Censorship and the DVD

The DVD release is an interesting chapter in a movie's life. For some, it is a wash of years old clothes that makes it look sparkly and new. For others, it is additional scenes to tell the story like it should have been told, at least as far as the director thinks. For others still, it is an opportunity to adjust the film to fit today's taboos and culture.

Wikipedia will tell you all about the scene in E.T. when guns were changed to walkie-talkies. We also have George Lucas altering the behavior of his reluctant hero Han Solo in Star Wars, Episode IV.

Modifying gun scenes is obviously not new. Imagine my surprise when I read that the newly released on DVD, Horton Hears a Who has a scene where a fish caricature of Peter Lorre shoots himself in the head. Surely they wouldn't ship that in today's world, right? Well, they did. I had my finger on the remote and skillfully skipped this 3 seconds of the Horton Hatches the Egg cartoon, and when I did I found myself thinking quite a bit about what I would and wouldn't let my kids see. This was over the line for me, especially for the age that these cartoons are aimed at. How about you? I'd love to get some reactions from folks that were parents when this cartoon first came out in the 1940s.

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