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(Slate)   The hidden history of Disney's infamous Song of the South   (slate.com) divider line 146
    More: Interesting, Song of the South, Disney, souths, Fantasia, Clark Gable, movie screens, Walt Whitman, roadrunner  
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10840 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 05 Jan 2013 at 6:20 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-05 03:39:43 PM
Invisible?

Not really. Found the entire movie on youtube a few years back & watched it.
 
2013-01-05 03:55:15 PM
It's all over The Pirate Bay.  So much for Disney's "vault."
 
2013-01-05 03:55:43 PM

Bathia_Mapes: Invisible?

Not really. Found the entire movie on youtube a few years back & watched it.



Not to mention it's been available to import from the UK for ages.
 
2013-01-05 04:06:08 PM
Watched it on a Japanese import laser disc.
 
2013-01-05 04:08:52 PM
I downloaded it as a zip-a-dee-doo-da file
 
2013-01-05 04:45:47 PM
Is (not so) hard to find Disney stuff any less lame?
 
2013-01-05 04:48:41 PM
I've always found it interesting that the hero of the movie is vilified today. I saw the movie in the theater when I was a kid, and as a kid in the south I didn't see the racial overtones.  I still don't today.  I think of Uncle Remus as a wise old gentleman trying to  pass on that wisdom.  I know it depicts the south as rich whites and poor blacks, which is historically true at the time the movie was made. Still, Uncle Remus remains as a lesson in what good character means, despite your economic or social status. The life lessons of that could be learned from Uncle Remus are far more valuable than those to be learned from the movie persona of today.
 
2013-01-05 05:05:22 PM
I don't know much about it because I guess I'm too young. I'm more from the Reading Rainbow (nsfw language) generation.
 
2013-01-05 05:21:07 PM
 
2013-01-05 05:22:21 PM
whoops. link fail. here's the right one.
 
2013-01-05 06:25:42 PM
It's not really hidden, Disney makes a ton of money off the music of the film.
 
2013-01-05 06:26:10 PM
First saw it in the theater with my mother back in the 80's and one of the biggest things I took away from it as a child was that the live action bits were boring to me.

when I found out years later that it was "banned" I made sure to find it and burn a bunch of DVD's of it to hand out to anyone that asked. I found it quite glarring that Disney would hide the movie in the US, but show and promote it all over the rest of the world and continue to captalise on it ( zip a dee doo dah all over the place, and the theme of Splash mountain to start ). if it's so shameful to you, bury it, your are friggin Disney, you have the power to do so!

Just own your past and deal with it.
 
2013-01-05 06:31:11 PM
i.crackedcdn.com

Considering how Disney is trying to sexualize its tween show stars and drown its audiences in manufactured pop music BS, I'm not surprised that Disney once jumped on the offensively racist bandwagon.
 
2013-01-05 06:34:31 PM
Walt Disney himself even invited NAACP president Walter White to California to oversee script revisions

Likely story. We all know he was just buying meth.
 
2013-01-05 06:34:49 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I downloaded it as a zip-a-dee-doo-da file


Very nice.
 
2013-01-05 06:44:14 PM

Bathia_Mapes: Invisible?

Not really. Found the entire movie on youtube a few years back & watched it.


TFA mentions that. With linky goodness, even.

Sperb's book is an intelligent and readable academic treatment of its long shadow, and with any luck it will inspire some viewers to seek out the film itself-whether on torrents, questionably legal DVD, or, for now, on YouTube-rather than the arguments about it.
 
2013-01-05 06:53:49 PM
Hey, at least they didn't put out the cut Walt wanted to release. It made Django Unchained look like Shrek.
 
2013-01-05 06:57:50 PM
Watching it now. The Houston game is boring.
 
2013-01-05 07:03:40 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I downloaded it as a zip-a-dee-doo-da file


8/10. Would LOL again.
 
2013-01-05 07:04:46 PM
Watched it last year on a questionably legal DVD borrowed from a friend. It really wasn't as bad as I expected given the infamy. My kids 18, 13, and 3 all know the music from various Disney Hits and Sing-a-long cds. I wonder if Disney still owns the rights to the Harris stories. Those, I think, would be palatable as a straight animated feature or series of shorts.
 
2013-01-05 07:08:20 PM
"We're through with caviar," Walt Disney lamented. "From now on it's mashed potatoes and gravy." The company that bore his name was reeling from the disappointing box office returns of Pinocchio and Fantasia."

