Last night I got a chance to see Disney’s “Song of the South” for the first time. This was one of those special movies that could only be found online as it was banned by the PC Police for being racist. But was it really racist? I don’t think so. Let me explain.
Song of the South revolves around this little boy who comes for an extended visit to his grandmother’s Georgia plantation. The little boy is excited to get there because he’s heard about an old “negro” man called Uncle Remus (who incidentally has a cameo in South Park’s “Imaginationland.” I shit you not.) Uncle Remus is a famous storyteller who entertains children with tales of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear. Uncle Remus is a harmless old man and a creepy old bastard all at the same time. Mostly because he has a habit of calling the little boy “Honey.” But then again, it’s probably just a southern vernacular thing. Who gives a shit?
So anyway as I was saying about racism and stereotyping, “Song of the South” was, and is, in no way racist. Sure there were several parts of the movie that would be considered extremely inappropriate nowadays, and the way Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear talked would have some people pulling out their hair, but at no point in the entire movie were any of the black characters portrayed in a negative way. It’s a faithful account of the way things were back in those days; Disney wasn’t making fun of anyone or implying anything other that what appears on face value: people are just people, no matter what color they are or where they come from, and that we can all learn valuable lessons from the folk tales told by old men in the quiet corners of the world.
“Song of the South” is a great old movie, but it should be watched from an objective point of view. I myself sat down to watch it expecting a lot of pickaninny “Mammy” jokes and women shouting “LAWDY LAWDY!” but was surprised instead to find a simple story about simple folks from a simple time. I recommend it if you’ve never seen it before, or even if you have and would like another look at it. Just be warned: “Zippadee Doo-Dah” will be stuck in your head for days. Enjoy!