Even with a disclaimer, Disney+ has announced it will not be adding the film ‘Song of The South’ to its streaming platform. The 1945 live-action/animated cartoon is set in post-civil war Georgia and has long been considered controversial given its depiction of black people on a southern plantation.
Despite its memorable characters including Uncle Remus, Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, as well as iconic music like the song ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’ which won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Original Song, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger announced at the annual shareholders meeting that the movie is “not appropriate in today’s world.”
Song of the South is a blend of live-action and animation, based on the popular “Uncle Remus” stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Set in the years just after the Civil War, the story begins with young Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) being sent to live at the southern plantation of his grandmother (Lucile Watson) while his parents contemplate divorce. At first disconsolate, the boy is cheered up by African-American handyman Uncle Remus (James Baskett), who tells him many delightful fables concerning the clever trickster Br’er Rabbit, whose adventures are illustrated in cartoon form. Each story has a moral, which Johnny applies to the exigencies of his real life. -Rotten Tomatoes
This isn’t the first Disney movie to come under fire for controversial characters and themes seen as racist. On the Disney+ platform, films including ‘Dumbo’ is tagged with a disclaimer that says “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
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