So people even back then knew Fantasia sucked?
 
2013-01-05 07:11:01 PM

hbk72777: "We're through with caviar," Walt Disney lamented. "From now on it's mashed potatoes and gravy." The company that bore his name was reeling from the disappointing box office returns of Pinocchio and Fantasia."

So people even back then knew Fantasia sucked?



Yep. I don't think Fantasia made a profit until it was re-released in the 60s and 70s to a much larger, much more stoned audience.
Drugs brought that movie out of the red.
 
2013-01-05 07:12:32 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I downloaded it as a zip-a-dee-doo-da file


That's a rar find
 
2013-01-05 07:15:13 PM
I was having a wonderful day until I zippered my doo-da
 
2013-01-05 07:15:34 PM
Isn't their Splash Mountain ride based on Song of the South?
 
2013-01-05 07:17:50 PM

BarkingUnicorn: It's all over The Pirate Bay.  So much for Disney's "vault."


I love that bittorrent is keeping Disney from burying the racist parts of their past completely.
 
2013-01-05 07:17:53 PM
I saw it, or large parts of it, when I was a kid, in the 70s. It was weird and dated then, but I don't remember it being nearly as offensive as, say, "Gone with the Wind," or the crows in "Dumbo."
 
2013-01-05 07:18:25 PM

Mugato: Isn't their Splash Mountain ride based on Song of the South?


Yes and I recommend about 3-4 hits of LSD before you ride it. Phenomenal.
 
2013-01-05 07:19:23 PM

Anderson's Pooper: Watched it last year on a questionably legal DVD borrowed from a friend. It really wasn't as bad as I expected given the infamy. My kids 18, 13, and 3 all know the music from various Disney Hits and Sing-a-long cds. I wonder if Disney still owns the rights to the Harris stories. Those, I think, would be palatable as a straight animated feature or series of shorts.


dunno about that, but that was the point of making the movie in the first place.


I wonder if the book mentions any thing about what became of the child star of the film.Bobby Driscoll chewed up and spat out. he died inn 1968, a homeless drug addict, buried in a paupers grave on Harts island. nobody really knew about it till the movie started making the rounds again in 1972.

but I'm sure the author of the book wants to focus on how racist the movie is.
 
2013-01-05 07:21:31 PM
Weird, just watched this movie the other night. Whole family loved it, had to explain to my racially sensitive 13 year old son why this movie is "racist". He still didn't see it. Anyway, the article (and I'm assuming the book) makes the common mistake of placing the movie during the time of Southern slavery, that is incorrect, it actually takes place after the Civil War during the Reconstruction period.
 
2013-01-05 07:32:18 PM

yarnothuntin: Weird, just watched this movie the other night. Whole family loved it, had to explain to my racially sensitive 13 year old son why this movie is "racist". He still didn't see it. Anyway, the article (and I'm assuming the book) makes the common mistake of placing the movie during the time of Southern slavery, that is incorrect, it actually takes place after the Civil War during the Reconstruction period.


Where did you get the idea that the article places the movie during the slavery era? The article specifically says, "Alone and depressed, he's comforted by the tall tales of Uncle Remus, an ex-slave living on the property. The era of the film's setting is purposefully vague; while it's implied that the black workers are no longer Johnny's family's property, they are still completely subservient, and happily so. "

That description fits it solidly within the post-Birth of a Nation view of reconstruction where the "good" negroes remained subservient to their white masters even in the absence of slavery, which anyone who has a working knowledge of film history should pick up on from reading the article.
 
2013-01-05 07:41:35 PM

rynthetyn: Where did you get the idea that the article places the movie during the slavery era? The article specifically says, "Alone and depressed, he's comforted by the tall tales of Uncle Remus, an ex-slave living on the property. The era of the film's setting is purposefully vague; while it's implied that the black workers are no longer Johnny's family's property, they are still completely subservient, and happily so. "


Oops, my bad- didn't see that paragraph LOL.
 
2013-01-05 07:51:26 PM
From tFA: As Sperb puts it: "Not only is Song of the South a movie derogatory because of its 'Uncle Tomism,' it was made by people who were well aware of the stereotype, who knew others would be offended, and who clearly felt there was nothing wrong with that."

Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with that. It would be a miserable world without art that didn't offend someone (think Hillsboro here). Plus, it's not possible.

And apart from Sperb's protests, it is a period piece that shows the views of at least some during that time in our history. We've never been homogeneous, thankfully.
 
