It is no secret that Disney's 1946 film Song of the South has plenty of controversy behind it. While a lot of young people may only be aware of 'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah' and the Song of the South inspired ride Splash Mountain at Disneyland, rather than the whole story behind the film.
Song of the South is considered a black mark on Disney's for the most part squeaky clean history as the movie is considered extremely controversial and racist. When the movie was released in 1946 it grossed $65 million at US box offices, but never made its way to DVD sales, due to criticism behind the movie.
I had personally never even HEARD about the movie until I was in Disneyland with my Mom a few months back and asked her what inspired the Splash Mountain ride. "It was a movie called Song of the South, it's an older one. Grandma was young when it came out. I wasn't alive." I asked her if I had ever seen the movie, and she told me no, I hadn't seen it, as the movie wasn't as easily available like The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty.
Once we googled the movie, we found out that Disney has been actively trying to bury this movie since the 1980s, but was facing difficulties as 'Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah' is one of the most recognizable songs in Disney history, as well as winning an Oscar in 1947. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, said in 2011 that while there would be "financial gain" to releasing the movie to modern audiences he doesn't feel that it wouldn't "sit or feel right to a number of people today." Those statements still seem to ring true as the video will NOT be available on the upcoming streaming service, Disney+, according to The Guardian.
While Dumbo will be available, one scene is also being cut from the film. In the original 1941 version of the film there is a gang (or murder) of crows with their leader being named Jim Crow. Doesn't seem too bad right? Well, Jim Crow laws did enforce racial segregation in the south, and have been considered racist caricatures by some according to The Telegraph. The scene was also absent in the recent 2019 live action remake of Dumbo from director Tim Burton.
What do you think? Should the movies be available as they apart of Disney's history, or did they make a good decision on leaving those out?