There is a popular urban legend that Donald Duck was once banned in Finland for not having any pants. This myth came out shortly before my, but time it seems it created some extreme feather ruffling over in Europe.
Before we get into our myth’s feasibility, let’s first go back a few years in the history of Donald and Finland to 1951, when the first issue of Aku Ankka was published. Aku Ankka is Finnish for Donald Duck, and is the name of a Finnish Disney comic magazine. The first issue was a Christmas edition and it sold 34,017 copies. From 1951-1956 it was published monthly, then from 56-60 biweekly, and then from 1961 until today it is released every Wednesday. Part of why Aku Ankka is so popular in Finland is because of their innovative (and award winning) use of the Finnish language (many characters’ names are Finnish language spoofs of established celebrities’ names.)
So where does the idea that Donald was banned in Finland come from? Well it seems that in 1977 Helsinki was experiencing some financial issues, and was looking for ways to save money. One politician by the name of Markku Holopainen suggested that the government stop buying Aku Ankka comic for the local youth centers, and instead buy hobby and sports related magazines instead. At the time the rest of the politicians involved in trying to save money agreed with this plan and it passed unaimously. Everything went smoothly, until a year later when Mr. Holopainen decided to run for a seat in the parliament and it got out that he was the man who suggested the city not buy Aku Ankka for the youth centers. Interestingly the man running against him was also a part of that decision so he didn’t step up and say “no no we didn’t BAN Donald Duck, we just stopped using government funds to buy the comic.” Because really would YOU vote for a guy who supported not giving kids access to Disney comics?
It didn’t really help Mr. Holopainen that a few years earlier that the international press trying to be silly had put out articles with titles like “Finland Bans Donald” and “Donald Vanishes from Libraries” saying that Donald was banned due to his not wearing pants and oddly due to “questions about his marital status”. As the weird stories got back to Finland and it’s neighbors, the local news didn’t try and correct the issue to correct the problem. Several months later it all blew over and Donald cartoons become even more popular than ever on Finnish TV.
So, due to the fact the removal of the comic was a financial decision, and they never stopped selling Aku Ankka or other Donald Duck related items to the public in Finland, this Disney myth is in fact, busted!
Doc McPotty Mouth
As we all know Disney is a family company, and while they produce shows and movies on various different rating scales, we all know that Disney Junior’s shows are family friendly and designed for the pre-school age group to enjoy and learn from. That’s why the myth that Disney was throwing “potty language” into Doc McStuffins episodes made me scratch my head and do some research.
It seems that the website One Million Moms in November of 2014 decided that Doc just wasn’t toeing the “family friendly line” when they posted a petition asking parents contact Disney because of the “use of swearing and implied profanity in their popular Disney Junior program Doc McStuffins.” (I can hear you all going WAIT WHAT?????? as you read this by the way.) It seems that in in the episode “Brontosaurus Breath” Bronty had some serious halitosis and allegedly dropped an “s-bomb” when in reality he was saying hiddy, and in the episode “The Super Amazing Ultra Hopper” the website claimed the show “beeped out” a word. Below you will find the links to the “evidence” and the real episodes in question so that you can in fact compare what the One Million Moms were trying to say occurred in their petition.
One Million Moms version
The real episode (18:47 mark)
The Super Amazing Ultra Hoppers
One Million Moms version:
The real episode (17:13 mark)
Now that you have seen the videos I am sure we can all agree that this Disney myth is in fact busted. My friends I could spend all night getting into how Common Sense Media rates Doc as “Excellent preschool series has positive messages for kids” or how the TV Guidelines list it as being TV-Y which means it is for “All Children: This program is designed to be appropriate for all children. Whether animated or live-action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2-6. This program is not expected to frighten younger children.” But, honestly I don’t need to do that because you have seen the proof yourselves. From what most people who have delved into this topic have found is that the people watching the Ultra Hopper episode just really didn’t have their listening ears on, and that the local channel that the person who recorded the Bronty episode from had a TV alert come on which caused the beep to appear in the airing. Because we all know, Doc just isn’t a potty mouth because Hallie the Hippo just wouldn’t put up with that kind of language at all!
Image and Research Sources:
Snopes.com; www.akuankka.fi; larko.wordpress.com; youtube.com; disneyjunior.com