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Zip A Dee Diddly Squat

An item at the fun My Name Is Earl Kress weblog give a little bit of info on Disney’s ongoing Song of the South saga. Apparently Disney prez Bob Iger has decided to bow to stockholders’ concerns and pull it from the schedule. That’s a pisser. I can remember seeing this film during its 1980 re-release, but honestly I don’t remember anything potentially offensive about it at all. It had nice Technicolor photography and the animated sequences were enjoyable in a mid-level Dumbo or Cinderella way. The film’s portrayal of black characters was similar to what you’d find in Gone with the Wind or other fancy films from that period — somewhat stereotypical, but more well-rounded than usual. I even thought the Uncle Remus character was very warm and benevolent, serving as a surrogate dad for the two kids. What’s so offensive about that? A comprehensive DVD with warnings that it’s the product of a different era would ultimately do more good than harm for the company’s image — but I guess Disney doesn’t want to risk the bad p.r. and would rather release Bambi 6: The Spawning or Not Another Crappy Tween Musical instead. Whatever.

Now’s a good time to point to Song of the South.net, which contains everything you’d want to know about the movie.

3 Thoughts on “Zip A Dee Diddly Squat

  1. Christopher on April 23, 2006 at 10:32 am said:

    What were we watching — was it the extras on the Busby Berkeley DVD — that had that one cartoon featuring kids of different ethnic and cultural origins?

    Before the cartoon was a disclaimer about how times and tastes change; and some images might be considered offensive today; but it was important to view them in historical perspective.

    I thought that was spot on. Rather than burying some particularly painful element of the past, it is best to learn about it in context so as to prevent those ignorant of it from repeating it.

  2. Nancy on April 24, 2006 at 6:00 am said:

    But… people who make it their business to be offended by things don’t care about context. SOMEONE will always cause problems and ruin it for everyone else, if only for media attention or to further some other agenda.

  3. There are those of us who love film and who are able to view things with a level of understanding that that was how culture was at a time, but there are a lot of people who would be unconfortable watching something like this because they are afraid of what people would think of them. There would also be a lot of negative publicity around a release of this film, and Disney is in the film business. They could care less about preserving film history, they are only going to release things that they hope will make a buck today.

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