February 9, 2023

USA: I Just Found Out Walt Disney’s Iconic Splash Mountain Ride Best Known For "Zippity Doo Dah" Song Closed Claiming It's Racist UGH To Open New 'Princess And The Frog' Theme Ride. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

THE COMMIE LEFT RUINS EVERYTHING! ๐Ÿ˜  Song of the South is not racist. The Marxists in America see this movie depicting a former slave who is happy he is now FREE, enjoying life as a FREE PERSON as racist. But these same people don't think abortion is racist? Yeah. Okay. That's some pretty messed up thinking right there. (emphasis mine)
Fox News published January 26, 2023: Iconic Disney ride closes in the name of diversity. Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain closed this weekend as the theme parks plans to reopen the flume ride with a new 'Princess and the Frog' theme.
ThrillGeek pubilshed January 23, 2023: Cast Members Final Rides on Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom. On the final night of Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom, Cast Members were among the final riders of the attraction. Splash Mountain closed for good on January 22nd to make way for the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction coming in late 2024 to Magic Kingdom.
TPMvids published January 6, 2023: Splash Mountain Farewell- FULL Ride POV [4K] Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Log Flume Ride. Take a final ride on Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom! Splash Mountain originally opened at Disneyland in 1989 then at Disney World on October 2nd, 1992. This Disney log flume ride is known for its iconic 50-foot plunge down the BIG DROP and is one of the fastest rides at Walt Disney World! January 22nd marks the last day Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdon in Walt Disney World will be open. The Disney ride is closing to begin its transformation into Tiana's Bayou Adventure which is set to open in 2024!
written by Jill Bivins
Monday February 6, 2023

Splash Mountain is gone forever at Magic Kingdom. The iconic ride closed forever on January 23, 2023 to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but that doesn’t mean all traces of it have disappeared.

Amid accusations that the ride doesn’t hold true to Disney’s ideals of inclusion, many fans clamored for its removal due to its ties to a movie many deemed racist, Song of the South. They claim the film softened slavery and glossed over the horrors that slavery caused. They disagree with the idea of a “happy former slave” and say the film paints too rosy a picture on one of our nation’s worst periods.

Others, though, had a different point of view and found the film endearing and rebuffed the accusations of racism. They point to comments from the films stars (the first two African-Americans to ever win an Oscar) as proof of their claim with both of them (James Baskett and Hattie McDaniel) expressing support for the film and finding nothing racist about it. McDaniel even went so far as to say, “If I had for one moment considered any part of the picture degrading or harmful to my people, I would not have appeared therein.”

Whichever side of that argument you fall on, Splash Mountain is gone, never to return. That doesn’t mean it has been totally erased though. Fans were surprised to hear a reminder of it though when walking through Magic Kingdom this week. The song “Laughin’ Place” is still part of the musical loop in Frontierland, the area that formerly housed Splash Mountain.

No one is sure whether the song will remain part of the area’s music or whether Disney just has not replaced it yet. One fan said “It makes my heart happy to still hear the song from a ride my family and I loved so much.” Another expressed concern that not immediately removing the song sent a mixed message about Disney’s values.
GeezersPlaceORG published May 24, 2012: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Original)

The hit song from From Walt Disney's "Song of the South" released in 1946 was "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", which won the 1947

Academy Award for Best Song and is frequently used as part of Disney's montage themes, and which has become widely used

in popular culture. The film inspired the Disney theme park attraction Splash Mountain. The film was a combination of live action

and animation. Disney hired vaudeville and radio actor James Baskett to portray Uncle Remus. Full movie located at: https://archive.org/details/SongOfTheSouth_Disney
archive.org reviewer: gogodarst - January 21, 2023 Subject: Not Racist. Seriously I watch this entire movie and I said nothing racist about the entire plot nor uncle Remus. The entire movie took place post Civil War, and the entire movie black people were treated the same as white people were. hell, this movie portrayed them better then it actually was at the time. The most racist part was a baby that was kinda “black face” but even then its the most minor “incident” in the 30’s and 40’s. All in all I don’t get all the controversy. Plus this was an old Disney movie so always 5 stars in my opinion at least.
Vegan Pop Tarts pubilshed Apr 12, 2017: Disney's Song of the South 1946 Movie Trailer [digitally remastered].


Q. Is Song of the South set before or after the Civil War?

A. After. Just as the original Uncle Remus stories written by Joel Chandler Harris, Song of the South is set in a time period after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. This is evident by the fact that in the movie Uncle Remus is able to freely leave the plantation. It's possible Walt Disney assumed that people already knew this fact, and may have felt that stating the date was unnecessary. Nevertheless, it has remained a cause for confusion.

