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YMMV / Song of the South

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  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • The tales of Br'er Rabbit which the book on which the movie was written got preserved, were original African-American folktales. With the suppression of Song of the South, these folk tales (which would have been lost to time) have also been suppressed. Though the Br'er Rabbit tales themselves can be found in some older Disney "collection" books, usually ones dealing with "Tales From America".
    • These folk tales in turn have been adapted into Dutch Donald Duck comics, where they are known as "Broer Konijn", and tell adventures centered around these three characters, while the bear and fox also appear in "De Grote Boze Wolf" (Big Bad Wolf) comics in the same magazine. These stories focus solely on the trickster archetype aspects of the character, as well as providing cronies for the Dutch version of the Big Bad Wolf.
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  • Bile Fascination: While the film isn't considered to be poorly made as much as its story's subjects are of highly questionable morals, modern viewers only seem interested in watching it to see if it is, in fact, as racist as they've been told it is.
  • Broken Base: The film has a cult following, but the cult following is bitterly divided between African Americans who remember it for the folktales and one of the first prominent casting of a Black man on film, thirtysomething hipsters who want to watch it due to its mix of notoriety and nostalgia, and older White Southerners who fondly recall its "Uncle Tom"-like aspects and Rose-Tinted Narrative of happy Black people living in the Old South. This obviously has not given Disney much incentive to re-market the film...
  • "Common Knowledge": Many people unfortunately remember this as "that one Disney movie about an old Black man who finds Happiness in Slavery" — but the story is set after the Civil War. Given how scarcely-distributed this movie is, this misinterpretation about what the movie is actually about is something that's not easily corrected.
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  • Critical Backlash: Due to the above debate. Some find the film funny if white-washing, some can't ignore the Unfortunate Implications, and others just find it really boring.
  • Ear Worm: "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah", "How Do You Do?", "Everybody Has A Laughin' Place", etc. If you haven't seen the movie, these worms may have still found their way in your ear via the Splash Mountain ride at the Disney Theme Parks, Disney compilation albums, Disney Sing-Along Songs videos, and (especially in the case of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah") general pop cultural usage. Other catchy songs from the film include "Uncle Remus Said" and "Let the Rain Pour Down".
  • Evil Is Sexy: Br'er Fox is this for the fans of the movie attracted to men.
  • Fair for Its Day: And arguably not only fair, but brave. You could say that Uncle Remus was a sharecropper, which was not too far removed from a slave (the South had a way of cutting corners after they lost the Civil War and sharecropping was one of the rare jobs freed slaves could get after the South was strapped for resources), and he was complacent and even positive about his current position. However, he's more mature than the white folks he works for. This applied to the cast as well. Walt Disney absolutely loved how well James Baskett played the part of Uncle Remus. Originally, the actor was only going to voice an animated animal until Disney gave him the lead. To top it off, Disney put a lot of effort into seeing that Baskett got an honorary Oscar for his performance, making him the first African American man to get any sort of Oscarnote . However, when the film premiered in Atlanta, he still wasn't allowed to attend, on account of racial segregation.
    • That said, not all contemporaneous sources found it fair for its day. The film was protested as early as one month after its 1946 release, influential Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. called it "an insult to minorities," and it was fairly harshly panned by The New York Times.
  • Funny Moments:
    • When Br'er Fox has thrown Br'er Rabbit into the briar patch, thinking that would kill him, he takes off his hat in mock respect. Then he notices that Br'er Bear hasn't taken off his hat and forcefully does it for him.
    • Earlier, during "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", Uncle Remus realizes that Mr. Bluebird isn't on his shoulder and pauses the song briefly, asking, "Where is that bluebird?" When Mr. Bluebird shows up fashionably late, Uncle Remus picks up where he had left off.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Uncle Remus has a line about how people wouldn't keep telling these old stories if it didn't mean something to people. After this film went into the Disney vault these stories did become forgotten.
  • Heartwarming Moment: When all the farm workers are gathered at the door of the plantation, holding a vigil for Johnny (recently injured by the bull).
  • He Really Can Act: This was the contemporary view of James Baskett's performance, for which he won an honorary Academy Award.
  • Idiot Plot: A lot of trouble would’ve been saved had anyone bothered telling Johnny's mother that he got the puppy fair and square and why he got it in the first place.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Many people who watch the film watch it just for the animated segments with Br'er Rabbit note 
    • Nowadays, many viewers are just watching it to see what all the racial Values Dissonance is about.
    • Others watch it for James Baskett's portrayal of Uncle Remus, which was the first major role awarded to an African American actor.note 
    • And still others simply watch it because it's the source of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and the inspiration for Splash Mountain.
  • Macekre: Disney has occasionally circulated a cut-down version featuring only the animated segments; this still got Bowdlerized a bit for Splash Mountain in particular, Brer Rabbit is caught in a beehive rather than a Tar Baby.
  • Moment of Awesome: Seeing Ginny's older brothers get what they deserve.
  • Narm:
    • Johnny's sad faces, which The Cinema Snob describes as looking like he can't decide whether he's crying or sneezing.
    • While "All I Want" is a very sad song, the fact that one of the singers sounds like Marvin the Martian may lessen the drama for some.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The movie's popularity has stemmed from generations who are curious as to just why it's being censored.
  • Older Than They Think: This movie did not invent B'rer Rabbit.
  • So Okay, It's Average: While the racial politics surrounding the movie are obviously the biggest reason Disney's tried to bury it, the other, arguably just as big reason is that the people who have seen it feel that it's an otherwise boring movie with little merit beyond the animation. There just weren't people who had to see this movie on DVD.
  • Special Effects Failure: When Johnny first comes across the singing sharecroppers, the scene is supposed to be at night, but was obviously filmed during the day.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • When Uncle Remus tells Johnny about the dog, who one could only assume was drowned, though at the end when the animated characters show up in the real world, the puppy is shown to be just fine, averting What Happened to the Mouse?.
    • When Johnny runs to Uncle Remus's cabin only to find that he's gone.
    • Seeing an injured Johnny in bed after the bull attack, begging for Uncle Remus, who briefly left due to Johnny's mother ordering him to stay completely away from him, to return. Only an increasingly fed-up Miss Doshy seizes the initiative and fetches Remus.
    • Poor little Ginny getting bullied.
    • Toby and Uncle Remus concerned for Johnny after the bull attack.
  • Toy Ship: Johnny and Ginny.
  • Values Dissonance: The reason this film isn't shown in America anymore. In addition to racial issues, no one seems to care in particular that two children want to drown a puppy for fun.


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