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Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs

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Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs is a Merry Melodies cartoon released in 1943 and directed by Bob Clampett. The cartoon is a parody of Disney's feature length Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, lifting some scenes directly from Disney's adaptation and lampooning them. The cartoon is notorious for its racial stereotyping and is one of the Censored Eleven and is effectively banned from television.

Plot

The story begins with a "mammy" telling the story of "So White and de Sebben Dwarfs" to her child. The evil queen is depicted as hoarding WWII rationed supplies and is looks and sounds like a man in drag. She is furious when she spots Prince Chawmin dancing with her servant So White. She contacts Murder Inc. to kill So White. However, So White is spared and the hitmen are shown to be covered in kisses. So White stumbles upon an encampment of dwarves, who are all in the U.S. army. The queen, learning of So White's survival, poisons the young woman. The dwarves are too late to stop her but manage to defeat the evil queen afterwards. Prince Chawmin returns and attempts to awaken So White but not even his Dynamite Kiss can do the trick. Instead it is Dopey who revives her, explaining to the Prince that his special kiss is a "military secret."

Controversial Content

All the characters in Coal Black are African American. Except for So White all the characters are portrayed in blackface style, with huge lips and black-as-soot skin. Many have found the portrayal as racist in tone. The cartoon also contains the racial slur "Japs," who are "free" according to the hitmen. There is also some minor sexual content. So White apparently seduces the hitmen to escape her fate, and Dopey's kiss gives So White a noticeable "afterglow."

See also

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