Disney's Song of the South on DVD?

Betamax and beyond

Postby Chairman Kaga on Thu May 17, 2007 3:27 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote: Florida, which is inferior to Disneyland in every way.

Thems fightin' words!
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Thu May 17, 2007 3:31 pm

Bluebottle wrote:Doesn't make it right. I think the Splash Mountain thing is an oversight, and I'm sure if enough people pointed out it's connection to Song of the South, Disney would alter the ride (if they haven't already... who knows what it was like 20 years ago).

I loved this movie as a kid, and would probably buy it if it was released on DVD, but So Sorry's right, Disney wouldn't release it in the proper context.

Context is everything with this stuff, and most parents just assume that anything released under the Disney brand is ok to show to their kids.

I wouldn't trust many parents to sit down with their children and explain to them how race relations have changed over the years, and this movie is reflective of peoples attitudes years and years ago... (or depending on where you live, yesterday).

It's a shame, because I also think that the censored versions of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons are a travesty, but what can you do?


I rode Splash Mountain after it was first built...1989? 1990? I can't remember, but the ride hasn't changed one iota since then. Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear still speak like black Southerners. Br'er Rabbit never did, which is probably why no one noticed it.

I just don't think "Song of the South" is going to have an adverse effect on today's youth. Chances are, they've already seen "Dumbo" with its racist crows and I doubt they walked around imitating them or singing "When I See An Elephant Fly." They remember Dumbo and the mouse. If they see "Song of the South," chances are they'll concentrate on the cartoons (the stories which, as we've argued here, are important folk tales) and not an outdated portrayal of slavery. Kids absorb information, but they don't focus on the things adults assume and fear they will. A kid is going to turn off "Song of the South" and put on "That's So Raven" and not immediately believe that Raven wants to be subservient to white masters.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Thu May 17, 2007 3:34 pm

But the movie is set post Civil War so it doesn't even depict Remus as a slave.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu May 17, 2007 3:35 pm

I understand that the other movies I listed weren't kid's films. I think the daughter part derailed my actual question so let's forget the "daughter" aspect and simplify it.

What makes the language in SotS more offensive than the language in accepted films that also feature a "black" dialect?
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Thu May 17, 2007 3:39 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:But the movie is set post Civil War so it doesn't even depict Remus as a slave.


That's the dilemma, though. It's set post Civil War, but it's set in this sort of fantasy plantation world.

This is Patricia A. Turner's description of it (which I ripped off from Snopes). Haven't never seen it, I can't confirm or deny.

Disney's 20th century re-creation of Harris's frame story is much more heinous than the original. The days on the plantation located in "the United States of Georgia" begin and end with unsupervised Blacks singing songs about their wonderful home as they march to and from the fields. Disney and company made no attempt to to render the music in the style of the spirituals and work songs that would have been sung during this era. They provided no indication regarding the status of the Blacks on the plantation. Joel Chandler Harris set his stories in the post-slavery era, but Disney's version seems to take place during a surreal time when Blacks lived on slave quarters on a plantation, worked diligently for no visible reward and considered Atlanta a viable place for an old Black man to set out for.
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Postby bluebottle on Thu May 17, 2007 3:41 pm

i don't think any of it is actually offensive when put in the proper context... Also, you have to define "offensive", because what you might find offensive, I might not... It gets even trickier when someone starts worrying about what's offensive to groups, especially if they don't belong to that group.

Anyone offended by this MJ statuette?
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Postby so sorry on Thu May 17, 2007 3:43 pm

Bluebottle wrote:Anyone offended by this MJ statuette?


my penis is offended that I haven't bought it yet.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Thu May 17, 2007 3:46 pm

LS' avatar has convinced me.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Thu May 17, 2007 4:21 pm

Do you think it's too late to launch a presidential bid?
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Postby bluebottle on Thu May 17, 2007 4:23 pm

never
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Postby The Vicar on Thu May 17, 2007 4:47 pm

Bluebottle wrote:i don't think any of it is actually offensive when put in the proper context... Also, you have to define "offensive", because what you might find offensive, I might not... It gets even trickier when someone starts worrying about what's offensive to groups, especially if they don't belong to that group.

Anyone offended by this MJ statuette?


No fucking way.
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Disney's Song of the South on DVD?

Postby bastard_robo on Mon May 28, 2007 7:32 am

Lady Sheridan wrote:
Bluebottle wrote:Doesn't make it right. I think the Splash Mountain thing is an oversight, and I'm sure if enough people pointed out it's connection to Song of the South, Disney would alter the ride (if they haven't already... who knows what it was like 20 years ago).

I loved this movie as a kid, and would probably buy it if it was released on DVD, but So Sorry's right, Disney wouldn't release it in the proper context.

Context is everything with this stuff, and most parents just assume that anything released under the Disney brand is ok to show to their kids.

I wouldn't trust many parents to sit down with their children and explain to them how race relations have changed over the years, and this movie is reflective of peoples attitudes years and years ago... (or depending on where you live, yesterday).

It's a shame, because I also think that the censored versions of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons are a travesty, but what can you do?


I rode Splash Mountain after it was first built...1989? 1990? I can't remember, but the ride hasn't changed one iota since then. Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear still speak like black Southerners. Br'er Rabbit never did, which is probably why no one noticed it.

I just don't think "Song of the South" is going to have an adverse effect on today's youth. Chances are, they've already seen "Dumbo" with its racist crows and I doubt they walked around imitating them or singing "When I See An Elephant Fly." They remember Dumbo and the mouse. If they see "Song of the South," chances are they'll concentrate on the cartoons (the stories which, as we've argued here, are important folk tales) and not an outdated portrayal of slavery. Kids absorb information, but they don't focus on the things adults assume and fear they will. A kid is going to turn off "Song of the South" and put on "That's So Raven" and not immediately believe that Raven wants to be subservient to white masters.



Yeah... Splashmoutian is still the same...

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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Mon May 28, 2007 9:06 am

Never seen the movie but there is a small if not pretty tragic footnote to it which some may find interesting. The kid who starred in it, Bobby Driscoll, was destined for bigger things but then was inexplicably and apparently dumped unceremoniously and without reason by Walt Disney himself when he was about 14. He was supposedly left devasted by this and never really recovered. He couldn't get work and drifted into drugs and total obscurity. He ended up on New York's Lower East Side, a grade-a junkie, homeless and broke. Soon after his body was found in some deserted tenement block and he was buried in a pauper's grave. He could only be recognised through his fingerprints. Apparently, the Disney company wouldn't pay for a proper burial as at that time 'Song Of The South' had just been re-released and they didn't want any adverse publicity leaking out about it's main star. A pretty sad story all round and one which you won't hear or see much about in the Walt Disney organization. I first heard about it in Vol. 2 of Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon.
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Postby Theta on Mon May 28, 2007 11:18 am

Bluebottle wrote:Anyone offended by this MJ statuette?


Let's not open THAT can of worms. I posted a rant about that on my blog, not exactly a highly visited corner of the Internet, and it's been relatively popular; I got yelled at by an ignorant feminist and a friend of mine got yelled at by an ignorant chauvinist.
This comment is in no way meant to insist your opinion is wrong or be considered an edict, solely this poster's opinion. That said, you are still a fool and will kneel before me in supplication.
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