15 December, 2006

Never Mind the Smoking Gun: Worry About the Smoking Mouse

As cities ban smoking, classic cartoons are being edited to remove footage in which characters smoke. Last summer Turner broadcasting announced it was cutting out smoking scenes from Hanna-Barbera cartoons. That’s “the Flintstones,” “Scooby-Doo” and “Tom and Jerry.”

There’s talk of rating a movie according to its portrayal of smoking. And a report by Reuters noted, “The attorneys general of 32 states are asking Hollywood's major movie studios to place an anti-smoking announcement on DVDs, videos and other home entertainment products to combat teen tobacco use.”

Imagine Now Voyager without smoking. Or the Thin Man series without smoking and drinking. Sort of like The Three Stooges without violence, no?

Now that transfats are going to be banned from New York City restaurants, perhaps we should watch for a new set of cuts in cartoons, in which foods deemed “unhealthy” vanish from the screen.

And what will become of Fat Albert?

Certainly those dancing hippos in Fantasia will have to go when they’re recognized as dreadful role models responsible for thousands of morbidly obese adults who, when they were young and impressionable, saw the film.

Save the whales.


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