Q. What is considered "racist" about Song of the South?

A. The general objections lie in the depiction of African-Americans within the live action sequences of the film, such as stereotyping. Some also mistakenly believe the movie depicts slavery, and consequently believe that Disney tried to "sugarcoat" slavery. In the 1940's, the NAACP charged the film with giving the impression of "an idyllic master-slave relationship." Some people also find the Tar Baby animated sequence to be objectionable. For more in-depth discussion on the issues surrounding this film, please read my defense on the matter.


In Humble Defense of Walt Disney's Song of the South
By Christian Willis, July 30, 2008.

Ever since Song of the South's last theatrical release in 1986, various rumors have surfaced to explain why the movie has never been released on video in the United States. Whether the rumor was extreme or close to home, the underlying root cause has always been pretty obvious: race.

I believe that some of the objections people have about this film are because they are misinformed about this movie. They hear rumors, they may see a clip of the film touted as controversial, and they pass summary judgment. In this humble defense, I hope to bring to the table some explanations and I hope you will read all of this. A few people have even gone so far as to call me a racist over the years, but I can happily say I am not. Friends and family that truly know me also know this is not the case. I have a strong love for our country and our diversity.

To start with, I'd like to talk about the origins of this film.

Where did the Uncle Remus character come from? It all begins with a man named Joel Chandler Harris. Born in 1848, Harris grew up during the days of the antebellum South, when slavery was still very much a part of life. He lived on the Turnwold Plantation and spent a great deal of his time with the slaves. One slave in particular, Uncle Bob Capers, told him fantastic stories. Those stories, along with the unique dialect in which he told them, remained in Harris' mind. In 1880 (well after the Civil War), Harris published his first book, "Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings." The book was an instant success, and Harris went on to publish another ten books on the stories of "Uncle Remus," and even created the Uncle Remus Magazine until his death in 1908.

Where did Uncle Remus's stories come from? The stories themselves are much older than Uncle Bob Capers. While it is for certain that most, if not all, of the tales were brought over to America from Africa, it has been speculated that some of the tales may have originated from India or Egypt. The stories undoubtedly changed slightly as they were handed down over the generations.

Harris spent literally his entire life immersed in the language. Given the information above, I believe that Harris was genuinely interested in preserving these stories that were told to him in childhood. He wasn't trying to make fun of how they spoke, but rather I feel he believed that the delivery was an integral part of the stories, and therefore did his best to preserve the original dialect.

Walt Disney grew up reading those same stories that Joel Chandler Harris wrote. Disney loved the stories, and he envisioned that someday he would use his artistic talent to bring them to the silver screen. Since the 1930's, Disney had experimented with combining live-action with animation in his Alice Comedies, but it really wasn't until after 1941 with The Three Caballeros that technology looked promising for Walt's vision of Uncle Remus walking among his fanciful creations. Work on Song of the South (originally "Uncle Remus") began in 1941.

And now, the core of the issue. Song of the South was Walt Disney's first attempt at a mostly live action film with animated segments interspersed. Logically, this raised the concern of how African-Americans in the film would be portrayed. These stories are unquestionably a part of African-American heritage, so omitting African-Americans from the film would have been an insult to say the least.

Issue 1: The film's time period is ambiguous. Despite the fact that Harris' original Uncle Remus stories are set after the Civil War (and the abolition of slavery), the film makes no reference to any specific year to establish this. Why this is so remains unknown. Perhaps Disney assumed that people knew the Uncle Remus stories were set after the Civil War. Today, not many people realize this fact unless they have read the original books. This remains a source of confusion.

Issue 2: The use of dialect in the film. The African-Americans in the film all speak with a dialect that, today, is considered disparaging and derogatory. However, in the 1940's, this type of dialect was still being used to some extent. Had the actors and actresses in the film not used any dialect, it would have destroyed Disney's attempt to recreate the even thicker dialect used in the original Uncle Remus stories. The movie's dialect was likely simplified for the audience.

Issue 3: Subservient roles and attitudes. A common complaint of this film is that the black actors and actresses in the film are subservient. Examples include Uncle Remus removing his hat and bowing slightly when talking with Miss Doshy; Toby replies "yes'm" to Miss Doshy's instructions; Ned takes in a trunk of clothes upon their arrival. These are all actions that convey respect.

Issue 4: The plantation workers (not slaves) appear to be happy. They sing as they go to work in the cotton fields, they sing as they return, they sing around a campfire, etc. First, it should be noted that this movie is a musical with 9 songs. Disney used the Hall Johnson Choir for the big numbers involving the plantation workers, to add a "spiritual" feel to the film. Some believe this gives the appearance they were content with their situation, rather than tolerating it. Given the kindness of Miss Doshy, the plantation owner, it could be plausible that they were actually happy living there. But again, the film does not go into detail on this.