2013-01-05 07:55:52 PM

blue_2501: Considering how Disney is trying to sexualize its tween show stars


Right, teens never thought about sexuality until Disney came along. Perish the thought.
 
2013-01-05 08:02:42 PM
The Tar Baby is a great story. So is Little Black Sambo. When I read them as a child it never once occurred to me that was anything racist about them. I read them and laughed. Then I went out to play with my Black friends.

I'm a white guy who grew up dirt poor in Memphis. We were too poor to be racist. I had Black neighbors. I had Black friends. My Mama and her friend Eula Mae had a business together, doing rich folks' laundry.

I've never understood why writing characters who speak in Southern Black dialect is considered racist, but writing Hillbilly or Cajun or Aussie is not. I've seen TV commercials that would be twice as offensive as the Tar Baby if the same standard were applied.
 
2013-01-05 08:03:22 PM

titwrench: Mugato: Isn't their Splash Mountain ride based on Song of the South?

Yes and I recommend about 3-4 hits of LSD before you ride it. Phenomenal.


As someone who just got back from Disney, and witnessed a dude freaking out on mushrooms, I'm getting a kick...

Seriously. Dude's girlfriend said they both ate the mushrooms, but he "finished the bag". My husband, an EMT, stopped to check him out since Disney sent one security guard to find out what the disturbance was all about. We both initially thought it was a behavioral disorder, because he started barking and screaming and grabbing his head over and over.

/meh story, I know.
 
2013-01-05 08:08:51 PM
It amazes me that people fixate on this movie when "The Littlest Rebel" still gets airplay on broadcast TV (and has an 88% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes to boot.) No matter what your level of sensitivity to racism, Song of the South isn't a fraction as offensive.
 
2013-01-05 08:22:28 PM
I just downloaded and started watching Song of the South. Man, that's an uncomfortable movie to watch. Also, was Samuel L. Jackson doing an Uncle Remus impression in Django?
 
2013-01-05 08:27:34 PM

MrEricSir: blue_2501: Considering how Disney is trying to sexualize its tween show stars

Right, teens never thought about sexuality until Disney came along. Perish the thought.


No, but Disney has made a science of handpicking the most "photogenic" teenagers possible, applying an unrealistic amount of makeup on them, and then ditching them when their (over)acting skills ends up not working out in the real world. Britney Spears? Lindsay Lohan? Amanda Bynes? That South Park skit about Mickey Mouse and the purity rings really captures exactly how Disney does business.

You honestly believe that Martin Martin guy is going to actually get any sort of acting gig outside of Disney? Real Hollywood hates that overacting bullshiat (as does most adults). They are profit generators... that's it.

Hell, the model is so successful that Nick is just following the handbook step-by-step. Even Cartoon Network is slowly turning into another Disney/Nick channel, with its crappy non-cartoon lineup.
 
2013-01-05 08:29:27 PM

leviosaurus: It amazes me that people fixate on this movie when "The Littlest Rebel" still gets airplay on broadcast TV (and has an 88% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes to boot.) No matter what your level of sensitivity to racism, Song of the South isn't a fraction as offensive.


You could say the same about "The Little Colonel", another Shirley Temple movie released around the same time as "The Littlest Rebel". "The Little Colonel" has been available on DVD since 2009 & the Colonel Lloyd character uses terms referring to black children that are considered quite racist.
 
2013-01-05 08:33:58 PM

blue_2501: Considering how Disney is trying to sexualize its tween show stars and drown its audiences in manufactured pop music BS, I'm not surprised that Disney once jumped on the offensively racist bandwagon.


I would sexualise her
 
2013-01-05 08:35:05 PM

MrEricSir: blue_2501: Considering how Disney is trying to sexualize its tween show stars

Right, teens never thought about sexuality until Disney came along. Perish the thought.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-05 08:40:04 PM

leviosaurus: It amazes me that people fixate on this movie when "The Littlest Rebel" still gets airplay on broadcast TV (and has an 88% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes to boot.) No matter what your level of sensitivity to racism, Song of the South isn't a fraction as offensive.


No one gives too shiats about Shirley Temple any more.  But Disney is now a bigger entertainment juggernaut then its ever been, and that makes them a big target.

Xaneidolon: "Not only is Song of the South a movie derogatory because of its 'Uncle Tomism,' it was made by people who were well aware of the stereotype, who knew others would be offended, and who clearly felt there was nothing wrong with that."


