Warning: Spoilers for Jungle cruise continue.
Jungle cruiI know It’s here, Disney’s adaptation of one of its most famous theme park rides, and the story includes a controversial character who was removed from the game: Trader Sam. Following in the footsteps of pirates of the Caribbean, also based on the ride in the Disney park, and seemingly inspired by many previous action-adventure movies (maybe a little too inspired by them), Jungle cruise tells the story of scientist Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) who, along with her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall), wants to travel down the Amazon River to discover the Tree of Life, whose flowers have the power to cure any ailment. Along the way, he enlists the help of Captain Frank Wolff (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), and the trio try to avoid dangers along the way, including creatures, river rapids, deadly and ambitious German princes, and cursed conquerors.
Jungle cruise It premiered simultaneously in theaters and Premier Access on Disney + on Friday, July 30. The Disney-adapted story brings in many recognizable elements for those who might be fans of the Disney theme park ride, including the skipper’s humorous narration, which the ship narrowly avoids by navigating from a waterfall, and even with fake props in the style of a theme park, like a wooden hippo that emerges from the river water. With contentious content, the film also includes a representation of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon.
Trader Sam is already a controversial character for Disney, and he has been removed from Disney Park for that reason: He played the role of “the jungle’s top seller,” operated Trader Sam’s gift shop, and was widely regarded as a racist cartoon. . So it was surprising to many that Jungle cruise includes Trader Sam as a character, although there are significant changes, including a gender change. The theme park ride merchant Sam was a character who was thought to have a long lifespan and who ran a pub often frequented by pirates, including Captain Jack Sparrow.
The first glimpse viewers have of the indigenous peoples is as part of Captain Frank’s sightseeing boat trip at the beginning of the film – they are dressed in stereotypical garb and fire darts at the boat, scaring the passengers. But they are on the spot, with Frank signaling them and revealing that they are working together. This is also how Trader Sam is framed. She is introduced to her at a later time, when Lily, MacGregor, and Frank are captured by indigenous warriors and taken away to their tribe and chief. Trader Sam is the leader of his people and plays with Frank in an attempt to get Lily to give up the valuable arrowhead she carries.
Although the Jungle cruise The character has been controversial since its introduction, the way Disney solves the problems it has had in the past is by giving the character agency. She leads her tribe and makes a living, at one point even abandoning MacGregor to her fate, saying she has no part in the confrontation. The character is still based on the stereotypes of the indigenous tribes, for Trader Sam, his people and their costumes and rituals, but they pass themselves off as part of his act. Disney is trying to cross the line between attracting park visitors and the newer viewers they hope the film will attract. There is certainly a different characterization of Trader Sam in Jungle cruiseAlthough it is still debated whether Disney has managed to avoid indigenous stereotypes entirely.
- Jungle Cruise (2021)Release Date: Jul 30, 2021
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