Song of the South (1946)

Reggie W

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Title: Song of the South (1946)

Tagline: Here Comes the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Show!

Genre: Family, Music

Director: Wilfred Jackson, Harve Foster

Cast: Ruth Warrick, Bobby Driscoll, James Baskett, Luana Patten, Lucile Watson, Hattie McDaniel, Erik Rolf, Glenn Leedy, Mary Field, Anita Brown, Georgie Nokes, Gene Holland, Nick Stewart, Johnny Lee

Release: 1946-11-12

Runtime: 91

Plot: Uncle Remus draws upon his tales of Br'er Rabbit to help little Johnny deal with his confusion over his parents' separation as well as his new life on the plantation.

 

Garysb

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Splash Mountain at Disney Theme Parks is to be rethemed to be based on "The Princess and The Frog" instead of "Song of The South". No work has been done during the closures of the parks due to Corona 19, so the original Splash Mountain based on "Song of The South" will still be at the parks when they reopen.

 
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Tommy R

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:( I’m gonna miss Br’er Rabbit. I just took my son there for his 5th birthday last December.
 

MatthewA

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Splash Mountain at Disney Theme Parks is to be rethemed to be based on "The Princess and The Frog" instead of "Song of The South".

How enlightened of them to replace stories rooted in African folklore with one that is European in origin. Disney is over.
 

Reggie W

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How enlightened of them to replace stories rooted in African folklore with one that is European in origin. Disney is over.
Disney has disowned the film so I can see why they will remove stuff from the ride, surprised they did not do it much sooner.
 
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MatthewA

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Then disown Disney in retaliation unless they stop giving into mob mentality. I've already cut them off financially. Now I won't even watch anything Disney of any era except for this and whatever they made while Ron Miller was in charge, which is the last time they stayed in their lane culturally. If the studio today hates anything, then it must be good.

On the list of media that offends me, this isn't even referenced in the footnotes except to point out the hypocrisy of something actually problematic still being available and having excuse after excuse made for it but not this.
 
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TravisR

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Disney has disowned the film so I can see why they will remove stuff from the ride, surprised they did not do it much sooner.
Me too. About the only reason I can think of is that since SOTS hasn't been legitimately released in decades, Zip A Dee Do Dah's connection to the movie has faded from memory and it's just an upbeat Disney song to almost everyone except old movie fans or people who are offended by the movie.
 

Mike Frezon

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Quite an enjoyable film. And a truly great park attraction.

Never understood why Disney chose this particular hill to die on. It's a shame.

And I just don't know too many people who liked (or even remember very much about) The Princess and the Frog.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Laughing Place are two of the all-time great Disney tunes.
 

Jake Lipson

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And I just don't know too many people who liked (or even remember very much about) The Princess and the Frog.
Kids today do not know the characters from Song of the South, because the film has never been available in their lifetime. Although I know what it is, even I haven't seen it, because it has not been made available legally since before I was alive.

Disney's stance on Song of the South in recent years has been to pretend that the movie does not exist, so leaving the ride alone while maintaining that the movie is too racist to put out is inconsistent messaging.

Lots of kids today do know Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and the Frog. If some of them don't, that movie is available to them to seek out after the ride. Even putting aside the race issues, it makes sense to have the ride reflect a property that is recognizable and/or available to today's audiences.
 
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Mike Frezon

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"Inconsistent" is an understatement.

And the recent decision to change the attraction takes the wrong side of their inconsistency and makes it worse.

And while it may be more recent, I still believe The Princess and the Frog is utterly forgettable--in both story and song. People need to remember that Disney's argument that kids don't "know" the characters from SotS is only true because Disney themselves created that truth.

This is yet another example of "not letting a crisis go to waste" to be able to rebrand an extremely popular park attraction with minimized pushback.
 

MatthewA

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Personally, I speculate that Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Pete's Dragon, and to some extent Tron probably bought Song of the South another 20 years of acceptability in Burbank since its last US reissues were 1972, 1980, and 1986.* The animated characters were even in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They already altered that movie in subtle ways, but how far are they willing to go to erase the memory of this movie and all the ancillary material related to it? Would they censor that movie and House of Mouse, where the Br'ers had a table to themselves (not coincidentally, right by Elliott the Dragon) as well? Will they even go after the many covers of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" despite its Oscar victory?** Practically everybody from Doris Day to Dionne Warwick covered it (once again with Cilla Black trying to copy her the way Helen Reddy later did with a semi-retaliatory 1977 cover of Black's 1964 signature song "You're My World"***); even Harry Nilsson did a version. Disney themselves has turned it into every genre from disco to reggae and even let Mickey Mouse perform it!

