March 12, 2007

Offensive blacks retired, but not offensive Indians

Why Disney won't re-release 'Song of the South'Come Tuesday, Walt Disney Video will release a Platinum Edition DVD of the ever-popular "Peter Pan." Five weeks ago, the company retired three other classic cartoons, including "Bambi."

Disney's long used a cycle of absence and plenty to keep its films fresh to new viewers. In decades past, it re-released its films in theaters every few years; today, it rotates its videos like bakery stock.

All but one.

Alone among the great Disney features, "Song of the South" has never been released on videotape or DVD in the United States and hasn't been screened in a stateside theater since 1986.

Despite Academy Awards, groundbreaking technology, a black leading man and a script that often turns racial stereotypes on their head, the 1946 movie has been damned as an embarrassing throwback, a whitewash, the racist skeleton in Disney's film vault.
Comment:  Peter Pan is another racist skeleton in Disney's film closet. As these illustrations indicate.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
First, the article's conclusion that why SONG OF THE SOUTH should be seen as racist when GONE WITH THE WIND is not so seen, misses the point that SONG is aimed at children and WIND is not. Second, the singing crow sequences in DUMBO were altered only slightly but have the same impact as do the Br'er Rabbit sequences in SONG OF THE SOUTH. Yet, DUMBO remains among the classic re-releases from the Disney library. Third, no one seems to remember that in FANTASIA (1940), in the centaur sequences, there were young male and female Black centaurs as well as young male and female Caucasian centaurs. The difference was that the Black centaurs were seen as servants waiting on the Caucasian centaurs. Later releases of the FANTASIA re-sized those particular sequencess and eliminated the Black centaur depictions without losing a frame. Perhaps the fact that SONG OF THE SOUTH remains shut away in the vault comes from changes in racial identities and racial attitudes, not overlooking the dozens of millions of Blacks now alive in the American population.
In the case of PETER PAN, that the Native sequences, seen as objectionable by some, never have been altered or taken to be a reason for not re-releasing the film, likely arises because Native Americans almost are the smallest minority in the whole American populace...
All Best
Russ Bates

Eug_E said...

Peter Pan es un pelicula excelente que todo chico deberia ver, para las minorias cualquier gilada es racista andaaaaa

Rob said...

No, Peter Pan is not an excellent film that all children must see. It's a mid-level Disney film that badly stereotypes Indians. If you want an excellent Disney film, try Beauty and the Beast or Finding Nemo.