Michael Schaus

Don’t you just love classic Disney movies? Animated cinematic adventures that espoused the importance of life values, growing up, and racism… Well, that’s what some lefty professor is arguing at Syracuse University. Apparently, the Jungle Book is just chock-full of racism (and not because of “man-cub’s” strange desire to remain uncultured). Professor Robert Thompson told Yahoo Movies (um… this article was forwarded to me – like most people, I don’t actually visit Yahoo Movies) that the Jungle Book is racist because of something to do with Louie Armstrong.

Apparently, when Mowgli meets the Ape King, young children are being brainwashed with Disney-Technicolor to hate African Americans… King Louie, after all, is a representation of the American Negro, according to the overly sensitive professor. (Seriously, can we just allow something from my childhood to remain untouched by liberals?) According to CampusReform:

Critics have stated that the scene where the ape character, King Louie, sings "I Want to Be Like You” to the human character, Mowgli, he is not just a cartoon animal wishing to be human. Rather, Louie represents an African-American stating that he wants to be a member of the white race, which is represented by Mowgli.

Wow… Now who’s racist? I always figured King Louie was just a power-hungry primate that saw Mowgli as the animal-kingdom-equivalent of a “get-rich-quick” scheme. But, then again, I was six when I first saw the movie. Of course, it gets better:

When Professor Sharpton Thompson was informed that King Louie was actually voiced by Louis Prima (an astoundingly talented Italian singer), he didn’t back off of his comments:

The song is [still] racist, regardless of who sings it, because it has a jazzy tone similar toLouis Armstrong’s music.

Oh… So the song sang in the Jungle Book by a prominent Italian American is derogatory toward African Americans because it was set to the traditionally “Negro” sound of jazz music. (Full disclaimer: This was not my intuitive leap… I’m merely rephrasing the esteemed professor’s contention.) So, apes and jazz are indicative of black people, according to Professor Thompson… But Disney was the racist, right?

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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