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It's been 20 Years; release Song of the South

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Lincsong, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. 1986 was the last time that Walt Disney's film, Song of the South (1946) was released in the United States. I have the video of it that was sold in Britain. I feel like I have a piece of history. It is time that Disney quit being such sanctimonious hypocrites; release this on DVD and let the market determine whether or not it is viewable.:arated:
  2. Weston

    Weston A-List Customer

    I saw somewhere that it is going to see DVD release as-is, as a cultural artifact, with maybe a documentary "explaining" what is not so acceptable today.
  3. Then it isn't a Disney movie. I can see why they will not release it, it is kinda rasist in a way and is a blemish Disney dosn't want to bring up.
  4. Weston

    Weston A-List Customer

    Ahhh, but that was "Old Disney", which didn't want to admit Black Cauldron either. This is "Anything for a Buck" Disney. If they think there is money to be made, they'd reanimate Walt's corpse.

    It'll see the light of day someday.

    Lil' Info here:

  5. Elaborate

    What is "kinda racist in a way"? It is an Academy Award winning film. Gone With the Wind is racist in a way, Shirley Temple in The Littlest General is racist in a way, Santa Fe Trail is racist in a way. This film is not like Birth of a Nation which is a vulgarly racist movie.
  6. Well from what I have read it identifies African Americans as slaves, since the songs were from when the were enslaved (unfourchantly), and that it degrades them as a ethnic group.
  7. Point well taken

    Thank you for your opinion. The film did take place in the antebellum South. Actually it was post Civil War South. Prior to 1865 there were slaves from Africa in the South. This is all fact. No argument there. The Jews were also enslaved in Egypt before Moses led them out. Does this make Ten Commandments anti-Semitic? Yes, some of the songs in the movie were spiritual songs from the said group. (Just Sunday night I flipped on the the Cartoon Network and there was the cartoon Boondocks. Talk about degrading Blacks as an ethnic group. And this is on in Prime Time!) In fact this movie was based on short stories which were in turn based on stories that African Slaves brought from Africa. I don't think this film should be sanitized, politically corrected or cut. People who don't want to see it can simply not buy it. :icon_smil
  8. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

    I think the problem that this film presents is that it is intended for an audience of children and children tend to be more impressionable than adults. I think it should be released; an added "explanation" is fine.
  9. Good points, I was just informing. By the way Boondocks is on after 10 pm (I think) so the FCC says it ok to make commets like that I guess.
  10. Another fine point

    Yes this film was Disney's first live action film. And it blends animation with real people. We tend to believe that only children are attracted to cartoons. And we have probably all encountered a child who tried to walk through a wall like Gumby or hit someone with a hammer. (Or in my case I admit to trying both as a kid.) But it is up to the parents to teach the child that a wall is solid and a hammer can be dangerous. But, what exactly about this story needs to be "explained"? In the movie a young boy befreinds an elderly black man who tells the boy stories. The stories he tells them all have a good moral ending. And in the movie the boy attempts to transpose some of the stories into real life on the bully's down the road. When the boy is gored by the bull and is dieing in bed, the blacks gather outside the house and sing spirituals and pray for his recovery. The boy wants to see Uncle Remus. Thanks for your comments, I honestly don't see what needs to be explained.
  11. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    Why do you think the Boondocks degrades blacks?
  12. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    I saw SONG OF THE SOUTH on the big screen several times in my youth. It was my favorite Disney film as a kid. My mother would read Uncle Remus stories to me at night. I'd love to see it again.
  13. Doh!

    Doh! One Too Many

    I only vaguely remember seeing this on TV as a kid -- and even then, only the "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" sequence sticks in my mind. But as a piece of film history, it'd be a shame if it were never available again to the viewing public. After all, "Birth of a Nation" is available on DVD today.

    Of course, it's Disney's call.
  14. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    All in a name

    I think the name "Uncle Remus" now falls into the same category as "Little Black Sambo" or "Stepin Fetchit." A stereotype that we now understand is insulting.
    But we're all grown up enough and have matured enough as a society (one would hope) that we can watch Song of the South (my father in law has the Japanese release, in english with Japanese subtitles - bizarre) without thinking blacks are all jolly, minstrel-singing magic men.
    I hope they do release it.

    I'm surprised Birth of a Nation is available.
  15. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I remember being read "Little Black Sambo" as a child (I think our first grade teacher even read us that story - pre desegregation times, you know). What I find as interesting is that, as a child, it was nothing more than just an interesting little story for children. It wasn't until I was much older that I was told it was a story that degraded Blacks. I did not take it that way as a child, nor do I take it that way now as an adult. I would hate to think that I was stupid enough or simple-minded enough to let a simple little children's storybook shape my opinion of an entire race of fellow humans.
  16. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    ini mini minie moe....
  17. .

    Give us back the movie.
  18. "With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably."
  19. Last weekend, we were making pancakes, and I was thinking how my family used to eat at Sambo's Pancake restaurants. My wife hadn't heard of them. They had the story of "Little Black Sambo" painted around the restaurant. I wonder how long that chain has been gone? Long before Political Correctness came into vogue.

    I loved "Song of the South" as a child. It's an important piece of Disney history, and deserves to be released. Let the public judge for themselves.

  20. I saw "Song of the South" in the early '70s, when Disney re-released it in movie theaters. Like other non-black kids, I loved it. I didn't walk out of the theater thinking, "People of African descent are grinning, ragged, and cunning." Instead, I thought that Brer Rabbit was Bugs Bunny's ancestor. Now, if I had been a black kid instead of a white, I might have felt differently. (Then again, I might not have chosen to see the movie at all.)

    Incidentally, Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908) -- the journalist from Georgia who wrote the "Remus" tales -- was never a slaveholder. Half-Irish, poor, the product of a broken home, Harris apprenticed himself (while still a teenager) to a man who published a newspaper on his plantation. It was from the slaves on this plantation that Harris first heard the African American folktales that were to make him famous.

    Lamentably, Harris placed his first version of "Uncle Remus" in an urban setting, using the character as a mouthpiece for criticizing ex-slaves, particularly those who sought political power and formal education. However, "Remus" soon evolved into the character with whom Disney fans are familiar: the gentle old man who transfixes a little white boy (Disney added a girl, for good measure) night after night (Disney made it daytime to avoid unsavory implications) with stories about small, seemingly defenseless animals whose cunning outwits stronger but less intelligent beasts.

    Hardly anyone remembers that Harris also wrote several novels and a collection of sketches built around a poor white homespun philosopher called "Uncle Billy Sanders".

    If there are any African-American Fedora Loungers here, what do you think of all this? Have you ever read Joel Chandler Harris's stories? Did you see the film? What's your opinion of it?


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