Kubrick on Disney

Nick Wrigley recently compiled a master list of Stanley Kubrick's favourite films, stitching together remnants of interviews and articles from his career. Some are rather tenuous, plucked from passing mentions or second-hand anecdotal evidence, but there's enough in there from the man himself to get an idea of how his tastes changed throughout his career.  

One thing that stands out is this extract from a 1968 interview with Charlie Kohler of the East Village Eye, in which Kubrick discusses Disney, violence and censorship:

I saw Mary Poppins three times, because of my children, and I like Julie Andrews so much that I enjoyed seeing it three times. I thought it was a charming film. I wouldn’t want to make it, but … Children’s films are an area that should not just be left to the Disney Studios, who I don’t think really make very good children’s films. I’m talking about his cartoon features, which always seemed to me to have shocking and brutal elements in them that really upset children. I could never understand why they were thought to be so suitable. When Bambi’s mother dies this has got to be one of the most traumatic experiences a five-year-old could encounter. I think that there should be censorship for children on films of violence. I mean, if I didn’t know what Psycho was, and my children went to see it when they were six or seven, thinking they were going to see a mystery story, I would have been very angry, and I think they’d have been terribly upset. I don’t see how this would interfere with freedom of artistic expression. If films are overly violent or shocking, children under twelve should not be allowed to see them. I think that would be a very useful form of censorship.

I wonder what he would've made of modern Disney fare. For example, Tangled and Frozen are both big favourites in our house, but there's no avoiding the fact that they deal with parent mortality and the threat of capital punishment. And there's Finding Nemo, which opens with the slaughter of hundreds of babies – we turned that off pretty quickly. I understand these stories require a sense of peril to push them along, but must there be quite so much death?

If you need to fill your head with more Kubrickly goodness, look no further than Coudal's ever-expanding link-dump.