Barrier on Fantasia and Fundamentalism
Michael Barrier posted a short piece on how Walt Disney may have narrowly avoided the ire of Christian fundamentalists by choosing not to depict cave men in the “Rite of Spring” segment of Fantasia. It looks as though Walt did this for strictly narrative reasons (the cave man segments simply weren’t working), but the film would be more controversial — at least in certain quarters — than it currently is had he followed through on his initial impulses. Barrier devolves into one of his semi-frequent rants about author Neal Gabler, but the piece is interesting nonetheless. Be sure and follow the link.
Post Script #1:
Barrier is referencing another piece on the same topic called “Disney Does Darwin” by Bill Benzon. Honestly, I found this article to be both convoluted and muddled, a missed opportunity.
Post Script #2:
Michael Barrier wrote a book called The Animated Man, a biography about Walt Disney. Around the time of its publication, another (more successful) bio was released: Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler. Barrier never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at Gabler. While I have little doubt that much of what Barrier has to say is accurate, the grousing sometimes come across as petty.