Song of the South
Year:
1946
Country:
USA
Genre:
Family, Animation, Music
IMDB rating:
7.3
Director:
Harve Foster, Wilfred Jackson
Ruth Warrick as Sally
Gene Holland as Joe Favers
Mary Field as Mrs. Favers
Erik Rolf as John (as Eric Rolf)
Georgie Nokes as Jake Favers (as George Nokes)
Anita Brown as Maid
Glenn Leedy as Toby
Luana Patten as Ginny
James Baskett as Uncle Remus / Br'er Fox (Voice)
Bobby Driscoll as Johnny
Nick Stewart as Br'er Bear (voice) (as Nicodemus Stewart)
Lucile Watson as Grandmother
Hattie McDaniel as Aunt Tempy
Johnny Lee as Br'er Rabbit (voice)
Storyline: Uncle Remus draws upon his tales of Brer Rabbit to help little Johnny deal his confusion over his parents' separation as well as his new life on the plantation. The tales: The Briar Patch, The Tar Baby and Brer Rabbit's Laughing place.
Type DVD-rip
Resolution 640x480 px
File Size 673 Mb
Codec mpeg4
Bitrate 1040 Kbps
Format avi
Download
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
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Reviews
"Everybody's got a Laughing Place."
A young boy (Bobby Driscoll) goes with his mother to live on his grandmother's plantation in Reconstruction-Era Georgia. There he is befriended by a warmhearted old man named Uncle Remus (James Baskett), who teaches the boy life lessons through stories about a wily rabbit that gets in (and out of) trouble with a fox and a bear.

The most controversial Disney movie ever made. It's never been released on home video in the US due to Disney's cowardice. When you actually see it, you'll probably wonder what all the fuss is about. There are no racial slurs, no violence against blacks, no hate anywhere to be found. The racism charges are mainly due to the black people in the film speaking with a dialect that is offensive to some and the lie that the film portrays "happy slaves." The last charge is especially galling as the film takes place after slavery has been abolished. The people in the film working as servants and laborers are allowed to come & go as they please and are treated respectfully. Most definitely not slaves. Uncle Remus in particular is shown great respect by all the white people in the movie, excepting for the two little kids who are villains and the main boy's mother who wrongly worries Remus' stories are having a bad influence on her son. I'm not saying that there is nothing a modern viewer might find offensive. I'm sure some will be offended; some always are. Rather than release the movie and allow people to make up their own minds, Disney is withholding it and allowing rumor and hearsay to distort the film's reputation as something on the level of Birth of a Nation depicting the KKK as heroes. Disgusting and a real disservice to all those who worked on the film, especially James Baskett. This was the role of his career (he died just two years later) and he deservedly received a special Oscar for his wonderful performance.

Controversies aside, it's a simple, warm family film with an upbeat tone and positive message. The songs are fun and the animated segments nice. It's not currently easy to find this if you live in the US but maybe someday soon Disney will pull its head from its rear and release it. But considering this is the company that still removes cigarettes and guns from its old cartoons, I wouldn't hold my breath. If that day ever comes, it will be mighty satisfactual.
2014-09-16
Fond memories of this tuneful film
I've seen it twice, during its reissues of the 1960s and '70s. I once had a storybook based on it which I particularly enjoyed as a boy in the 1960s. The Tar-Baby has as strong a grip on my childhood recollections as he had on poor old Br'er Rabbit.

It seems funny now that a rare Disney feature used to mean "The Three Caballeros", to name one, a film I was thrilled to have a chance to see in Spain in 1983 even if it was dubbed in Spanish. Rare never meant "Song of the South". Now "Three Caballeros" is available in every corner rental shop, but where alas are Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear?
2000-02-13
Reminds of youth
Of course times were different then, I was small and enjoyed this movie so much. And still do. I had never forgotten the famous song zippedy-doo-dah and when I found the movie on tape couldn't resist buying it. There is a simplicity about it, that is touching. The rabbit, bear and the tar baby all came back to me. Well, it's not for today's young people but I sure was happy to get it on tape. Really cannot understand at all why it isn't available in the US. Accept the past and let's be happy at least some of it has changed a little.
2003-07-27
A Silenced Song
For its time, a time when segregation was still aggressively enforced in the United States, 'Song of the South' was likely a progressive film, a major family film many of whose main characters were black, and whose animated characters were voiced by a black performer. Now, of course, 'Song of the South' is considered problematic due to its depiction of black slaves as happy and complacent, and its portrayal of them as Uncle Tom stereotypes.

