Making the Grades
I sound like a broken record lately when it comes to Disney films, but then Disney films seem to have the same repeating qualities of a broken record. The Three Musketeers is another prime example. Given the good graces of the Motion Picture Association of America, this movie somehow received a PG rating, even though many elements seem closer to PG-13 material.
This story is popular on the screen. I know of at least four other versions, and even more spinoff attempts with modifications on the original idea. In this rendition, comedy is the priority, so much so that often the story is left on hold while the jokes are completed.
But once again comedy leads to sexual discussion, and sex seems to be the funniest thing available to a screenwriter's imagination. Director Stephen Herek obviously loved the period dresses and looked for every possible opportunity to include cleavage on the screen. On the VHS version, where the widescreen is cropped to fit your TV, they even went as far as to cut off half the face of one character so they could include the bulging breasts on the right side of the screen.
As for violence, the sword scenes are more choreography than graphic, but there are other scenes that could be disturbing for small children, as characters are impaled on spikes and other medieval torture devices. Then there is the jovial attitude of killing. Sure, they are fighting the bad guys, but laughing about sending a person plunging to his death seems a bit irreverent. Of course, the heros are indestructible. One even gets shot with a primitive musket at close range, but is saved as the bullet (a device not invented yet) hits a cross he is wearing.
Yes, this is Disney, and these are the nineties. Long live the Musketeers... death to the Mouseketeers.