Monday, July 03, 2017

Wenches, Guns, and Pansies

By now, most Disneyland fanatics are aware of the upcoming changes to the Wench Auction scene on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction (you can read about it here). This post will be sprinkled with some contemporary shots that I haven't published yet (yes, I get behind!), including the first juicy panorama shot.

There has been buzz for years about the Wench Auction scene being offensive because of its portrayal of women as sex objects sold by men. I get it...even though I'm a man, yes, I can understand it. What I never "got" in all the 46 years I have been on that attraction was that particular message; it never really occurred to me. Nope, it was just a fun scene showing some Pirates from the days of yore with a very saucy Red Head in the spotlight. Regardless of the hidden or not-so hidden subtext of the scene, to me, that Red Head was and always would be front and center and in control of the action.

What I DON'T understand is the crazy furor that the upcoming changes are causing. The banner that now reads “Auction, Take a wench for a bride” will be replaced with a sign that says “Auction, Surrender yer loot” and instead, the Red Headed Wench will be a gun-toting pirate. This will remove the "message" of the scene that degrades women; forget any kind of message it might send that carrying a gun is ok. Please offensive item removal at a time.

Here's what I find truly offensive about the announcement itself: that in order to appease a very politically correct and sensitive public in order to keep the cash registers ringing, the Disney Corporation has to continually align itself with the lowest common denominator. Then, in an attempt to keep the "old guard" happy, they trot out a relic like Marty Sklar to say that Walt would be "ok" with this change. Folks, Walt is dead, and nobody really knows what he would think about ANY of the changes being made to his beloved theme park. So please...don't insult my intelligence with that crap.

Here are some of the amusing comments that have been made about the announcement. Misspellings and grammatical errors have been left intact for your reading pleasure:

So basically this what are world has become. We are going to change and censor our history just to be politically correct because a few overly sensitive Idiots don't agree what was and is real.

History? Do people really think that anything left at Disneyland is about real history?

A bigger priority should be changing the atrociously ignorant audio representation of the Polynesian gods in the waiting area of the Tiki Room.

"Me Rongo—God of Agriculture. My land so good to me, I got time for sport. I fly kite. Me number one kite-flyer. Too bad I don’t have key—then me, I find electricity."

Hang on people...I'm sure that attraction will be fixed in the very near future, too.

After 40 years people are now taking offense to this? There are too many overly sensitive fools running amok in society.

Replacing one felony with another. Brilliant!

it's about darn time. because of that ride, I spent my entire childhood and early adult life thinking it was OK to auction women off for marriage or servitude. I've since learned that this is wrong! Just because a cartoon pirate does something, it doesn't make it OK.

I'm offended they spelled your, "yer".

Yo Ho Yo Ho...A Neutered Life For Me...

Disney neutered the Star wars they are looking for new targets

And to think this was the country that got through WWI, The Great Depression, and brought down Germany, Italy and Japan. We have become a nation of wusses afraid of our own shadows.

Pc correct pansys need to shut their fat mouths and stop ruining everything for others

They censored other parts of the ride back when they added Jack Sparrow a few years ago, too. At this rate the cutlasses will be feather dusters and the muskets will be super soakers in another decade.

And my very favorite:

I guess they need to change the name to "Pansies of the Caribbean".

Amazing that with all that's going on in the world that people find time to be surprised about the Disney Corporation making this change. If you don't like it, don't go to the Park. Vote with your wallet. And if you are in favor of this change, get your ass over to the Park and ride this attraction. It would be interesting to see just how many of the people that vocalized their complaints actually drop money at Disneyland. In the end, who cares. The Red Headed Wench will always survive one way or another.

For more vintage and contemporary Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland photos head on over to my main website.

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Fifthrider said...

THIS is one of the many reasons I adore your blog. Thank you Dave. Agreed with EVERYTHING. Also, historically if you look at any example where the powers that be capitulated to the vocal minority in any issues, the non-vocal majority was now upset and the vocal minority remained even more vocal. If anything, doing this fans the flames and says "You got them to change. Now see what else you can force them to do." A quick glance at the last 200 years where fascism took root was a vocal minority demanding the majority change for them.

