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Just The Br'er Facts About Song Of The South

Song of the South is one of the most controversial animated films ever made by Disney, and because of the controversy the animated adaptation of Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories has never been released on home video.

Although Joel Chandler Harris’ stories aren’t meant to be racist (they’re tales told to him by Southern African Americans during the mid to late 19th century) The Song OF The South was perceived as such by some, including the NAACP.

(YouTube Link)

But while they didn’t like the film’s “dangerously glorified picture of slavery” the African-American actors in the film, including James Baskett and Hattie McDaniel, held the film in high esteem.

And speaking of James Baskett, who stars as Uncle Remus in the film, did you know that Disney himself campaigned for Baskett to win an Academy Award? He received an honorary Oscar in 1948 and died just three months later.

Read 10 Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Facts About The Song Of The South at mental_floss


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I was a little kid, and loved the movie. I thought Uncle Remus was really special, like a black friend of my parents, whose words of wisdom helped shape my world view. The songs were great, too.
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Disney has done so many racist stereotypes in their animation, that I'm surprised that Song of the South gets any special treatment:
* http://www.cracked.com/article_15677_the-9-most-racist-disney-characters.html

But what really bothers me about Disney is how they raid then destroy the public domain, and make sure they never have to give anything back. In fact people are dying because of their copyright extension laws that leave things like service manuals for aircraft illegal to reprint and so unavailable to those who need them. I don't know why the public doesn't see them as more evil than arms manufacturers and oil companies:
* http://www.onthecommons.org/magazine/how-disney-raids-public-domain
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Our two loved the Br'er Rabbit stories. They liked the way he won by being sneaky and clever, and sometimes mean, but never vindictive. And also that he didn't always win.
They're not so well known in the UK, and I don't suppose many of our kids' contemporaries know them at all. Shame - they're good yarns.
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