Look closer, however, and you'll see a fine family film, warmhearted and gentle, both a technical landmark and a dazzling series of fables as told by Uncle Remus, the movie itself serving up a number of its own morals -- like the fact that a parent's good intentions can unwittingly stifle their child, or that storytelling is key to one's moral and social development.

None of this matters, of course. Walt Disney has now chosen to ignore the film on the basis of its reportedly offensive depiction of African-Americans in the post-Civil War era. For one, this film was not intended as propaganda or considered offensive at the time, and was merely the product of American perceptions of the 1940s; it's not any worse than the scores of westerns that depicted Native Americans as savage Injuns. Of course, Native Americans were and continue to be a marginalized group while African-Americans have maintained a desire to assimilate and have. Being that African-Americans have been far more vocal in their rejection of the injustices committed against them, it goes without saying that white-on-black bigotry is a far more sensitive issue than white-on-Indian bigotry (despite the fact that the Native Americans have suffered just as greatly at the hand of The Man as African-Americans), and therefore, we're less willing to excuse movies like 'Song of the South' than we are films like 'The Searchers.'

But then why is 'Gone With the Wind' still given the green-light and not 'Song of the South'? Well, the answer is simple: The Walt Disney Corporation. Walt Disney will go to any length to keep its reputation clean, and 'Song of the South' is construed as a serious threat to it -- therefore, placing the film on moratorium and making it unavailable simply deters controversy. They can't undo it, but they can certainly hide it. It matters not the value of the film. In a heartbeat, Disney would withdraw something as beloved as the 'The Little Mermaid' if it were one day decided that the film was unfair or offensive in its depiction of mermaids. In 'Song of the South,' one sees an innocence and warmth. In current Disney films, one sees a lot more of the cynicism and calculation of a soulless capitalistic corporate entity.

The depiction of blacks in current cinema is a lot more shameful and offensive than anything in 'Song of the South.' Consider personalities like Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, and films such as 'Phat Beach' and 'Friday,' which depict African-Americans as lazy, dope-smoking ne'er-do-wells who treat women badly and have no morals. I guess the fact that these films are largely created by African-Americans for African-American audiences gives them a dubious seal of authenticity, being that African-American entertainers are, ostensibly, no longer being exploited by the white man and have developed their own independent voice. If that's true, why is it so much more difficult for black filmmakers such as Charles Burnett and Julie Dash, filmmakers with a truly independent voice, to either find financing for their films, or be met with commercial acceptance? 'Song of the South' might be inaccurate in its depiction of slavery, but it never makes a point of being *about* slavery, and it's no more inaccurate than hundreds of Hollywood's historical epics and costume dramas.

By making 'Song of the South' unavailable, Disney is doing a disservice to those involved in the film and, more importantly, to the millions who harbor fond memories of it.
2004-08-02
Hunt this one up!
Regardless of being banned, this is an excellent family film. I've heard the reason it was banned in the U.S. was because of racial issues. If this is true, they're invisible to me (and several of my black friends). Although the blacks depicted in the movie were in subservient roles, this was the norm for the period portrayed. If anything, the morals of the story would tend to ease racial tensions.

As to the content: It's a fun film about a boy with parental problems who visits his grandmother and meets storyteller Remus. It moves nicely with humourous animated sequences and catchy tunes. Uncle Remus is a GREAT character. Hopefully Disney will realise banning this movie was an error.

