Song of the South Turns 66; DVD Being Sold?

Song of the South’s worldwide premier was on November 12, 1946. Happy 66th Birthday!

Photo Credit: Lynn Hobbs/Staff of The Eatonton Messenger

On the DVD front, we’ve received several reports that Song of the South is being sold on DVD at the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton, Georgia. An article published by the Eatonton Messenger sums it up the best:

“…Uncle Remus Museum bookkeeper Bill Watterson said the local museum is one of several venues that carry the movie on DVD.

Watterson said he’d been searching for a good copy of the movie for quite a while, because “over the years, we’ve had a lot of requests for it.”

It wasn’t until early this summer that he found one through one of the museum’s book publishers.

“It’s much better quality than you normally see. That’s why we carry it,” Watterson said. “Being self-supportive, we can’t afford to have poor-quality products.”

….

The DVD costs $25 at the museum and includes bonus features such as music by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers, interviews with Walt Disney and cast members, rare behind-the-scenes footage, and “Tales of Uncle Remus” audio book.”

You can read the full article by Lynn Hobbs here. It should be noted that Disney has never officially released this movie on DVD. The version that the museum is carrying is technically an unauthorized copy, though it will be interesting to see if Disney takes any action on this.

Over the past several years, bootleg (unofficial) DVDs of Song of the South have become more and more prevalent (including Amazon), and YouTube offers clips of the movie that Disney is no longer attempting to remove. In fact, the last time any action was taken on unauthorized distribution (that we know of) was April 2004, in which a South Carolina man was arraigned for pirating Song of the South on VHS and DVD (read article here).

Has Disney essentially given in and turned a blind eye, allowing fans to distribute the film as a way to ease demand while avoiding responsibility? Only time will tell. Thanks to everyone for the news reports!

Posted in Articles, Rumors, Song of the South | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Song of the South Turns 66; DVD Being Sold?

  1. I have news on this release!

    I talked with the gentlemen behind this particular DVD release of Song of the South. Due to my promise to him, he shall remain nameless, but I will share what he told me. First off, not surprisingly, this is not an authorized copy of the film. Second, this release is not just sold via the Uncle Remus Museum as an exclusive, but can be found all over Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.

    About a decade or so ago, he had a contact rather high up at Disney, who informed him that the studio had no idea what to do with the film. This may not be so surprising, but Disney (and I bet Iger) is more afraid of what Jessie Jackson and the NAACP think about this film, or feel they might feel about this film if it was ever released, then granting the fan’s wishes.

    When this gentlemen decide to print this copy of the DVD (which he assures me is a very good copy of the film with extras), he told me that he talked with a lawyer about printing it. He was told that in the last decade since fans started creating un-authorized copy of Song of the South, Disney has never gone after any of them, and with that precedent, they might have a hard case suddenly doing so now. Of course you guys pointed out a case in 2004 where that was not the case, but I’m tell you what he told me.

    So he released it and has sold a ton of copies since. He also had no idea about this article till I contacted him and wanted to keep a lower profile, just in case. That is what I was told, I’m just sharing it with all of you. Do with it as you will.

    • Kevin says:

      here’s a little something I found according to Wikipedia.org;

      it says that apparantly, In October 2012, Disney announced that it was “fully supportive” of pirate copies of the film, and that they had officially legally allowed the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton to distribute copies of the film, making it the only place (currently) in which the film can be purchased

  2. In my humble opinion as the Head Admin of Open Vault Disney, after talking with this guy, my old Disney contact, listening the what Bob Iger has said about releasing this film, what others from Disney have said and other research, I have come to the conclusion that if you guys or anyone else for that mater truly want this film officially released, you need to stop petitioning Disney.

    Instead you need to start petition the N.A.A.C.P. and guys like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. Being frank, they are the reason Disney won’t budge on this film. They are too afraid of what they might do or say should they ever even think of releasing this film finally, and as much as they know fans want this film, it will never be enough. So, in my way of thinking, you need to petition the Black Civil Rights leaders to support Disney in releasing the film. Make the case to them and I promise you it will happen.

    Now, that means you’d officially be heading into racial political waters, but you need to ask yourself, how bad do you want this? By campaigning for this title at all, you kind of already are anyway. I’d set it up, but I’m more focused on titles like “DuckTales” right now and you guys are already set up to go after this. If you want assistance, I’m not hard to find and will offer it if you ask. Past that, I think bootlegs are as good as we’ll ever get it for this film. And that is my official stance on this movie being released as of right now.

    Petition the N.A.A.C.P. for this film. It’s the only way! Good luck.

    • starwars2099 says:

      If the NAACP is the problem why not make official releases outside the USA, just like they did in the past?

    • William P. Johnson, Jr. says:

      Hi Jason:

      I think you’re right. Constant, insessant petioning to the Walt Disney Company on releasing SONG OF THE SOUTH is a monumental waste of time and effort. If Bob Iger truly does take offense to the film itself as reported, then in all probability he is just as offended by and at all the lovers of the film who keep petitioning the Walt Disney Company on behalf of the film.

      But I also think petitioning the NAACP is an equally useless effort. Petitioning Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson is a lost cause too…they are so rigid on any topic they view as racist they probably wouldn’t even take the time to respond…but who can absolutely say for sure.

      Quite honestly, my educated guess is that the Walt Disney Company is probably doing the preliminary marketing steps for a ‘successful controversey free’ release of SONG OF THE SOUTH in high definition on Blue-ray Disc for the 70th Anniversary of the the film in 2016…we’ll see. Why else would they give their impramateur to the UNCLE REMUS MUSEUM to sell the film legally on the museum’s premises?

      In the meantime a still very good copy of SONG OF THE SOUTH can be easily and readily be purchased online on the website http://www.MAYANCASTLEDVD.NET.
      So what is all the ‘fuss about’…you tell me?

      Have a good day sir.

  3. Kevin says:

    I saw this article before it even came all the way up here. All I wish to know, though, is this; is the DVD bootleg copied from the Japan Laser Disc of the movie? Or is it from the Hong Kong Laser Disc? Japan is NTSC which is Region 1, and Hong Kong is PAL which is Region 2. So which Region Code is this bootleg from?

  4. P says:

    Song of the South DVD is being sold on Amazon China, but they don’t ship to the US.