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Don't hold your breath but there are signs that Song of the South may happen

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Don't hold your breath but there are signs that Song of the South may happen

Old 02-10-04, 03:22 PM
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Don't hold your breath but there are signs that Song of the South may happen

I finnaly dug into the supplements on the Alice and Wonderland DVD and what do I find? Ten minutes of Song of the South in full glorious technicolor!

Take a look at the One Hour In Wonderland supplement. It's an old black and white TV special from 1950 where Walt and friends watched clips and shorts via "the Magic Mirror".

Anyway they watch Song of the South and the old B&W show cuts to beautiful technicolor glory. They show the entire "Zipp-a-dee-do-da" performance and the entire "Brair Rabit caught in the snare" sequence.

On the WDT Disneyland USA disc, there is also a lengthy excerpt of Song of the South however it is in black and white.

I take Disney's willingness to release these "teases" as a testing of the waters for a future release of the film.

What do you guys think?
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Old 02-10-04, 03:33 PM
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Old 02-10-04, 03:36 PM
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Yeah, we are a couple of releases short of having the entire film spread out across several DVD releases.

Maybe we'll see it, but if these are indeed teases, they do seem to be somewhat hidden.
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Old 02-10-04, 03:37 PM
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Disney would have an instant best-seller if they ever released it, but I imagine it would also become one of the most heavily debated.

Then again, there is no such thing as bad publicity, right?
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Old 02-10-04, 04:18 PM
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we have been showing this in the mall chain store i work at....every time it cuts to that sequence we have people run in and ask where they can get it. First time I played it six people walked in asking for it. since then 2-9 people come asking when and how to get it.
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Old 02-10-04, 04:59 PM
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At the risk of opening a can of worms--I would be very interested in hearing what any African-American members think about this title. Does it offend you? Are you ok with it? Is Disney needlessly burying this title when there's no real problem with it, or do they have a point in suppressing it?
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Old 02-10-04, 05:02 PM
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Give them a few years without Pixar. We'll get Song of the South.
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Old 02-10-04, 05:25 PM
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I was lucky enough to see this on the big screen a couple years ago...it's so good!
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Old 02-10-04, 05:26 PM
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I am thrilled that the Song of the South stuff is on the Alice disc. SotS is a wonderful film. I saw it in kindergarten in 1986 when it was briefly re-released. A wonderfully fun movie.

I think eventually the film will be released, despite the PC police.

Until then, I will enjoy my LD (and DVDR backup).
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Old 02-10-04, 05:38 PM
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What are the odds that they'd release it unedited/uncensored?
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Old 02-10-04, 05:54 PM
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I went to an elementary school named Briar Patch, and we had/used SotS on all the schools stuff, papers, shirts, murals, etc. I bet if Disney had it's way it would have this school change it's name, unless they have done this already (anyone in San Diego know if this is still opened?)
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Old 02-10-04, 06:10 PM
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Briar Patch is a reference to the Joel Harris stories from which SOTS is adapted. This is PUBLIC DOMAIN now. Hell, call your school Uncle Remus High. Enjoy.
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Old 02-10-04, 06:18 PM
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Just in time for Black History Month 2005.

I think that which you speak of is more of an oversight than a sign this is coming out. I haven't seen the film, but I only thing a political action group would growse about it's release.

And I also must question those that say it'd be an instant best seller. Maybe a hot first week, but I don't think enough people know the movie or even the controversy, but that may just be me. If anyone wants this bad enough, there are less than reputable DVDtailers who'll make it happen off a VHS transfer for you.
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Old 02-10-04, 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by Tsar Chasm
Give them a few years without Pixar. We'll get Song of the South.
LOL! Of course, there may be a slight delay as they digitally remove all the "politically incorrect" content.
(Doesn't Uncle Remus smoke?)
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Old 02-10-04, 09:37 PM
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Of course SOTS will be an instant and continuous hit. People have been asking for this for years. I have it on laser disc and dvd, both Japanese and still available in places. Check out Ebay and some Asian etailers. It is constantly beening offered and quickly run out of stock.
It does have some politically incorrect parts, but in reality almost any pre 1970 movie will offend some religious or ethnic group.
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Old 02-10-04, 10:09 PM
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What about the possibility this is all of SotS that they're willing to release??

You have 2 of the popular parts from the movie on the Alice disc.....
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Old 02-11-04, 02:14 AM
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I want to see this movie just to see what all the controversey is about.

I have never had the chance to see this movie outside of the popular musical numbers that Disney used to play on thier (then commercial free) channel.

