I screamed “THIS IS THE REAL LIFE ELEPHANT GRAVEYARD!”. I’m sick of being dehumanized by all these movies and shows that always points to people like me as the villains or useless ones. I can’t just move on from people making stereotypes. How can you not be angry when people insult your heritage?

        I’m terribly sorry to hear about your experiences growing up. You should have never had to deal with those things. I know Anti-Semitism isn’t some myth and shame on those who think that it still is. I would never try to demonize someone because of their culture or religion. Just know I would never discriminate you or treat you lesser because I’m not like the people who bullied you in the past. I still have ancient grudges and it ticks me off that I wasn’t able to get even with those who hurt me. Charles, I’m surprised how long this comment conversation has gone and how it got to this point. Any frustration and anger I had wasn’t towards you at all. I’ve seen people who hold these evil thoughts against people like me and some of them were ardent Disney fans who were bigoted towards me. I wished people would stop denying bigotry and I wish I could live in a world where I don’t have to freaking prove my humanity to you or anyone else on this planet just because of my heritage.

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      • Maybe I just don’t see the coding. Honestly, I can’t even figure out how people can be 100% sure this is what they intended. As far as Disney owning up to it, can they even do that now? It’s a different group in charge, so those people might not know what the old guard did. They could also see no point since we live in a world of minimal forgiveness now. They have no incentive to admit to such things since it’s more likely that people will take the admission as a reason to continue hating them. This is a major downside to cancel culture. People are highly resistant to asking for forgiveness and more likely to deny. Maybe Disney will have a person in charge one day that is determined to air their garbage.

        Weird question: Are elephant graveyards a real thing? I thought I read that there really are places with large amounts of elephant remains. Sorry if this is off topic.

        I figure the anger isn’t at me. Honestly, my words are more because I checked out your blog early on and see your talent. It would be a shame for a man like you to be consumed by grudges and hate. If it fuels you then that’s great. I’ve just seen so many fall to those emotions and hit the edge myself. It is wrong that you have to prove your humanity. Really hope the world where we’re all just humans on equal ground comes about.

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      • ospreyshire says:

        Part of it stems from their accents and dialects, their thuggish (I hate using that coded word, but I’m using it for a point) demeanor, how they’re in a “ghetto” environment with the elephant graveyard away from the rest of the Pride Lands, and the animals freaking out about whenever they trespass. This evokes imagery of segregation, redlining, apartheid (which ended the same year this movie came out, ironically enough), and worse…genocide with Shark Island, Leopold’s brutal reign of the Congo, or even the atrocities against Native Americans to name a few. There’s certainly a different board and CEO compared to the Renaissance Era, so I’ll give you that, but I’m sure some would still know or have access to a few things. I do find cancel culture to be problematic though. I can’t stand when people don’t take responsibilities for their words or actions. There’s a post from a Croatian film blogger I follow that talked about the unfortunate implications of the elephant graveyard and Mufasa’s protagonist centered morality on that matter: https://vigouroffilmlines.com/2018/07/03/lion-king-1994-circle-of-life-and-the-other/

        Answer: I did hear of such places although they probably don’t look like what they do in the movie or as big as what it was.

        Thank you and I hoped I was clear that it wasn’t towards you. Thank you for seeing whatever talent I have on my main blog and for following it. I don’t want to be consumed by my own grudges, but it’s hard because I have a really good long-term memory and can’t forget those slights against me. It’s a shame I have to do that with others given my heritage. The fact I have a white dad for example doesn’t make me except from such ill-fated scrutiny. Thank you for telling me that I didn’t need to prove my humanity to you. I respect you for that.

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      • In this translation, Mufasa definitely comes off as an older person with racist ideas that he doesn’t realize are racist. Sadly, there are a lot of people out there who don’t see what they do as racist even when it’s pointed out. Had to deal with those types a lot in the past and it was frustrating. With the hyenas, I know in nature, they are major enemies of lions and prey on cubs. That could have been enough and they could have been kept as a wandering threat. I guess the story issue would be that Scar needed a focused army with a reason to want to invade, which would be the more plentiful resources. This is one of the difficult things with art. You can look through it with various lenses and see something different. All of the looks are viable too in some fashion. Still, I can see how all of that can create such a narrative. It creates a really complicated issue. Would Disney admitting to all of this put the past in the past though? I’m now really curious about what would happen if they at least admitted that it’s a viable perspective and they’re sorry for not being more aware of the situation. I really hope they tackle an African-based animated movie at some point and do it right.

