Disney: “We Want People to See Song of the South”

Yep, you read that right. Disney restoration team artistic supervisor Dave Bossert has dared to say what CEO Robert Iger won’t. Film journalist Steve Head asked Bossert about Song of the South during the Q&A portion of “Fantasia: A 70th Anniversary Celebration” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in October. This is what he had to say:

“I can say there’s been a lot of internal discussion about [Song of the South]. And at some point we’re going to do something about it. I don’t know when, but we will. We know we want people to see Song of the South because we realize it’s a big piece of company history, and we want to do it the right way.”

Bossert has overseen the restoration of classic Disney films such as Fantasia, Bambi, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp. For him to say this is pretty encouraging news, and I must say a refreshing departure from Iger’s now scripted response every year at the Disney shareholder meetings. Interestingly, it was also revealed that Song of the South’s original negatives are stored in a climate-controlled vault at the Library of Congress’ audiovisual preservation facility in Culpeper, Virginia.

I encourage you all to read the full article here: http://www.post-movie.net/?p=1840

A big thank you goes out to Steve for reporting on this and letting me know!

Posted in Articles, Rumors, Song of the South | 22 Comments

22 Responses to Disney: “We Want People to See Song of the South”

  1. Yvonne van Sijll says:

    Hurray!!! Hope that they will bring this movie out soon on dvd. I’ve seen the movie when I was a child and have never forgotten it. I would love to have it on dvd so that I can see it again (even with my grandchildren now).

  2. Kyle Blanchette says:

    Believe you me, fellow SOTS fans, I want to see Br’er Rabbit return to the briar patch as much as the next guy…But haven’t we heard this before? “There’s a lot of talk about it lately…we’ll see…Soon…” I don’t like being a cynic, but I’ve heard this line many times in the past five years. I’m making noise by letting everyone I know about it and I will make sure it WILL see the light of home viewing soon!

  3. Laura says:

    Song of the South was one of my all time favorites as a child. My children are grown and have never even heard of this movie. I think that is a shame because if was a great movie to watch. I want so much for it to be released in DVD format so that all can share in the wonderful movie.

  4. Kevin McQueary says:

    If this doesn’t help Disney to change it’s mind, I don’t know what will.

    Sorry, Disney, but you’re running out of options

  5. Don says:

    I have this movie on VHS I bought it in Japan when I was station there in 1987, it has japan sub titles

  6. R Reifenstein says:

    I was a fan of this movie when I was a kid. They seem to think it was too racially biased. I never felt anything like that as a kid because it seemed to portray life as it was back then. Uncle Remus was the kind old story teller and the characters were memorable and have stayed in my mind to this day. I have looked for a copy of this film for several years and I’m sure I’ll order one for me to show to my grandkids. We’ll discuss the fact that black people were slaves and be glad that all of that is now in the past.

  7. Wayne Engle says:

    I recently purchased a DVD of “Song of the South,” which was made from a VHS of the movie sold in England. It was a very good transfer, and it was wonderful to again see this charming, inspiring movie that I had only seen in its entirety as a child. I purchased a copy for a good friend also, and his girlfriend, who has never seen it, is eagerly awaiting her first viewing of this classic. The Disney organization is gutless; they are afraid of what the NAACP and other racial agitation organizations will say or do if they release it in the U.S.

  8. David says:

    I too bought a copy of the movie (VHS transfer) a few years ago at the San Diego County Fair. Paid $40 for it. Listen up Disney…I was willing to pay $40 for a copy of a VHS transfer to DVD for $40?? what do you think I would pay for an official Disney Restored Special Edition of the film?? I would pay twice that…yep…If it was $80 I would pay it for this classic movie. Disney you are losing MILLIONS of dollars to the VHS copies out there.

  9. thank god says:

    thank god for google and torrent and laserdisc transfers by the time walt releases it, i’ll be with him

  10. Nita says:

    Please, my great-granddaughter has the Sing Along “Zippity Do Dah” and loves these characters. There is no good reason to feel this is a racist film, it was not meant as that originally and still would not be. Let get real and release this excellent film so we would have to pay for copies from foreign countries. Our children deserve to see it as it was made. So many others have been re-released. why not this one? Because Remus is called “Uncle” – in the south that is a term of respect for a beloved and close male friend, just as Aunt is for a lady. Can’t we be real about this?

  11. I paid $25 several years ago for a poor copy bought from a dealer in Atlanta who insisted he had purchased a crate off of a ship that was returned to US due to some reason and left in storage for years. He told me that it was Bill Cosby who had purchased all copyrights, etc to this wonderful movie and taken it off the market due to his feelings that it contained negative images of african americans. All I know is that as a child and a grown up it was a wonderful movie and I would love to have a good copy for by grandkids as well as myself. It is as much an American classic as Tom Sawyer and more likely to survive the years than a lot of the more recent Disney productions.

  12. God forbid that instead of rereleasing this movie, Disney instead comes up with some wierd commercialized version similiar to the “Tangled” version of “Rumplestiltskin”.