Your assessment about appeasing the complainers and bringing out a member of Disney royalty is spot-on. I felt that same way when they got Kim Irvine to sign off on the new Club 33 logo. ...and she's not really royalty, her dad was.

More and more, every day, your blog and your pic archive become Disney to me. Walt once said something to the effect of "I'm not Walt Disney anymore.' Along those same lines, Disney isn't even Disney anymore.

My prediction: By 2025 'it's a small world" will be replaced by unoffensively neutral grey objects that spin in a circle to a musical tune with no lyrics.

Edward Allen said...

No political or sociological comments from me today, just a couple of observations about the auction scene. First, I always thought the redhead's face was somewhat strange, dead and weird looking, not attractive at all. Considering the talent available at Disney when they designed the ride, I can't believe they didn't do a better job.

On a plus note, there is a cute little detail in the scene that usually goes unnoticed: There are crates of chickens (hens) clucking and bobbing their heads around over on the left bank where the women are standing. On the opposite bank there is a single rooster with the pirates who are ogling the women across the water. You can tell it's a rooster due to his comb and spurs. I think I've also seen a Mark Davis concept illustration of the scene with the rooster before it was executed. Not too many people pick up on that small gag.

Thanks for continuing to maintain your blog, Dave. You bring a little flash of joy to your fans every time you post.

K. Martinez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Martinez said...

That's the one single thing that puzzles me. Fans continue to complain and rage about Disney's actions, yet still continue going back to the Park, rewarding Disney financially with their paid admissions and annual passports. I agree 100% on your comment "Vote with your Wallet". I grew disenchanted with Disneyland well before this time and stopped going. I'm of the thought that if you love it, continue to go and if you hate it, then stop going. Real simple, unless it's an addiction of course.

Edward Allen, I love that little detail of the crates of chickens (hens) clucking and bobbing their heads and the Rooster across the bank. That's one of the joys of that attraction. So many details and layers. The Marc Davis brand of humor really made that attraction.

Anonymous said...

I think moving the Redhead over to the Pirates side makes sense in light of her portrait (another Marc Davis rendering) over the bar in the ghostly grotto. She has clearly changed sides in that painting, so the revised Auction scene will be a clearer precursor of her decision. There is ample historic evidence for this kind of marauder.

Maybe they will do some more tweaks to connect her to one of the two pirate women, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, whose portraits are painted on the wall of the entry queue, to the extreme right side of the boat entrance (you have to look over your left shoulder to see them from the boats and they are behind you as you enter the queue)

These ladies are real historic characters that were discussed in the old Disney guidebook about the Pirates attraction, published before it opened.

I think this is far less annoying a change than putting Jack Sparrow everywhere.


Daveland said...

Bryan - Thanks as always. We are in alignment! I appreciate all your great support throughout the years.

Edward - It's those details that separated Disneyland from the competition! Let's hope that stuff survives.

Ken - I think that these days people just like to complain. About everything. Takes the focus off their own screwed up lives.

JG - Very good points. Sparrow doesn't bother me except for the final treasure room scene which just reads as an afterthought that was shoe-horned in.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure that the removal of the pirate firearms & edged weapons is not far off... & yes I will
vote with my wallet. That is why I enjoy blogs such as this & GDB, because there are so many
memories of Disneyland of the past.

On another note about the designs of Marc Davis- in the scene (now also changed) where the
pirates were chasing the women, there was a smaller turntable with a rooster chasing a hen.


nate555 said...

If people are so offended (or might be) at things inside a ride about Pirates then they really need to ditch the whole thing. Pirates were the lowest of the low, murders, rapist, thieves. If you can't take it for the parody that it is, then don't ride it.

Anonymous said...

Well put Dave. Why would Disney approve of the change? He liked it the way it was. There simply is no humor left in the world. KS

Jimmy Stevens said...

Clearly, Disneyland is auctioning wenches on Mars.

Anonymous said...

Dave, it's funny that we have the exact opposite reactions, but that last scene of Jack Sparrow as we climb up the waterfall is the least annoying to me.

Probably because it's a whole new scene and not shoehorning him into the other existing tableaux.