Yesterday that song (Zippity Doo Dah) kept running through my head, which brought to mind, for the first time in many years, the classic Disney movie, The Song of the South, first released in 1946, and last released in 1986. Despite the fact that this movie is now considered, by some, socially and politically incorrect, so much so that Disney refuses to release copies for sale, I dearly LOVED that movie as a child. Some of you will remember it. It was based upon the stories of Joel Chandler Harris, who grew up during the days of slavery, in the deep South. The time setting of his stories, however, was after the Civil War and, therefore, after slavery had been abolished. Uncle Remus was, despite popular opinion, not a slave, but a free man, which was made clear in the original stories, but not so clear in the Disney movie.
Some of you will remember the movie, which took place on a southern plantation, with its cast of characters: Uncle Remus, the kind-hearted, lovable black man, who we assume had been a slave in his younger years; Johnny, the nephew of the plantation owner, who came to visit with his parents (who were planning to divorce); Toby, the little black boy who lived on the plantation and became Johnny's first and best friend there; Ginny, the sweet little girl of a poor white family and the sister of two bullying brothers; and the memorable animated characters who starred in the tales told to the children by Uncle Remus, Bre'r Rabbit, Bre'r Fox and Bre'r Bear.
I spent some time yesterday watching clips, from the movie, that can be found on YouTube. I fell back in love with Uncle Remus, after years of not thinking about him. I was enchanted, all over again, by the wonderful Bre'r Rabbit fables, the "color-blindness" of the children, and the mutual adoration of Uncle Remus and the children.
I've heard that the movie may still be available in Europe, and, of course, there are pirated copies available for sale in the US. There are well-founded hints that Disney might once again release the movie sometime in the future. One way or another, I'd love to get a copy of The Song of the South.
Clicking HERE will take you to a nice summary of the film and some of the social and political issues surrounding it; and one man's defense of the film, all of which I found worth reading.
For those who are too young to have ever seen The Song of the South, I'll post a clip (or two) from the movie. And, if you'd like to show Disney your support for re-releasing the film, you can go to THIS LINK and sign a petition.
Can't stand not knowing what happens to Bre'r Rabbit when he runs away? Here's the following scene, which answers that question.