Which makes me wonder....why does Disney have commercials on thier channel if its only for other Disney stuff?
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Old 02-11-04, 02:44 AM
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An excellent movie! I bought this on DVD a couple of years ago. It was transferred to DVD from the Japanese laserdisc, the quality looks awesome. The movie is a timeless classic. As usual, all the controversy is for the wrong reasons. The slaves are never disrespected in the film, and Uncle Remus is a storyteller who's stories engages the children in the movie, as well as the audience, into this beautiful world with animated characters. I guess what they object to is the fact that the slaves are portrayed as being obedient, happy, and polite.
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Old 02-11-04, 04:54 AM
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I found this at snopes.com, I hope it helps the discussion.

The film has been criticized both for "making slavery appear pleasant" and "pretending slavery didn't exist", even though the film (like Harris' original collection of stories) is set after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Still, as folklorist Patricia A. Turner writes:

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.

Kind old Uncle Remus caters to the needs of the young white boy whose father has inexplicably left him and his mother at the plantation. An obviously ill-kept Black child of the same age named Toby is assigned to look after the white boy, Johnny. Although Toby makes one reference to his "ma," his parents are nowhere to be seen. The African-American adults in the film pay attention to him only when he neglects his responsibilities as Johnny's playmate-keeper. He is up before Johnny in the morning in order to bring his white charge water to wash with and keep him entertained.

The boys befriend a little blond girl, Ginny, whose family clearly represents the neighborhood's white trash. Although Johnny coaxes his mother into inviting Ginny to his fancy birthday party at the big house, Toby is curiously absent from the party scenes. Toby is good enough to catch frogs with, but not good enough to have birthday cake with. When Toby and Johnny are with Uncle Remus, the gray-haired Black man directs most of his attention to the white child. Thus Blacks on the plantation are seen as willingly subservient to the whites to the extent that they overlook the needs of their own children. When Johnny's mother threatens to keep her son away from the old gentleman's cabin, Uncle Remus is so hurt that he starts to run away. In the world that Disney made, the Blacks sublimate their own lives in order to be better servants to the white family. If Disney had truly understood the message of the tales he animated so delightfully, he would have realized the extent of distortion of the frame story.

The NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film when it was first released, but decried "the impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship". Disney re-released the film in 1956, but then kept it out of circulation all throughout the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s. In 1970 Disney announced in Variety that Song of the South had been "permanently" retired, but the studio eventually changed its mind and re-released the film in 1972, 1981, and again in 1986 for a fortieth anniversary celebration. Although the film has only been released to the home video market in various European and Asian countries, Disney's reluctance to market it in the USA is not a reaction to an alleged threat by the NAACP to boycott Disney products. The NAACP fielded objections to Song of the South when it premiered, but it has no current position on the movie.

Perhaps lost in all the controversy over the film is the fact that James Baskett, a Black man, was the very first live actor ever hired by Disney. Allegedly, though, Baskett was unable to attend the film's premiere in Atlanta because no hotel would give him a room.
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Old 02-11-04, 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by Mickey_O'Neil
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.

Kind old Uncle Remus caters to the needs of the young white boy whose father has inexplicably left him and his mother at the plantation. An obviously ill-kept Black child of the same age named Toby is assigned to look after the white boy, Johnny. Although Toby makes one reference to his "ma," his parents are nowhere to be seen. The African-American adults in the film pay attention to him only when he neglects his responsibilities as Johnny's playmate-keeper. He is up before Johnny in the morning in order to bring his white charge water to wash with and keep him entertained.

The boys befriend a little blond girl, Ginny, whose family clearly represents the neighborhood's white trash. Although Johnny coaxes his mother into inviting Ginny to his fancy birthday party at the big house, Toby is curiously absent from the party scenes. Toby is good enough to catch frogs with, but not good enough to have birthday cake with. When Toby and Johnny are with Uncle Remus, the gray-haired Black man directs most of his attention to the white child. Thus Blacks on the plantation are seen as willingly subservient to the whites to the extent that they overlook the needs of their own children. When Johnny's mother threatens to keep her son away from the old gentleman's cabin, Uncle Remus is so hurt that he starts to run away. In the world that Disney made, the Blacks sublimate their own lives in order to be better servants to the white family. If Disney had truly understood the message of the tales he animated so delightfully, he would have realized the extent of distortion of the frame story.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

I do think Disney could release the film, however. There is plenty of racist entertainment out there from days gone by, and it's instructional in some ways not to bury the past, but to expose the ugly realities of the past for what they really were.

In the case of this film, however, no reality is represented at all; this is what most people (who decry SOTS) find objectionable.
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Old 02-11-04, 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by Mickey_O'Neil
I found this at snopes.com, I hope it helps the discussion.