        The movie must have exaggerated the graveyard. Disney exaggerate something? Perish the . . . Nope. Couldn’t keep a straight face there.

        Shame that so many scrutinize others on sight. Nothing good ever seems to come from that. For some reason, my long-term memory is only really good when it comes to slights and negative events. I will say that recent slights have kind of overshadowed and purged me of the older ones. Guess one big mental/emotional shock to the system can wipe the slate clean in some fashion. Geez, I can’t believe I’m trying to put a silver lining on that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I’ve sadly met people like that, too. What really frustrated me was how Mufasa got away with this punishment and contradicting his own circle of life theme because he was the good guy which is textbook protagonist centered morality. Even worse is that the hyenas are missing in TLKII which makes the whole “we are one” message contradictory as well. I’m aware that hyenas and lions are enemies in real life. Not only that, but even lions will steal hyena kills and eat them or their cubs, too. The imagery of the hyenas also goes into dog whistle words of black people being “super predators” with their attitude. All the hyenas wanted was food just like the other predators and Scar exploited their situation. I also remember reading a review of The Lion King a few years ago and someone said “What, were the hyenas lowering the property values?” as a joke and I found that very offensive because that has happened to black renters and homeowners in real life when they tried defending them not being racist caricatures.

        Thank you for at least seeing why the situation with the hyenas and the elephant graveyard punishment were problematic. I’m not the first one to notice this and I know there have been others who’ve seen it even during the 90s. I do hope they can see why images like this are unfortunate and can lead to bigotry and they can do an African-based movie right. I had a lot of doubts when they announced that Princess of North Sudan project and I’m glad the internet called out Disney for obvious unfortunate implications of a premise like that even if it was based on a real life (spoiled) family.

        Very much so. It certainly was exaggerated. Haha!

        It truly is a shame. Wow, I wouldn’t have never expected a silver lining like that when it comes to those issues. I remember the bad more than the good and I can’t control it.

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      • Totally forgot that they make sequels to the Lion King. Now that I’m starting to remember those travesties, I think I’d like to forget again. One thing that comes to mind with Mufasa is ‘the victors write history’, which might be the case here. It comes off that the lions dominated the landscape, so they got to control things even if it’s unfair. I think they tried to make it that the hyenas were gluttonous and wasted resources, but I never really understood how a species of scavengers would cause that much destruction. It doesn’t really fit the beast, but maybe I’m thinking about the real animal too much here. Now that I’m an adult, I really don’t understand why the hyenas were taken to be the ‘bad guys’ in the first place.

        What’s the Princess of North Sudan? *looks it up and sees the first headline* What in all of creation and destruction is this? How? Why? Really? Was there nobody around to slap some sense into this family?

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Yup. The only ones I saw were the second one and some of that Timon & Pumbaa cartoon. I don’t blame you for wanting to forget them. That is an interesting theory of sorts with Mufasa. That doesn’t make sense with hyenas either how they’re natural scavengers. Yes, they hunt as well, but not as frequently as lions. I guess the lions were “cooler” and more “noble beasts”, but I’m only hypothesizing. That’s what I thought about during my adulthood with the hyenas. I guess the only reason why they’re “bad guys” is because of their association with Scar. Questionable depictions aside, they had a legitimate points as to why they were angry with the lions and how they were treated compared to the other predator animals.

        HAHAHAHAHA! You’re reaction was so hilarious and made me smile. This was pure madness with how this situation happened. It’s one thing giving your daughter a princess doll or costume, but sticking a flag in Sudan and declaring it to be your kingdom? SERIOUSLY?! I told a now ex-co-worker about this travesty and she said (context: this is a white woman who said this) “WHAT?! This might as well be called ‘White Privilege: The Movie’!” I wasn’t even as aware about the continent as I am now and even I was facepalming about the obvious negative connotations about this whole thing.

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      • Historically, people see lions as nobles. The whole King of the Jungle thing. Even though they don’t like in jungles. Guess the hyenas are bad guys by association. They’re obviously being used and end up turning on the manipulator once the truth is out. The movie never made me feel like Simba would welcome the hyenas, but maybe they moved on to a better land. Not sure why they wouldn’t have done that before. There’s that whole marching Nazi-style scene that I just remembered too. Hyenas were all over the place morally speaking once that gets added in.

