Tag Archives: Disney

So, will Disney ban smoking in 20th Century Fox movies now?

Once upon a time, there was a LOT of smoking in Disney movies.

Anyway, speaking of Disney, Disney just completed a purchase of 20th Century Fox, does that now mean there will be no more smoking in 20th Century Fox movies?

This New York Times article points out that Fox has no such strict policy. And when asked about it, Disney bluntly had no comment on the matter. Interesting.

From a New York Times article:

Now antismoking advocates want Mr. Iger to extend that rule to all future youth-rated films (G, PG, PG-13) made by Fox and its Fox Searchlight specialty label, which are among the assets that Disney is buying from Rupert Murdoch for $54.2 billion. Among other things, activists want “graphic health warnings” added to youth-rated films in the Fox library that depict smoking — like “Avatar” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” — before selling them on DVD or via video-on-demand services.

The requests were made in a Feb. 20 letter to Mr. Iger that was signed by 46 activists and faith-based shareholders. Boiled down, the dispatch, which has not previously been disclosed, raises a broader question shared by some people in Hollywood: How accepting will the Magic Kingdom be of the button-pushing content offered by Fox, the home of the R-rated “Deadpool” superhero franchise, the violent “Planet of the Apes” movies and “The Simpsons,” the show that once produced an episode featuring a nicotine-laced variety of tomato called “tomacco.”

Activists are continuously pressuring studios over one cause or another, but Mr. Murdoch has frequently dismissed such efforts as political correctness run amok. Disney, on the other hand, pays extraordinary attention to its brand perception, which activists often try to use to their advantage.

“We ask you now to follow your convictions, common sense and experience in keeping kids safe,” the antismoking activists wrote in their letter, a copy of which was given to The New York Times by Jono Polansky, a policy consultant for Smoke Free Movies, an initiative at the University of California at San Francisco. “Amid the myriad details involved in a corporate acquisition of this size and complexity, Disney cannot afford to leave young people’s health and lives unprotected.”

Tom McCaney, associate director of corporate social responsibility for Sisters of St. Francis, an activist order helping to lead the antismoking effort, said that Disney’s response to the letter was unsatisfactory. “Disney told us it wasn’t appropriate to discuss until the Fox deal goes through,” Mr. McCaney said. “We disagree.”

PS — that brief smoking scene in Avatar was wildly controversial, because there is absolutely no point to it. There is absolutely NO reason for it to be in the PG-13 movie, which anti-tobacco advocates loudly pointed out. And director James Cameron lashed out, basically saying, “don’t tell me how to do my job, man…”

The article I believe had a minor error, pointing out that Deadpool and X-Men were actually Fox Studio movies. Yes, they were, but they were also Marvel properties and my understanding is that Disney’s smoking ban applied to all Marvel properties, even those Marvel properties being made by other studios. So if you noticed in the Deadpool and Logan movies … no smoking. Except ironically, Deadpool does smoke one cigarette briefly in Deadpool 2 to commit suicide by using it to light a gasoline bomb. In the director’s commentary, Ryan Reynolds said they went back and forth about whether Deadpool should be smoking a joint or a cigarette before committing suicide, and they decided on a cigarette since he’s in the middle of killing himself anyway.

No more smoking, vaping at Disneyland


No more smoking, vaping at Disney

Disney made news earlier this month that it is completely banning smoking and vaping at all of its properties including Disney World and Disneyland.

The ban takes effect on May 1. Disney will set up designated smoking areas outside of the parks.

This is just part of a longstanding anti-tobacco policy by Disney. The studio already banned smoking in its movies a few years ago, even Marvel movies (sorry, Wolverine, no more smoking, oh, wait, Wolverine is dead now, I guess it’s a moot point.).

Disney long had some small smoking areas in the parks. Even though it’s all outdoors, those smoking areas are being eliminated. You want to smoke, you have to leave the property and come back in.

Pointedly, vaping is also included in this ban, even though vaping has no odour.

From an Orlando Sentinel article:

It’s about time,” said Dennis Speigel, president of Ohio-based International Theme Park Services. “It’s the happiest place on Earth … Why should people be subjected to smoke at Disney?”

Not everybody agreed.

“It’s not fair,” said Denis Morissette, a Canadian tourist who waited for his daughter on a smoke break in the designated area near Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom on Thursday. “It’s legal. I think people who smoke should smoke if they want to smoke.”

Speigel said he expects the other parks will explore their smoking policies now, too.

Disney often leads the theme park industry when it comes to trends. When Disney World raises theme park admission or increases worker pay, Universal and SeaWorld typically follow suit.

Whaaa. Cry me a river. If you really have to smoke. YOU CAN STILL SMOKE. You just might have to walk a little further off the property. I thought pretty much all smokers had outgrown the whining about “fairness.” Fairness has nothing to do with it. It’s Disney’s property, they can ban smoking if they want.

Disney’s bizarre 1951 cartoon about smoking: “Hey mister, you got any weed?!”

Holy crap, I just stumbled across this while writing a post about Marvel Studios and just HAD to add a post about it. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

I did a bit of research and found that this cartoon comes from 1951. It’s about Goofy taking up smoking, his attempts to quit and his nicotine withdrawal.

My favourite part is when a desperate Goofy goes up to a guy with a cigar and begs him for a smoke, going through a list of slang for a smoke, including “fag” and “weed.”

Adding to the surreal irony of this cartoon is the fact that Walt Disney himself was a chain-smoker and died of lung cancer at the age of 66.




Holy Wolverine! No more smoking in Marvel movies?

Hugh Jackman as Clint Eastwood as Wolverine


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?

Nick Fury
Nick Fury


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.

Sgt. Nick
Sgt. Dugan


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.


Chewin’ tobacco in Steamboat Willie

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.