When Cartoonists Watch the Disney Movie Without Ever Having Read the Book

Cidu Bill on Jul 8th 2013


(And a weird note: this comic is several years old, and I queued it up for the 24-Hour Project several months ago. And I just noticed that Doug is re-running it today)

Filed in Doug Bratton, Pinocchio, Pop Culture Shock Therapy, comic strips, comics, humor | 20 responses so far

20 Responses to “When Cartoonists Watch the Disney Movie Without Ever Having Read the Book”

  1. WaltM Jul 8th 2013 at 01:11 pm 1

    I’d bet that most of the cartoon’s readers are more familiar with the story as rendered (in both senses of the word) by Disney than the original.

  2. Nicole Jul 8th 2013 at 01:36 pm 2


  3. W Klink Jul 8th 2013 at 02:44 pm 3

    Not only is the comic old, but it was already featured on this site:


  4. Cidu Bill Jul 8th 2013 at 03:42 pm 4

    Well, I guess if Doug can run the comic for a second time today, I can too.

  5. mitch4 Jul 8th 2013 at 05:59 pm 5

    I ran out of patience with the recent TV series “Once Upon a Time”. Mostly because of its glacial pacing, and willingness to create new loopholes in the rules about magic — but also, and relevant to this thread, because as an ABC network property it hews to parent Disney’s version of many of the storylines.

  6. Inkwell Jul 8th 2013 at 07:14 pm 6

    Pinocchio was a pretty twisted story. When Pinocchio gets hanged? That was supposed to be the ending. All the chapters after that came because the editor requested more.

    Also, fish eat Pinocchio’s skin off.

  7. furrykef Jul 9th 2013 at 12:02 am 7

    From what I’ve heard, Disney barely touches ABC (in fact, it barely touches many of the companies they own), unless that’s changed in recent years. The show might be sticking to the Disney versions of the stories simply because they’re well known.

    Though, to be fair, it does mean Disney can’t sue them if they adhere a little too closely to the Disney version of the story, so that could also influence things.

  8. DemetriosX Jul 9th 2013 at 05:16 am 8

    @5 mitch4
    I suspect that if they’re hewing closely to the Disneyfied versions of stories, it’s because those are the versions most people know and they might be confused by other versions of the tales.

  9. mitch4 Jul 9th 2013 at 07:48 am 9

    Okay, it’s not always as close-hewing to Disney as I’ve suggested. So conflating Rumplestiltskin and The Beast (from Beauty and the …) may be original with this show. And putting Jiminy Cricket in the Pinocchio story (sort of where this started our discussion from), while definitely Disney, may be –as posters here have said– something that has been absorbed in the general culture enough that we don;t need to say the show got it fro Disney directly.

    But –no offense intended– who ever heard of Mulan before the Disney movie?

    And none of this answers my main complaints, the slow plot developments, tedious dialogue scenes, and arbitrary changes in the underlying rules.

  10. Powers Jul 9th 2013 at 08:23 am 10

    Mitch4: “who ever heard of Mulan before the Disney movie?”

    Every person in China. She’s a national folk hero, like Davy Crockett to Americans.

  11. mitch4 Jul 9th 2013 at 08:49 am 11

    Thanks, Powers. I suspected something like that might be the answer, and I thank you for not taking offense (or not expressing it).

    But I still think this show, made for a broadcast network in the U.S., would not have come up with the Mulan story for inclusion had it not been popularised in this country a few years ago by the movie. (And though it need not be the central point, the role of Disney behind both the movie and that network shouldn’t be written off as entirely coincidental, should it?)

  12. billytheskink Jul 9th 2013 at 09:14 am 12

    Of course, Davy Crockett’s status as a national folk hero was considerably enhanced by Disney…

  13. Ian Osmond Jul 9th 2013 at 10:38 am 13

    As I’ve never read it, does Pinocchio kill the cricket conscience in the book? I vaguely remember someone telling me so.

  14. Boise Ed Jul 9th 2013 at 05:29 pm 14

    mitch4 [5], I too ran out of patience with Once Upon a Time late in the first season, when they started changing the rules. It was a good idea to start with, then after they ran that into the ground they had to invent some new direction for it. Faw!

    furrykef [7], if Disney barely touches ABC, then why does their news department lean so far to the right?

  15. Keera Jul 11th 2013 at 11:51 am 15

    I too gave up “Once upon a Time”, but in the start of season 2, when they introduced Dr. Frankenstein. That was too far from the realm of the Brothers Grimm.

    But could I have a spoiler, please? I haven’t read the book version, so I don’t know why this comic is “wrong”.

  16. Meryl A Jul 12th 2013 at 02:20 am 16

    Husband loved the Swamp Fox series as a boy. When it was in reruns a few years ago we watched it. So these colonists in North Carolina at the end of the fight go to see the Senoritas at the cantina. Huh, were they going to Florida? Apparently Disney just recycled the sets and part of the dialogue from a western.

  17. Winter Wallaby Jul 12th 2013 at 09:38 am 17

    Keera #15: The comic isn’t exactly “wrong.” It’s just that the situation that it’s presenting as outlandish and silly is exactly what happens in the original book: Pinocchio kills that talking cricket.

    I’ve only gotten through the first season of Once (still waiting for the second season to come out on Netflix), but so far I liked the entire first season. Particularly good, in my view, is the way that they only use the classic and/or Disney stories as a loose guide, and are willing to substantially modify them.

  18. Keera Jul 12th 2013 at 10:38 am 18

    WW @17, thanks re cricket demise.

    I liked the first season of Once for the same reason and also liked the non-traditional back stories of the characters, like an a$$-kicking Snow White. :-) Just couldn’t wrap my head around the non-Grimm/non-Disney characters introduced in season 2.

  19. Boise Ed Jul 12th 2013 at 01:46 pm 19

    Winter Wallaby [17], that “willing to substantially modify them” has always bothered me, especially in a series or movie that purports to be actual history, but also in a well-established fictional milieu such as Superman or Tom Sawyer. That said, I do enjoy the backstories as Keera said.

    Take the new Lone Ranger movie (please!) for example. I would love to see a better movie on that, done seriously. I kept hoping for the little boy to be named Britt Reid.

  20. James Pollock Jul 12th 2013 at 06:41 pm 20

    Clayton Moore was the Lone Ranger. Any good will towards the intellectual property owners dissipated when they told Moore to stop making hospital visits in character, because they wanted to push their new version (the movie in the 80’s).

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