        Honestly, there’s a morbidly curious side of me that wants to see what that train wreck movie idea would look like. Not that I’d pay for it, but it’s so insane in reality that I can’t see how a fictional version would function as a kids movie. I mean, it’s just a baffling choice. At the very least, I want to know who thought it was a good idea and why.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        That’s certainly true with that kind of imagery of nobility even when lions really aren’t that noble in real life. The guilty by association aspect was my best guess even with what happens in the end. That does make sense why Simba wouldn’t want them around, but that still bugs me about how the elephant graveyard was a brutal contradiction to the Mufasa’s speech. I do wonder what happened to them as morbidly curious as it sounds. Come to think of it, there was that Lion Guard show that I heard about, but I’m not going to watch it. Yeah, the morality was all over the place. I get that the Nazi march scene was to make Scar look like a dictator in the “Be Prepared” song, but do the hyenas really strike you as genocidal maniacs? Or if we go back to those racist implications, is Disney saying that black and brown people getting equal social status to the dominant society is going to be a form of chaos and would disrupt the “balance”?

        Going back to the comparisons between the elephant graveyard and Shark Island in the Namibian Genocide, there’s a more brutal aspect to it. That was the first genocide of the 20th century and some of the Germans who lived long after that atrocity would eventually be elder members of the Nazi party. One of them was General Franz Ritter von Epp. After participating in the genocide against the Nama and Herero people, he would eventually employ a then-unknown Adolf Hitler and Hitler himself said that von Epp helps give him “his voice”. That was so disturbing researching those connections.

        It would be a trainwreck if that came out. The fact that this real life story would warrant some animated version is just ludicrous. I’m glad Disney got clowned on social media, news, and the blogs. One person who I know that signed onto this idea as a producer was Morgan Spurlock. Yes, the guy responsible for Super Size Me and 30 Days was going to be involved. Another insulting aspect was that they were going to pitch that spoiled brat as the first African (human) Disney princess which is beyond insulting. Sure, that company has two black princesses with Kida from Atlantis (AKA Nadia’s clone) and Tiana from Princess and the Frog, but they’ve never had an African princess that’s a human. If you count animals, then the only one would be Nala. Let that sink in. That Princess of North Sudan project is a big sack of no.

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      • I’m guessing it’s because ancient civilizations thought lions looked noble. Doubt many stuck around to observe. It was strange that Mufasa talked about the circle of life, but the hyenas weren’t part of that. It would have worked better if they were shown to be destructive towards that cycle and fairly anarchist or gluttonous. Kind of like European invaders during the exploration era and afterwards. I think the nazi imagery was more for effect. People don’t put much thought behind those blips aside from wanting to draw out certain feelings of horror and fear.

        I really need to look up Shark Island. Especially since it seems it was a precursor to the Holocaust. Small aside that I read recently. Supposedly, a piece of Nazi propaganda against the Jews was an accusation that they were bringing Africans over to ‘dilute the master race’. I stumbled onto it when looking to see if Nazis targeted those of African descent too.

        Nadia’s clone? That promotion would definitely be a disaster and insult. Think my only reason for being curious is the human instinct to stare at a disaster. It’d be horrible and rightly destroyed. At least I hope so considering it seems Disney can do no wrong to people these days. Surprised Spurlock wanted in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Sorry for not seeing your comment. It must have not shown up in my notifications.

        That could certainly be one aspect since you do see a bunch of civilizations with lion statues and iconography and whatnot. It was strange and I wondered how I didn’t notice that omission when I was a kid. That made Mufasa a lot less heroic to me realizing that plot hole and hypocrisy. I could see that if the hyenas were more intentionally villainous and didn’t have legitimate points for their condition or why they acted most of the time. A metaphor for colonization like the Berlin conference would’ve been fascinating, but I doubt people would get it and I seriously doubt an American studio would even dare to try that even on a metaphorical level. I can see that argument about the marching as an effect to make things scarier and to give Scar more villain heat, Charles. Then again, that song has a ton of fridge horror when you hear it dubbed in German or Hebrew because of that scene.

