RE: Suicide scene in a Dr. Seuss video

Trent Nicholas (Tnicholas@vmfa.state.va.us)
Wed, 5 Sep 2001 10:33:45 -0700 (PDT)

Becky Tatar raised good points in her response.
Just wondering, should I be worried that I grew up with the cartoons of
Warner Bros., Tom and Jerry, Mighty Mouse, Caspar the Ghost (very bizarre),
Felix the Cat, Woody Woodpecker, the films of Three Stooges, Laurel and
Hardy, Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, comic strips of Krazy Kat (bricks and
all), Dick Tracy, tales by Washington Irving, Mother Goose, Brothers Grimm,
and countless thousands of other slapstick comedies and darkly humorous
images?
Lo, when childhood will be filled with bland, neutral images.

Trent Nicholas

-----Original Message-----
From: Rebecca Locke-Gagnon [mailto:beckjj48@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 2:05 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Suicide scene in a Dr. Seuss video

We received a complaint about a scene in a children's
video called Horton Hatches the Egg (the scene is not
in the book, BTW). In it, Horton is sailing across
the ocean, sitting on his egg. A fish pops up out of
the water, his face morphs into Peter Lorre, says "now
I've seen EVERYTHING!" and pulls out a gun and shoots
himself in the head. Needless to say, it's a pretty
shocking scene for a children's video.

Now we understand that this Bob Clampett cartoon was
meaningful/funny/appropriate for 1942 (probably adult)
audiences, but we've cataloged this juvenile and
children of all ages can check this out. We're
exploring options right now: making all copies adult,
withdrawing them, putting a warning label on each copy
(!), asking Turner to market an "edited" version, etc.
and there are problems with all of these solutions.

Would any of you public librarians care to share what
*YOU* would do?

Thanks!
Becky Locke-Gagnon
Toledo-Lucas Co. Public Library
Toledo, OH

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