Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999
To the Editor: Dr Goldstein and colleagues1 clearly show the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol
use in G-rated children's animated films. Of interest is the recent Disney
release of Melody Time, a 1948 animated production
advertised as "fully restored." However, it is actually an abridged version,
as the final cartoon segment "Pecos Bill" has been altered to remove all tobacco
references. In the original version, the title character chain-smokes cigarettes,
sings about sucking tobacco, and even lights a cigarette butt with a lightning
bolt. All of these scenes have been removed from the current release. Although
this should be viewed as a positive action by physicians, there is an underlying
concern among cineastes that older films will continue to be digitally sanitized
to make them more palatable for children.
Drachtman RA. Tobacco and Alcohol Use in Children's Animated Films: Pecos Bill Kicks the Habit. JAMA. 1999;282(13):1228–1229. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-13-jbk1006
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