Recall On Disney Movies
Lets Start With The Rescuers
The best known recall on disney movies titles is that of the home video version of The Rescuers. This movie released in 1977 contained two frames which show a naked woman in the background of a scene. The two rescuer mice are traveling through the streets in a souped up sardine can. They pass a lighted window in the background where by using freeze frame techniques one can view an image of a topless woman.
Technical experts say that it would only be possible to view this scene on home equipment with a very sophisticated setup, far beyond what most viewers would be likely to own. In addition, most people say that had Disney not recalled the video and apologized profusely for the "inappropriate background scene", they would not have realized it existed. According to Disney, they have no idea how the image made its way into the film.
The home video version was recalled in January 1999. General discussion seems to indicate that the sales of the video prior to this time had been greater than expected. Following the announcement, the sales increased briefly, but not many of the movies were actually returned. Instead, those who owned the recalled videos knew they had a collector's item on their hands. The re-release had the entire scene cut from the movie.
It is probably incorrect to assume that Disney planned this incident as a publicity stunt, since the movie had sold well all along. Another theory is that the frames were deliberately inserted in hopes of sabotaging the expected success of the movie.
Another incident which did not result in a recall of the product was triggered by a Long Island New York father who took exception to a telephone number recited by Tim Allan in his role as a lonely divorced male in The Santa Clause. The telephone number connected to an adult telephone sex line. The man's pre-teen daughter heard the number and called it. She was so upset by what she heard, the father had to pay for counseling for her. He wanted a recall on the movie, but was told it would be impossible. The father didn't agree and kept campaigning to have the movie recalled.
He wrote letters to companies that have connections with Disney products, such as McDonalds, Walmart and K-Mart, urging the corporations to rethink their support of such materials. The Long Island Dad's campaign has had positive results. A Disney spokesperson confirms that later editions of the movie do not have the controversial line included.
One other questionable incident regarding a Disney movie lies in early copies of the castle illustration on the slip case of the Aladdin video. One of the turrets or spires strongly resembles a dildo. Legends grew up about this as well, but they appear to be false rumors. The artist was not a disgruntled employee about to lose his livelihood, but a contractor who brought the picture to Disney executives, concerned that the appearance was not something he had intended.