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August 29, 2005
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Fantasia: Sunflower by AtomicFireball Fantasia: Sunflower by AtomicFireball
The original version of Disney's classic "Fantasia" featured a character called Sunflower, a little black centaur handmaiden. Sunflower was an extremely insulting caricature, a blithely racist stereotype of the "servile grinning nigger" variety. Her sole function in the film was to eagerly polish and shine the hooves of the tall, sexy Aryan centaur women who glared down their petite noses at this scuttling servant whenever she got underfoot in her haste to make Mistress pretty.

Of course you've seen Fantasia, you know that the Aryan centaurs end up meeting a bunch of hot equally Aryan centaur boys and, presumably, getting it on to make cute Aryan centaur babies. But what becomes of Sunflower? Well, here's the answer: she's eliminated.

When the racial climate of America changed in the 60s, the portrayal of such insulting stereotypes in movies and television became politically incorrect, and Disney (fearing accusations of racism) deleted Sunflower from Fantasia for the theatrical re-release of the film. Her troubling presence was simply cropped out of the movie (though you can still see the Aryans she was pampering).

Disney has reportedly gone as far as to deny such a character ever existed at all--but on the Internet, NOTHING can be hidden from the world forever.

This is how we deal with our ugly past: we deny it, trivialize it, gloss over it with pretty distractions and wishful thinking. Doing so, we deny ourselves a glimpse of the compelling reality of naked history, warts and all. The well-meaning rush to unmake evil deeds by hiding them from the critical eye of modern sensibilities does nothing to honor the people who lived and struggled in those different times.

Her existence may be news to generations of Disney fans, but she's been here all along, waiting patiently offscreen for us to acknowledge her, and the American past that created her.

And so, this is not a fanart. It's a little wishful thinking of my own.

This is my Sunflower, who never served a mistress.
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:iconzadrgirl2113:
ZADRgirl2113 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is how she should have looked and you did a beautiful job at capturing just that! 
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:iconcobaltpaintbrush:
CobaltPaintBrush Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Student Digital Artist
this version is absolutely adorable!!!

I hate how the canon Sunny was portrayed....her facial expressions, her exagerated racist features....UGH!!

at least she had a backbone when one of the bitch centaurs slapped her face with her tail (this was when she was trying to decorate it)

I cant believe people in the 30s to 40s thought this was okay... >_>
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:iconkentauros:
kentauros Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She's the epitome of cute! :D
Great job re-visualizing her :)

Now, I'm going to give you a link to an animation blog with a small collection of model and suggestion sheets from the film [link]

And I'll just have to come back to this later this weekend with links to all the other illustrations and such made during the pre-lim stages of the film. Seems in one such illustration that the female attending to the centaurettes was what looked like a wood nymph! That certainly would have changed things a bit...
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:iconkentauros:
kentauros Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And a few more links for you :)

My Delineated Life - [link]

Vintage Disney Memorabilia - [link]

Michael Sporn Animation - [link]

Cowan Collection Animation (dA doesn't like this link in orig format) - cowancollectionanimation.blogspot.com/search/label/%22Fantasia%22%20(1940)%20%5BSeries%5D

Centaur and Centaurette Maquette (made for Disney’s “Fantasia”) - [link]

And some images I found somewhere, for your enjoyment :)

Big stallion - [link]

Big centaurettes - [link]

Bathing scene - [link]

:D
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:iconw7147439:
w7147439 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
nice links i like all the art, do you think sunflower is cute in the movie as well?
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:iconkentauros:
kentauros Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think she's cute, too. I don't like how she was used in the film, yet it is a product of the 1940s. I hope that today's Disney Corp undoes all the edits since that time. It's a disservice to the art of that film.
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:iconw7147439:
w7147439 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
i see what you mean, although i wish in a way she wasnt edited out because, people can learn about mistakes and i like sunflower, but if i could redone the film, it would be the other centaurettes helping her, instead of her helping them
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:iconjudedeluca:
JudeDeluca Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
There was another Centaurette like Sunflower. Her name was apparently Otika.

[link]
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:iconlorna-rosefox:
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This Sunflower is what she should have been
every one no matter the skin tone or gender has their own beauty.
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:iconrumdiculous:
Rumdiculous Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
Right on.
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