Song of the South is an animated/live-action hybrid film from Walt Disney Pictures directed by Harve Foster and Wilfred Jackson which follows an innocent young boy from Atlanta named Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) who moves with his mother to his grandmother’s plantation where he learns a series of life lessons from Uncle Remus (James Baskett) in the form of stories about the animated Br’er Rabbit (voiced by Johnny Lee) and his quest to evade Br’er Fox (Baskett) and Br’er Bear (Nick Stewart). It’s the movie that made the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” famous. That all sounds fanciful enough, so why is this one of Disney’s most controversial movies of all time?
Released in 1946, Song of the South hasn’t been shown by Disney in any format since it hit theaters again in 1986 for the movie’s 40th anniversary (and it certainly won’t be coming to Disney+), and that’s because it’s considered to be quite antiquated, careless in its depiction of history, and even (albeit unintentionally) racist. If you find yourself wanting to know as much as you can about Song of the South, the Hollywood history podcast You Must Remember This will be diving deep into this film and its legacy for their new season beginning this week.
If you’ve never listened to the podcast You Must Remember This, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of Hollywood history from film scholar, critic and author Karina Longworth. The podcast explores some of the untold, secret or forgotten stories from the first century of Tinseltown, and the new season will focus on what is largely considered to be Disney’s most controversial movie of all time. Here’s their announcement on the new season, beginning October 22:
This season, we explore the most controversial film in the history of Disney Animation.
With the launch of Disney Plus, the company’s entire library could be made available for streaming. The one film promised to remain locked away is Song of the South, the 1946 animation/live-action hybrid set on a post-Civil War plantation.
What is Song of the South? Why did Disney make it even amidst protests? And why have they held the actual film from release for the past thirty-plus years, while finding other ways to profit off of it?
Join us, won’t you? As we uncover this hidden film in the Disney vault. New episodes of You Must Remember This will be released every Tuesday.
You can hear a preview right now over at Stitcher, where the podcast will be available every Tuesday. You can also listen at Apple Podcasts, or wherever else you get your podcasts to hear it!
The post Disney’s Controversial ‘Song of the South’ is the Subject of ‘You Must Remember This’ Podcast’s New Season appeared first on /Film.