Disney CEO Bob Iger announced last week that there will be no more smoking period in any film distributed by any Disney-affiliated studio rated PG-13 or lower from now on (Not sure Disney still makes R-rated movies, the studio did for a while through Touchstone.)
“We are extending our policy to prohibit smoking in movies across the board: Marvel, Lucas, Pixar, and Disney films,” said Iger.
I was already kind of aware that Disney had clamped down on smoking in its movies (Disney cartoons have a long history of portaying smoking to young audiences). However, here was the part of the story that struck me — Marvel movies include the X-Men (The Marvel mega-brand was purchased by Disney a few years ago.)
So, does that mean no more smoking for Wolverine from the X-Men? Wow, a cigar is a really big part of Wolverine’s persona. We’ll have to see if they follow through with that.
Other Marvel characters often seen chomping a cigar: Ben Grimm, Nick Fury and Sgt. Dugan from Captain America. I’m not sure if Nick Fury has been smoking in the recent Marvel movies. But, it’s a moot point now if he had been.
This also means you will not see any smoking in any “Stars Wars” movies, though off-hand, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen smoking in any “Star Wars” film. Did Obi-Wan smoke a pipe sometimes?
As it stands, very little (if any) smoking gets sneaked through the PG-13 rating today anyway. I believe what has happened is studios just don’t want to butt heads with the MPAA over smoking in PG-13 movies and have more or less voluntarily removed smoking from teen and kids’ movies. Smoking is still pretty much shrugged off in R-rated movies, which is fine.
However, Iger said smoking could still be allowed in some movies in a historical context. For instance, in a movie about Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln could be portrayed smoking his pipe.
Of course, Disney will not be going back and wiping out smoking from all of its old movies, and I’m not one to advocate going that far.
BTW, I just HAD to find the cartoon that went along with that Goofy image. Here it is.
Went to Disneyland last week and for some reason it jarred this memory for me.
The first ever Mickey Mouse cartoon — Steamboat Willie — had a funny scene in it in which the captain of the steamboat takes a massive chaw of chewing tobacco and starts spitting chew all over the place. It’s actually pretty gross.
How times have changed. This is from 1928, a kids’ cartoon showing someone chewing and spitting tobacco. (Of course, the same cartoon basically shows Mickey torturing small animals to make music.). I wonder if they still show this scene at Disneyland (there’s a theatre that shows Steamboat Willie). If I had had more time, I would have gone and checked it out.