If you're having trouble finding a copy, I believe they can be imported from the U.K. and Japan (we got ours in laserdisc format from Japan). Or you might check ebay or another online auction.
2001-07-25
ONE OF THE BEST DISNEY MOVIES EVER MADE
I recall seeing this movie for the first time as a child in the 1950's at the local movie theater. It's warmth and human spirit left a profound impression on me that I have to this day. I thoroughly enjoyed showing this to my own kids when it became available on laserdisc from Japan. I wish Disney would reconsider releasing it in the United States on DVD in a "remastered" version. It certainly isn't nasty toward any race since Uncle Remus is the hero of the whole movie. The time period depicted in the movie must have been during the "reconstruction" period of our nation since Uncle Remus was getting on the wagon and leaving the plantation to go to Atlanta toward the end of the movie. I've seen situation comedies on television today that are much more demeaning than this movie could ever be. I believe all people would see the heartfelt messages in this movie in a favorable light if Disney released it in America. I've showed the movie to African American friends of mine that are younger than I am and they thoroughly enjoyed it. They don't see what the big deal about political correctness is. Frankly, I don't either.
2001-02-15
Childhood Memories & Adult Realities
One of the sweetest memories I have of my childhood in Virginia is "Song of the South". I still remember the words to "Zippity Doo Dah", but only small bits of the movie. I would dearly love to see it again and add it to my movie collection. I notice that there is some controversy over the film's lack of "political correctness". I would like the opportunity to judge that for myself, as the aware adult that I am today. I believe that any form of artistic creation can be viewed and criticized on many levels. We may each experience the flaws in different ways but we would lose so much of value by "banning" works that don't pass the PC test. We should take advantage of the opportunity to learn from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. So let it be.
2000-09-20
A classic hidden from the public
This is my favorite Disney movie of all time. I especially love the animated segments with Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear. I think everyone should get the chance to see this classic film. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this movie will be making its debut on video anytime soon in the U.S. Disney is afraid of getting complaints from African-American do gooders. I mean, seriously, these people need to use their common sense. This movie was made in 1946. Times have changed since then and we don't use black caricatures in films anymore. I watched this movie from beginning to end and the black people in here are NOT being stereotyped. They have their own personalities. Uncle Remus is the old man who tells wonderful stories (notably the ones about Brer Rabbit) that the neighbors enjoy hearing about. Toby is the mischievous little boy who was ordered to be Johnny's playmate. To top it all off, they are portrayed by REAL AFRICAN-AMERICANS, NOT WHITE PEOPLE WITH BLACK MAKE-UP ON THEIR FACES. Slavery existed. It's a fact and you can't change the past. These do gooders who complain to the Disney Company obviously have no lives at all and need to GET A LIFE. This movie has been released on laserdisc, but unfortunately that was only in Japan. It has been released on video, but only in Europe, which uses the PAL system rather than the VHS system. I hope that Disney becomes under new management soon. We need a person who isn't afraid of those sleazy do-gooders. This way, there will be a good chance that this wonderful classic will be released on video/DVD and aired on television here in the United States. I just think it's pathetic that a classic work of art such as this should be locked up in the vault.
2000-12-03
The ONLY Disney flick that is banned from video
Out of all the Disney films that came out during that time,and those that went straight to video including the original "Fantasia" and "Dumbo",and others to name a few,the ONLY flick that was seen at the movies was "Song Of The South". The title song is a true classic,indeed but the movie itself was something more. Due to its stereotypical portrayal of African-Americans here,the only place you can see it is in a movie theater or in other words,I got the chance to see it during an African-American studies class at a local university. The last time it was shown in theatres was back in the early 1970's,and from there never heard from again due to the outlash of several groups including the NAACP,and other organizations. About the movie itself for a moment...... I loved the stories as a child about the characters liked Uncle Remus, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox,but I had a warm fuzzy feeling about it when I saw it with my parents at the Northgate Theater back in the early to mid 1970's,and again with I was in college under very certain circumstances. Again,the ONLY way to see it in its entirely would be to catch it at a university or if it ever gets the chance to come to TV....
2001-09-17
The unjust shunning of this classic.
Disney won't give an American re-release SONG OF THE SOUTH, one of their best animated cartoons. Feeling, this film will offend blacks, they have shelved the film. The only way I can see how it offends blacks is that the plantation slaves, who make up at least half the cast, seem content and happy as slaves.

The film tells how an older black man, Uncle Remus, befriends his "massas" little boy, (a wonderful performance by Bobby Driscoll) by telling him storties about foolish animals getting in and out of trouble. The morale of these stories are simple "You can not run away from trouble. There is no place far enough." (What a wonderful and realistic message you can give to children.) If anything SONG OF THE SOUTH shows, it's how healthy and fun it is to make friends with people of different color and/or ethnic background. The ending puts a lump in my throat. The perfect film for a rainy day or when you are feeling down.
2001-11-27
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