Barefooters are well-aware that Disney is utterly paranoid about bare feet. Just try to enter their parks barefoot and you will be descended upon.
But it is not just the parks.
Disney also promotes a false history of the country, pretending that bare feet just never (or rarely) existed in our past. We can see this from their Tom Sawyer movie, Tom and Huck. This is a 1995 movie starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas (of “Home Improvement” fame).
But first, let’s take a look at how Tom Sawyer was portrayed pre-Disney.
There are two movies you can see on YouTube. The first is a 1930 black-and-white version:
The second is a color remake, so we’ll talk about that one:
The classic scene that everybody remember is the fence whitewashing scene. Here it is:
All of the boys are barefooted, which is the historically accurate view. Mark Twain even remarked in his autobiography about going barefoot as a boy all the time.
We are also introduced to Huck Finn, and of course, both he and Tom are barefooted.
In the book, another of the classic scenes is when Becky Thatcher tosses Tom a flower, and he picks it up with his toes. Here he is grabbing the flower:
and here he is finishing grabbing it:
Most barefooters are well-aware of this trick for picking things up (particularly those with back problems, like me).
Tom Sawyer is barefoot throughout the entire movie, as are most of the boys. Mark Twain makes it quite clear that shoes are worn only for Sunday church. In fact, just before Tom runs away to be a pirate, we see that one of his friends that accompanies him has also had enough because he is forced to wear shoes. Here are the comments by his friend:
My Mom was gonna whack me if I didn’t put these shoes on.
Shoes. Anybody’d think there was snow on the ground.
Squeezin’ your feet.
You can see the scene here (go to the 9 minute, 20 second point):
Now contrast that with the Disney version, from 1995. Here’s Tom taking a look at the fence that needs to be whitewashed:
and a few of the boys he gets to whitewash it for him:
They do have Huck Finn going barefoot, though:
In this shot you can see both Huck and Tom, with Huck barefoot but Tom shod. In fact, Tom is shod throughout the entire movie.
Oh, and the picking-up-the-flower scene. Omitted. Of course it is omitted, for Tom is not barefoot the way he is supposed to be.
There is a pretty subtle message being transmitted here. In the 1930 and 1938 versions, the only shod boy is Sid, Tom’s younger and smarmy brother. Sid is a goodie-two-shoes, almost literally. There, being shod is a bad sign. Bare feet are a sign of the normal kids.
In the 1995 Disney version, the only barefooted one is the outcast, the oddball, the renegade: Huck Finn. That’s the Disney message. Forget that kids used to go barefoot. Rewrite history so that everybody was shod all the time except for the undesirables.
It’s no wonder that people these days think that going barefooted is ridiculous. That is what the High Holy Gospel According to Disney preaches.
Yes, we do see bare feet in something like Tangled. But that is a cartoon. The message there is that it is OK to be barefoot if you don’t really exist. And real people outside of a fantasy just don’t do it.
No wonder why Disney is looked at suspiciously by the barefooted community.