The film has been criticized both for "making slavery appear pleasant" and "pretending slavery didn't exist", even though the film (like Harris' original collection of stories) is set after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Still, as folklorist Patricia A. Turner writes:

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.

Kind old Uncle Remus caters to the needs of the young white boy whose father has inexplicably left him and his mother at the plantation. An obviously ill-kept Black child of the same age named Toby is assigned to look after the white boy, Johnny. Although Toby makes one reference to his "ma," his parents are nowhere to be seen. The African-American adults in the film pay attention to him only when he neglects his responsibilities as Johnny's playmate-keeper. He is up before Johnny in the morning in order to bring his white charge water to wash with and keep him entertained.

The boys befriend a little blond girl, Ginny, whose family clearly represents the neighborhood's white trash. Although Johnny coaxes his mother into inviting Ginny to his fancy birthday party at the big house, Toby is curiously absent from the party scenes. Toby is good enough to catch frogs with, but not good enough to have birthday cake with. When Toby and Johnny are with Uncle Remus, the gray-haired Black man directs most of his attention to the white child. Thus Blacks on the plantation are seen as willingly subservient to the whites to the extent that they overlook the needs of their own children. When Johnny's mother threatens to keep her son away from the old gentleman's cabin, Uncle Remus is so hurt that he starts to run away. In the world that Disney made, the Blacks sublimate their own lives in order to be better servants to the white family. If Disney had truly understood the message of the tales he animated so delightfully, he would have realized the extent of distortion of the frame story.

The NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film when it was first released, but decried "the impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship". Disney re-released the film in 1956, but then kept it out of circulation all throughout the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s. In 1970 Disney announced in Variety that Song of the South had been "permanently" retired, but the studio eventually changed its mind and re-released the film in 1972, 1981, and again in 1986 for a fortieth anniversary celebration. Although the film has only been released to the home video market in various European and Asian countries, Disney's reluctance to market it in the USA is not a reaction to an alleged threat by the NAACP to boycott Disney products. The NAACP fielded objections to Song of the South when it premiered, but it has no current position on the movie.

Perhaps lost in all the controversy over the film is the fact that James Baskett, a Black man, was the very first live actor ever hired by Disney. Allegedly, though, Baskett was unable to attend the film's premiere in Atlanta because no hotel would give him a room.
Wow. I always wondered what the controversy was over SoS. Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-11-04, 09:20 AM
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That's all? I'm sorry but why should this movie be banned, yet seeing blacks be whipped is ok in "Roots"? I suppose implying that some whites could be nice enough to trade work on a post-civil war plantation in exchange for food and rent is objectionable. I still don't understand why this movie isn't allowed to be released on DVD. Is it more objectionable than seeing Ted Lewis sing "Me and My Shadow" while having a black man mimic his movements during the song in the Abbott and Costello movie "Hold That Ghost"? Uncle Remus is the hero of Song of the South...The moral of the story is the blacks in the movie are cool, while the whites are the ones who are dysfunctional.

Last edited by Cocopugg; 02-11-04 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 02-11-04, 09:30 AM
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Compared to a lot of the "politically incorrect" moments in so many films from the past, this should be a non-issue for Song of the South. I can't recall which movie it was, but something I recently watched (from the 30's) actually has the female lead saying "I'm free, white and 21".
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Old 02-11-04, 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by Cocopugg
That's all? I'm sorry but why should this movie be banned, yet seeing blacks be whipped is ok in "Roots"? I suppose implying that some whites could be nice enough to trade work on a post-civil war plantation in exchange for food and rent is objectionable. I still don't understand why this movie isn't allowed to be released on DVD. Is it more objectionable than seeing Ted Lewis sing "Me and My Shadow" while having a black man mimic his movements during the song in the Abbott and Costello movie "Hold That Ghost"? Uncle Remus is the hero of Song of the South...The moral of the story is the blacks in the movie are cool, while the whites are the ones who are dysfunctional.
Sorry to nitpick here, but SOTS isn't banned. Disney owns the rights to the movie, and Disney has decided (so far) not to release it to DVD. It's their movie, it's their right.
Now if you want to discuss why Disney has chosen not to release it, without muddling the issue by bringing censorship into it, we can probably have a more meaningful discussion. My guess is that Roots, while obviously much more brutal, was a realistic portrayal of what life was like for slaves. SOTS, on the other hand, is profoundly unrealistic in its portrayal of plantation life (happy workers, etc.) and as such, is more likely to be perceived as racist. While there may not be overt racism in the film, its treatment of black characters and idyllic portrayal of plantation life is enough to make reasonably educated viewers uncomfortable.
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Old 02-11-04, 10:25 AM
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regarding the snopes.com info:

big deal
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