Issue 5: Toby. Toby's parents are absent, and Toby is absent from Johnny's birthday party. That's true, we are not introduced to Toby's parents. But then again, we also only see Ginny's parents briefly. And we only see Johnny's father at the beginning and end of the movie. We also never see Ruby's parents (the girl sitting next to Toby while Uncle Remus tells stories around the campfire). The plain fact is... it's simply not important to the story. As for Toby being absent from Johnny's birthday party, who knows; maybe he was hanging out with Uncle Remus or Aunt Tempy. Johnny's mother is the one who arranged the birthday party, and she wouldn't even have allowed Ginny to attend if Miss Doshy hadn't overheard the conversation and intervened. Then again, Johnny himself wasn't even at his own birthday party.

Issue 6: The Tar Baby. This animated sequence is considered to be controversial in that it depicts a black figure made out of tar designed by Brer Fox and Brer Bear to catch Brer Rabbit. Despite the fact that The Tar Baby was originally from Joel Chandler Harris' stories, a stigma has developed over the years about this imagery.

Issue 7: Baskett's Honorary Academy Award. It has been pointed out that James Baskett only received an honorary Oscar for his portrayl as Uncle Remus and not an "official" Academy Award, such as Best Actor. This is true. However, this movie was produced in the 1940's and segregation was still an ugly reality. Despite him not receiving a designated category Oscar, the fact that he received an Oscar was still significant. He was the first African American man to receive any type of Oscar. Hattie McDaniel, the woman who played Aunt Tempy in the film, was the first African American woman to earn an Academy Award several years prior for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone With the Wind (1939).

Now that we've identified most of the issues surrounding this film, let us then look at some positive aspects of the movie that, to me, show an attempt on Disney's part to transcend any racial barrier.

1. Uncle Remus, the main character. The character of Uncle Remus, played admirably by James Baskett, is depicted as a wise, kind, and carefree elderly man who enjoys telling stories to a younger audience, regardless of whether they're black or white. This is established right at the beginning. He goes against Miss Sally (the film's villain) because he believes his stories are a benefit to Johnny, who is struggling with the absence of his father. He shows his love of animals and protects Johnny throughout the film.

2. Johnny, the little boy. Johnny is color blind. The first friend he makes on the plantation is a black boy named Toby, which he frequently plays with; he holds hands with Uncle Remus several times throughout the film and looks up to him as a father figure.

3. All of the villains in the film are white. Sally, Johnny's mother, is undoubtedly the villain in the film, as she forbids her son from seeing Uncle Remus. Likewise, Ginny's two brothers are villains, in that they are the personification of Brer Bear and Brer Fox, intent on causing harm to Johnny (Brer Rabbit).

4. Miss Doshy, the plantation owner. Miss Doshy is shown to be a benevolent owner, while definitely feisty and fussy as grandmothers can be. Twice in the movie Uncle Remus and Miss Doshy engage in a brief but meaningful dialogue that shows they are on a same level of maturity and have mutual respect for each other.

Given these observations, I believe that Disney should step up to the plate and make this film available to the American public. (They have already released this movie in several other major countries.) Why? Because regardless of whether someone feels that this movie is racist or not, it's a part of film history and therefore it needs to be preserved. It also encourages discussion of the film and issues of that time period. And most importantly, it puts to rest the rumors and misinformation that have been surrounding this film for decades.

I would also encourage Disney to create a forward or preface to the film that explains the time period in which it was produced. This would help generations of today understand that it was a product of its time. However, I do not believe that the movie should be altered in any way (as Disney has done previously with some of their older films).

I have yet to hear of a child who's seen this movie for the first time remark about race. Could it be that in their innocence they are seeing what Walt intended—a colorblind story about a little boy who listens to Uncle Remus' entertaining stories? I can assure you that as a child I never once considered race as I watched this movie.

We live in a world today where sex, drugs, and violence is commonplace in movies. At least Song of the South made an attempt at showing harmony. And not only did it attempt at showing harmony within a family, but harmony between races as well; I think that's a big accomplishment for a film made in the 1940's when segregation was, sadly, still very much a part of life. I truly respect the opinion of those who find this movie offensive, but I also ask that my opinion is respected as well, for all of the reasons above.

Christian Willis

Please note: This page has and will continue to change over time as I better articulate my feelings and learn more about the issues surrounding the film. If something on this page comes across as insensitive (which is never my intention), please let me know so that I may clarify my statements. I want to keep an open dialog and the best way to do this is to hear your feedback. Thank you!

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