There is one thing that I have found in a lot these home movies. How offensive people could be without any care. It seems like every other social media post I see today is about some person or group being offended by another person or group. Many times the offended party is justified in their offendedness (not sure that is a real word). Similar circumstances 50 years ago would not cause the same response. This film I recently found proves that point, and then some.

Top 3 Stereotypes Used by Six Flags for Entertainment

  1. Cartoon style Mexican characters used on the Six Flags Over Texas boat ride is about what you would expect from a Warner Brothers cartoon of the same era. They look to be poorly modeled, but the stereotype comes through the tackiness.
  2. The footage of the boat ride with young kids dressed as American Indians jumps off the screen. In today’s snowflake society this would cause mass protests and long blog posts of the wrongness of it all. I find that people were expected to power their own thrill ride to be really offensive!
  3. The pair of people strung up by their neck on a ride is the missing link for my years of therapy. I am not sure of the context, but I can infer that the people hanging were either natives that settlers or pirates hung or settlers or pirates that natives hung, but either way not what you would see in today amusement parks.

I find this film really great. It shows everything I like about collection these old home movies. I like to see places that are still around and see how they have changed over the years. I love to see how people interact with the environment and other people. It really is like getting in a time machine!

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A story about this home movie in the Houston Chronicle

I post these home movies to learn and spark debate. This one has been a lightning rod, and I think that is a good thing. I wanted to share a comment left on my Facebook page that I think does a good job of giving some context of what you see in this film.

You obviously don’t know in what context the images you see in the film are being used. I will address these individually. 1) You have to realize that the park was based on Texas history. Each section of the park was dedicated and appropriately themed to represent not only the country but the time period in which that country reigned over Texas. 2) The Mexican men you speak of were NOT scattered throughout the park. They were exclusive to the Fiesta Train or Ferrocarril. The small train took you through scenes that typically would be found in Mexico… a bullfight… a village…. gentlemen riding burros, and even a shootout between banditos and townsfolk. Simple animations to take you to that time period. 3) The boat ride was the Caddo Canoes. It was the park’s way to include them in the historical aspect of the park. And who do think should be guiding guests on a Caddo canoe? Caddo Indians! There was even a village on an island in the middle of “Caddo Lake” depicting what one of the camps may have looked like for the time. 4) The fake bodies hanging in the tree were Jacques and Pierre. If you will remember your Texas history, René-Robert Cavelier Sieur de LaSalle was a French explorer. He established a French settlement on the Texas coast in summer 1685, the result of faulty geography that caused him to believe the Mississippi River emptied into the Gulf of Mexico in the Texas coastal bend. In the French section of the park was the highly popular LaSalle’s River Adventure. It was a tongue in cheek look at this explorer. The trip consisted of a captain and his crew (guests) setting out to find LaSalle after he disappeared. Ahead of the voyage, the captain explained to his crew that he/she had sent two scouts out ahead of the boat to make sure all was safe for the little French riverboat. After the first bend, Jacques and Pierre were found hung, meaning that the trip would now be filled with excitement and adventure. Jokes were told at this scene like “they should be out looking for danger…. instead they are just hanging around at camp”. They were later replaced with two new ones laying on the ground near a campfire with arrows in their backs. If you have ever been to Disneyland (World) and ridden the Jungle Cruise with all of its corny jokes… it was the same thing. I saw these images as a child and thought nothing of it. It was one of my favorite rides. Even around one corner, a Spanish fort comes into view. Spain and France were at war about this time and before you knew it, the cannons opened fire and “cannonballs” splashed in the water next to the boats. So before you start condemning these images… do your homework and try to find out more about it. The park was based on Texas history and it was WONDERFUL!

For the record, I did not condemn these images, I think they are great and show a different time. If you watch any of my other videos and put them into today’s world it would be a lot of round pegs in square holes. But that is why I love them. We live in an uptight, over analyzed world and by watching these films you can remember we were not always like that!