        Yes, and I wish more people knew about it and other genocides that happened in Africa. When I saw that BBC documentary, there were historians from Namibia and Germany who made points about it being a precursor and prototype to the Holocaust. Namibia has been fighting the German government for a very long time about these atrocities. It was only last year that Germany returned the severed skulls of the dead Nama and Herero tribes and Henrik Witbooi’s (a Namibian national hero who helped fight against the 2nd reich) Bible and whip. I wasn’t aware of that propaganda.

        I was referring to Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, and I apologize for not making it clear the first time around. The joke was that Atlantis stole stuff from Nadia even though both were rooted in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I would hope so as well, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees that when it comes to people deifying Disney. When I found out about Spurlock being involved, I was shaking my head and said “You made 30 Days! That was the only reality show that wasn’t garbage. Have some dignity!”. Then I found out that he had his own terrible vices with sexual misconduct and I lost even more respect for him.

        Like

      • Disney was aiming entirely for children back then, so I don’t think metaphors were on purpose. They were spending more time slipping dirty messages and words into the movies anyway.

        BBC seems to do those types of shows. I’ve noticed American documentaries are usually on social and environmental matters. The historical ones tend to stick around the main wars like Revolutionary and WWII. We don’t really dive into cultures that aren’t British, Ancient Rome, or American, which is probably due to those being the focus of history in the K-12 years. Germany really has some darkness in their past. Although, I get the feeling most places do.

        I kept meaning to see Nadia and never did. Totally forgot about it too. Always getting it mixed up with Nausica too. Now Spurlock being involved makes more sense for some reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Yeah. Funny how you have Disney stuff marketed towards adults with the same characters they grew up with, right? Oh, I remember that example when the animators slipped in the word “sex” in The Lion King or that putting a certain organ in the original VHS cover of The Little Mermaid.

        I’ve certainly noticed that. I wouldn’t call BBC saints when it comes to media, but at least they cover different subjects even if it’s uncomfortable. Even mainstream American documentaries don’t get everything right when it comes to their own history. For example, I didn’t know about Black Wall Street until after I graduated college after randomly finding it out and eventually seeing Hate Crimes In the Heartland. That’s right about Germany. You can throw Belgium in there as well since they haven’t owned up to that they did in the DRC. Don’t even get me started on those chocolate hands that are still sold in that country.

        Sure thing. I only saw the first few episodes, but I’ve been following an Australian aniblogger covering the different arcs in that series and he just posted an article about the Nadia/Atlantis plagiarism controversy which I liked. I can see that with Nausicaa since one of the animators would eventually direct Nadia and Miyazaki almost got to work on it. Yeah, it really make more sense with him sadly enough.

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      • Disney loves its nostalgia. It’s the long term plan for them. Pretty the major factor in Endgame and Rise of Skywalker. More attention to nods and revisiting the past than a unique plot.

        Documentaries are tough because many head in with a specific narrative in mind. This is why a lot of them get called out on omitting pieces of information or cherry picking. Too many think it’s best to ignore the one or two pieces that don’t fit perfectly into their plan instead of letting them remain for the full picture. Chocolate hands?

        Wonder if Nadia is streaming anywhere. Wait. That doesn’t sound 100% right for some reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        That’s certainly the case with the barrage of remakes, sequels, and side stories. It’s not even debatable especially now. Hahaha!

        As someone who reviews various films, I’ve definitely noticed that. There are good ones out there of course, but there are those with a flawed or ulterior agenda. I’ve done my share of calling it out when it happens even with docs that I like. Chocolate hands come from Leopold’s reign. One thing that his regime did was to chop off Congolese hands if they didn’t meet their quotas for gathering the minerals and rubber at the time. Some deranged chocolatiers decided to make hand-shape chocolate treats as a sick joke about what was going on at the time and they are still sold in that nation. The Belgians even collected these severed hands as trophies of sorts.

        I get what you mean despite the wording. I think it’s on HIDIVE and iTunes from what I gather so far. That would be one series to review in the future since I didn’t see the whole thing and to compare/contrast with Atlantis.

        Like

      • Wow. That chocolate hand thing is truly sick. Thanks for the Nadia thing. Honestly, I don’t even remember Atlantis.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        It really is. Not only that, but Leopold still has statues and buildings in Belgium even now. No problem about Nadia. To be fair, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Atlantis either and even then I wasn’t that big a fan of that movie.

        Like

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