And while it may be more recent, I still believe The Princess and the Frog is utterly forgettable--in both story and song. People need to remember that Disney's argument that kids don't "know" the characters from SotS is only true because Disney themselves created that truth.
It was a film I wanted to like more than I did, but unfortunately, I can't disagree with you here: I can't remember any of the songs either compared to old Disney or any of Randy Newman's work for Pixar, and a lot of elements felt like they were trying too hard to make a "Disney movie" as if that were an actual film genre. Pinning the future of traditional animation at the studio on the success or failure on it and 2011's Winnie the Pooh was a mistake, essentially saying to them "make what Lion King made or you're fired." I agree on your second point, though. This is manufactured ignorance.

*Ironically, the later hybrids had to depend on video, the same place where this film's history is checkered at best, to make money.
**The only other nominated song still remembered anywhere near as widely today is "Pass that Peace Pipe" from M-G-M's Technicolor remake of Good News.
***Both
Reddy and Warwick were original partners in Famous Amos cookies.
 
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Jake Lipson

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2011's Winnie the Pooh
The problem with Winnie the Pooh is that they launched it opposite Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which was the conclusion to a family-friendly but all-audiences blockbuster series that had run for a decade up to that point. Of course Pooh was going to be ignored opposite a heavyweight blockbuster like that. It almost certainly would have done better business with a better date. Putting it out against Harry Potter just made it seem like they didn't believe in their movie. I can only guess that they were trying to counterprogram Potter with something for little ones, but you can't counterprogram something everyone wants to see. No one would be available to take very little ones to Pooh because they would be taking themselves to Potter, and if they intended it only for little ones, that misunderstands Pooh's appeal.
 
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WillG

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Quite an enjoyable film. And a truly great park attraction.

Never understood why Disney chose this particular hill to die on. It's a shame.

And I just don't know too many people who liked (or even remember very much about) The Princess and the Frog.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Laughing Place are two of the all-time great Disney tunes.
even though the knee bending is annoying, to be slightly fair Disney isn’t the only one doing it. Episodes of It‘s Always Sunny and 30 Rock have been pulled from streaming services for “Blackface“. HBO Max has pulled episodes of South Park which depicted Mohammed. Seems now that anything associated with the South is being rebranded/renamed/cancelled. Food items are getting rebranded over minority depictions. People are getting cancelled left and right. It’s hysteria at this point. I was hoping an eventual pushback over cancel culture, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon
 
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Colin Jacobson

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Quite an enjoyable film. And a truly great park attraction.

Never understood why Disney chose this particular hill to die on. It's a shame.
Because it's not worth the headache. The $$$ Disney would make from a home video issue of "SotS" pales in comparison to all the negative publicity they'll receive.

Yeah, I know - the movie has an unfair reputation and it's not the "slaves R great!" movie people seem to think.

Doesn't matter. Its rep makes it toxic. If Disney thought they could make massive bucks from it, they'd withstand the headache, but it's not a movie that's gonna sell boohoogles of copies, so they'd rather just ignore it...

And I just don't know too many people who liked (or even remember very much about) The Princess and the Frog.
I suspect that "PatF" has a very substantial audience with Black families.

I have some Black friends with kids in the movies demographic - it's their favorite.

It was a big deal to the Black community to finally get a Disney princess who shared their skin color!
 

Tommy R

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I never saw PatF, but my kids randomly requested it on Disney+ a couple weeks ago from just seeing a thumbnail of it and they’ve watched a few times already. They seem to really like it.
 

TravisR

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Because it's not worth the headache. The $$$ Disney would make from a home video issue of "SotS" pales in comparison to all the negative publicity they'll receive.

Yeah, I know - the movie has an unfair reputation and it's not the "slaves R great!" movie people seem to think.

Doesn't matter. Its rep makes it toxic. If Disney thought they could make massive bucks from it, they'd withstand the headache, but it's not a movie that's gonna sell boohoogles of copies, so they'd rather just ignore it...
Yep. And it's not anything new because even if ten years ago, they had licensed it out to another company, Disney still would have had major blow back because they're an easy target and because of the movie's reputation.
 
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richardburton84

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I can’t claim to have seen the whole film (just bits and pieces), but my AP US History teacher in high school showed my class the “tarbaby” sequence when we were covering the Reconstruction (this setting seemingly being a detail these PC lunatics are overlooking), and no one in the class was offended, so it’s probably not as offensive as has been claimed.
 
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