  13. edwardhowardrackley says:

    I originally saw Song of the south, when I was 7 years old and I loved it. later on I took my
    children to see it. (have you ever heard a happier song then zipidy do da?)
    They loved it as i did. They loved Uncle Remos, In fact when I took them to Disney in Florida
    My little girl ran to a life sized character of brear bear and started scolding him for being
    mean to Brer Bear.
    She was taught a lesson in bulling. and careing for others. Sorry no raceism here.
    P. S. this movie could never teach a child to be a racist, only a grown up can.

  14. Corinne says:

    My mom had this movie on VHS when I was growing up like others I was able to get this movie copied on DVD. My daughter enjoying the splash mountain ride asked me who the rabbit was so I showed her the movie she loved it. I bought her the characters off eBay for Christmas she brings them everywhere we go.
    Recently at one of her activities a woman comment on her toys, we got to talking about the movie. She worked for Disney and said that Disney does plan to release it in 4 to 5 years. Disney is trying to figure out a p.c.way to explain certain parts. I asked her what was the problem? Now I thought she would say it had to do with the way the characters talked but she said the big problem Disney is trying to figure how to handle with the movie is the “Tar Baby” scene.
    They can’t leave that scene out it’s an important part of the movie so I guess we will have to wait and see what Disney decides to do.

  15. CHARLES & MARGARET says:

    I was ten when I first saw this movie and loved it then and saw it every chance I had to see it.
    I would love to show it to my Grandchildern even if I have to buy a repoduction of it.

  16. Every year, during Black History Month, I teach my middle school art class a unit on Br’re Rabbit and the Song of the South for it’s historical content (Baskett being the first black actor to win an award of any kind from the Academy), and to teach them about African-American Folklore. If Diseny truly wanted to release this film in a way that would curb controversy then they should include honest to goodness documentary bonus features where people discuss just why the film is contraversial, it’s historical importance in Disney history, and it’s historical importance to the history of black actors. Never has there been a movie that could have more positive impact than this movie if they could only have the courage of Disney himself to do it. (It’s ironic how Walt Disney had the courage to make this film in the first place during a time when it was definitely contraversial to have a male black actor basically instructing a white child and treated as an intellectual equal when such things were almost unheard of, yet the company today doesn’t seem to show as equal amount of courage in releasing the film in the country it originated from).

    I shouldn’t own a copy of the vhs, bought from a British vendor at a Transformers convention of all places.

  17. peg says:

    bring it back

  18. Jennifer says:

    I am so excited to find this website! I saw song of the south as a kid I could not have been more that 6 most likely not even that old. But that movie has stayed with me all of these years I will be 35 in a few weeks. It brings back warm comforting memories not racial ones. I loved uncle remus. My father found a storybook collection of uncle remus’ tales when I was little I loved him reading me a story from it. My best present I have ever received was for my 31 birthday my mom found a song of the south record album and framed and gave it to me it almost made me cry it was a piece of my childhood. I have bought my kids read along brer rabbit story books as I have found them and a few years ago in a Wal-Mart five dollar bin I found a brer rabbit DVD that was the tales voiced by some very famous black actors including the tar baby tale. I will try and find the DVD case in my stack and take a picture of it or at the least list the actors who voiced this version. As I write this, my kids are watching this very DVD as a bedtime movie and they have never thought anything was racially themed in the movie. I beg Disney to bring this back as it is a piece of our American history and more important a wonderful childhood memory

  19. Dan says:

    Anyone interested in purchasing Song of the South on DVD can send me an e-mail. It’s complete with case and artwork and is DVD quality, not VHS quality or even laser disc quality. It’s the best version available. dan611Logan@yahoo.com

  20. Jenniffer Burden says:

    I am a Council Bluffs, Iowa resident. I have had a friend call Disney company about this movie. She had to call two different numbers to even find out that it was still on the original reels. I went to the public library here in Council Bluffs Iowa and actually found an original copy of Song of the South on V.H.S. I borrowed it and ran home to call my parents liars because they too also told me that, that movie was never released here in the U.S. I found out that the library had received as a donation from the United Kingdom. Not saying thatthere are authentic copies out there, I am just saying that it can be founde. Unfortunately to my disappointment the public library here in Coucil Bluffs Iowa had given all of their V.H.S. to a local book store about two years ago. Never had I ever been so upset that that was the only copy I had ever found. Good Luck on waiting for Walt Disney Company to release this great american one of a kind all time favorite film that is seeked by every Disney Film loving soul. Good luck my friends! ; (

  21. DEE says:

    I have never seen this Disney movie and would love to, as I am a big fan of Disney animation! I do not have a vhs player, and the vhs version is hard to find. I bought a DVD from a seller on Bonaza, no knowing at the time that Disney had not released this movie on DVD, and the disc was such bad quality I could not get it to play. Bootleg all the way! Oh how I wish Disney would release this movie!
    BTW steer clear of this Bonanza seller, who not only sold me a bootleg, but was abusive when I said I was sending it back: jaimeyverhagen