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One of the highlights of this year's Tribeca Film Festival ended up being Brad Bird’s conversation with host Janeane Garofalo. While other participants in panels and talks struggled to either open up, be engaging or speak clearly, Garofalo and Bird’s camaraderie was obvious from the get go, which was probably down to the fact that Bird had directed her in Ratatouille. And while Bird spoke eloquently about his past and future works as a director, there was one revelatory slice of cinema history that he uttered which really stole the show -- and it involves both pee and the Disney animated classic, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
During the Q-and-A session that followed the foray into his work, Brad Bird was asked about his thoughts on the fact that Walt Disney wasn’t afraid to scare children, and how that has influenced his own career. And while answering the query, Bird told a fascinating story that showcased just how scary audiences found Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs back in 1937:
Unfortunately Bird didn’t provide the exact name and location of the cinema in question, so if you have lived or visited a cinema in the five boroughs at any point over the last 78 years, there is an outside chance that you sat in traces of kid urine.
Surely all of these children should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for their public peeing performances. I mean the Evil Queen from Disney’s Snow White, who also deserves recognition for arguably being the worst stepmother ever to appear on the big screen, wasn’t that scary ... was she?
OK, I totally get why all those kids instantly emptied their bladders upon seeing the nefarious monarch. Especially when this is coupled with the fact that most of the infants in attendance had probably never stepped foot into a cinema or been privy to something so frightening before.
Brad Bird also took this moment to reveal that his favorite Disney film of all time is Pinocchio, and that he still finds the 1940 fantasy scary to this day. Especially the scene where Lampwick is turned into a donkey by Coachman. And as you’ll see below, no matter what your age, it’s still horrifying now, even though the scene is 75 years old.
Brad Bird failed to reveal if he peed his pants when he originally saw the above scene from Pinocchio for the first time. But I think his silence speaks volumes (Cinema Blend’s lawyers would like to insist that there is no evidence that Brad Bird actually urinated in his pants after seeing Pinocchio for the first time). Brad Bird latest effort, Tomorrowland, hits screens on May 22.