I think its hilarious that this paragraph in TFA comes immediately after a paragraph detailing everything Disney did to try and make it as in-offensive as possible.
 
2013-01-05 08:42:42 PM

blue_2501: You honestly believe that Martin Martin guy is going to actually get any sort of acting gig outside of Disney? Real Hollywood hates that overacting bullshiat (as does most adults). They are profit generators... that's it.


You seem to have identified a lot of things, but not made any attempt to explain what's wrong with them. So what if Disney teen stars are attractive? So what if most of them are terrible actors? What's your point?
 
2013-01-05 08:45:33 PM
I like the remake of the film. way edgier

t1.gstatic.com

/I saw it under the "Street Fight" name.
//Pic is hot like a something or something
 
2013-01-05 08:46:30 PM

oldernell: I've always found it interesting that the hero of the movie is vilified today. I saw the movie in the theater when I was a kid, and as a kid in the south I didn't see the racial overtones.  I still don't today.  I think of Uncle Remus as a wise old gentleman trying to  pass on that wisdom.  I know it depicts the south as rich whites and poor blacks, which is historically true at the time the movie was made. Still, Uncle Remus remains as a lesson in what good character means, despite your economic or social status. The life lessons of that could be learned from Uncle Remus are far more valuable than those to be learned from the movie persona of today.


That was Joel Chandler Harris' goal. The stories still are the best of US folklore.

And they need to be required reading for ALL politicians.
 
2013-01-05 09:08:12 PM

MrEricSir: blue_2501: You honestly believe that Martin Martin guy is going to actually get any sort of acting gig outside of Disney? Real Hollywood hates that overacting bullshiat (as does most adults). They are profit generators... that's it.

You seem to have identified a lot of things, but not made any attempt to explain what's wrong with them. So what if Disney teen stars are attractive? So what if most of them are terrible actors? What's your point?


It's not the discardable teen actors that's the problem (heck, that's the same basic business model as college football). It's the covert exploitation of sexualization. The external context of these Disney shows is strongly sexual (have you seen Victorious, for instance?), while the internal content is about being attractive and dating and getting the boy/girl but not actually having sex. The goal is to generate desire without resolution: the ideal Disney viewer is masturbating to fantasies of their stars, then coming back to the show for fresh fantasies. It's essentially the same concept as pornography, which isn't intended to make you hungry for sex; it's intended to make you hungry for more pornography.
 
2013-01-05 09:08:20 PM
I think Disney should release the movie, and then donate a majority of the profits to the United Negro College Fund. That way, a good cause is supported, people get to judge the film for themselves, and any redneck racists considering buying it to affirm their worldview will have to decide if it is worth "edjoocatin' darkies" to do so.
 
2013-01-05 09:19:33 PM

SkerriNinja: titwrench: Mugato: Isn't their Splash Mountain ride based on Song of the South?

Yes and I recommend about 3-4 hits of LSD before you ride it. Phenomenal.

As someone who just got back from Disney, and witnessed a dude freaking out on mushrooms, I'm getting a kick...

Seriously. Dude's girlfriend said they both ate the mushrooms, but he "finished the bag". My husband, an EMT, stopped to check him out since Disney sent one security guard to find out what the disturbance was all about. We both initially thought it was a behavioral disorder, because he started barking and screaming and grabbing his head over and over.

/meh story, I know.


That ride seems to attract trouble. My girlfriend flashed the camera that takes your picture at the end of the ride. We were met by scary security guard guys and severely warned. I suppose they could have had her arrested if they wanted.
 
2013-01-05 09:24:35 PM

Mugato: SkerriNinja: titwrench: Mugato: Isn't their Splash Mountain ride based on Song of the South?

Yes and I recommend about 3-4 hits of LSD before you ride it. Phenomenal.

As someone who just got back from Disney, and witnessed a dude freaking out on mushrooms, I'm getting a kick...

Seriously. Dude's girlfriend said they both ate the mushrooms, but he "finished the bag". My husband, an EMT, stopped to check him out since Disney sent one security guard to find out what the disturbance was all about. We both initially thought it was a behavioral disorder, because he started barking and screaming and grabbing his head over and over.

/meh story, I know.

That ride seems to attract trouble. My girlfriend flashed the camera that takes your picture at the end of the ride. We were met by scary security guard guys and severely warned. I suppose they could have had her arrested if they wanted.


No man they were just scoping her out for the next Disney teen idol.

I keed I keed
 
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