Should Disney release "Song of the South"?

Release SONG OF THE SOUTH, you cowards.


They’ve said they won’t (at least, at first) because the negatives of doing so outweigh the positives.


I went down to Disneyworld last year with the kids and we did Splash Mountain. I had completely forgotten that the ride is entirely Song of the South themed and my kids had no idea who any of the characters were.

It’s a bit surprising that they have not remade that ride. I would have expected them to be erasing that legacy quietly in the background.


Yeah, they do need to change Splash Mountain. Disney ought to turn it into a ride based on Ron Howard’s 1984 hit film Splash, complete with animatronic versions of Darryl Hannah, Tom Hanks, Eugene Levy, and John Candy. It’s a beloved Disney-owned movie—much more beloved than Song of the South, as far as I’m aware!

They already have Tom Hanks all over the park (in the form of Woody from Toy Story) so a Splash-themed Splash Mountain is the logical next step. And they could go a step further by capitalizing on all the classic 80’s Hanks films they now own: who wouldn’t want to visit DisneyWorld attractions based on Big, Bachelor Party, or Turner and Hooch*?

Of course, making an animatronic Darryl Hannah might come too close to making Pris from Blade Runner. Disney could get sued for infringement, or, worse, they could have a murderous replicant living in their park, and then get sued for infringing on both Blade Runner and Westworld.

* Unfortunately, only Turner and Hooch will be available on Disney+—not even Splash!


fun fact: marc Davis worked on soung of the south designing animal characters. later he worked as a character designer at disneyland and the characters from the extinct attraction america sings that were reused in splash mountain were also designed by Davis. a bit full circle there.


How about no. If you REAAAAAALLLLY want to see a bunch of lost cause mythology bullshit, you can most certainly find it. But there is no reason good reason to release it.


No, I just REAAAAAALLLLY want to see James Baskett get his due recognition. He was, after all, awarded an honorary Oscar for his work, which made him the first African-American male to “win” one. (For a role Paul Robeson was considering, by the way, a person not exactly quiet on questions of race.)


I’m aware. There was a reason he did not do the film.

Baskett was great, and he was given an oscar for his role, so white hollywood already gave him his due.

It’s still a racist film that glorifies slavery and the subordinate position of African Americans in the Jim Crow era. Like I said, if you are really dying to see it, I’m sure you can find a copy floating around online, although I doubt you’d like the places you’d fine it… But also probably it would be screened in a film studies class discussing race and racism in American film.



While there are some amazing songs and good stuff in that film there is so so so so so so so much stuff that is very problematic that the correct answer is it does not need to be released again to the mass public, ever. Seriously outside of a film class/lecture series where one can dissect and discuss the content it does not need to be screened.


This isn’t about Baskett or really the animated parts (although I think there is some appropriation happening there, but that goes back to Joel Chandler Harris). It’s the inclusion of lost cause mythology in the live actions parts, that black people were happy with their enslavement, the plantation was a pleasant home for all, that black people are there to serve and sooth whites, and to care for white children… There might have been something positive that could have been done with the stories, as they could have been a wonderful celebration of surviving oppression in the antebellum period, and the role that storytelling played in that survival. But instead they went with the glorification of the white power structure. I hope that Disney has learned from that… I still haven’t seen the Princess and the Frog, though. Anyone else seen it… I’ve heard good things.


Well, reportedly Robeson didn’t reject the role outright – rather, Disney blanched because of his vocal political stances, which I would argue strengthens my point.

As for me personally, I have no need to see the film again, having seen it in its last theatrical release in 1972.

Finally I agree with your last point: the film should absolutely be used in a film studies class. Of course, that can’t be done if it is left to rot in the Disney vault next to Walt’s frozen head.


It was a “special” kind of “honorary” Oscar. This category of Oscar was only given to three people: Shirley Temple, Baskett, and Hattie McDaniel. Wrong!

I don’t think it was quite the recognition people have later made it out to be.

If your point is, Disney decided to go in a less progressive direction, then that point is strengthened. If you’re trying to pin any kind of responsibility for how it turned out to an actor who wasn’t cast, and had no creative control over its production, then no.


What’s the problem - you can find this on ebay easily…


I’m curious though. Do you think that if they re-released it that it would give him due recognition moreso than just excite a bunch of racists and allow Disney to profit off of them?


It seems to me that bringing back a racist trope-filled piece of revisionist propaganda like SotS seems like a really misguided… nay, dare I say, ass-backwwards and needlessly fucking offensive way to do that.

Aside from that, Disney loves their ever growing profit margin too much to ever risk it.


Yeah, wrong. Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar was in a competitive category – she beat her costar Olivia de Haviland for it. Show some damn respect.

You first.

It was cute except for the subliminal low-level erasure; Disney’s first Black princess (and her love interest) spends all but about 20 minutes of the entire film as an amphibian.


It is certainly possible for Disney to release it and not profit from it, by donating any proceeds from it to an appropriate charity or organization. Whether Disney would be capable of such an act in the face of its vampiric corporate structure argues against that possibility.

As for exciting contemporary racists, I somehow think seeing a 70 year old film would excite them considerably less than winning the presidency in 2016 did.

Ah, you’re right. I misunderstood a source.

I will put my lack of respect in slighting the Academy that awards Oscars, against your disrespect calling for the release of “Song of the South” any day of the week.

I’ll just add, that both Song of the South and Gone With the Wind premiered in segregated theaters, meaning neither Baskett nor McDaniel were able to attend. The point is that the accolades given them by the white people of the time should be considered in the context of the time.

Tell me if you spot more (any) black people compared to Confederate flags in this newsreel of the time…


I dunno. I can see “Finally the lie is challenged, the wholesome truth about the South is no longer being hidden, Disney is finally standing up to the evil libs, good family fun that shows the South as it truly was, an honest fair and balanced classic, must watch, maybe we’ll reconsider Disney despite the gays, Southern Pride” shit blowing up on twitter. Not to mention the contingent of folks who would probably believe it was a documentary. I can see droves of people ordering it just to make a point. Sincerity in enjoyment of the arts is all but dead, but cynical hyper-fandom around anything that vaguely validates a personal agenda is BIG these days.