February 24, 2005

Song of the South Released?

(Unconfirmed) Disney to release Uncle Remus from Bondage

I just got word that Buena Vista Home Entertainment will be releasing "Song of the South" on DVD in the Fall of 2006.

That's right. "Song of the South." The Academy Award winning film that former Disney Feature Animation head Thomas Schumacher once told Roger Ebert was on "permanent moratorium" has reportedly been greenlit for release late next year. A special 60th anniversary edition that -- thanks to a plethora of extra features -- will try & put this somewhat controversial motion picture in historial context.

"Why -- after all these years -- did Disney finally give in?," you query. It's simple, really. "Song of the South" 's 60th anniversary was simply too good a promotional hook for the Mouse's marketing staff to pass up. More to the point, Buena Vista Home Entertainment could really use a hit right about now.

"But aren't Disney Company execs concerned about how the African American community may response to 'Song of the South' 's release of DVD?," you continue. Yep. I won't lie to you folks. There's a lot of people in the Team Disney Burbank building who are very concerned that -- by releasing this much maligned motion picture on home video & DVD -- that the Mouse House is potentially opening itself up to a ton of bad publicity.

With the hope of avoiding that, BVHE reportedly plans to really pile on the extra features with "Song of the South." Among the ideas currently being knocked around is producing a special documentary that -- through use of clips from that TV movie version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" that Disney produced back in 1997 as well as sequences from "The Proud Family" & "That's So Raven" -- would demonstrate that a person's color really doesn't matter at the modern Walt Disney Company. There's also talk of including Walt Disney Feature Animation's seldom-seen short, "John Henry," as one of the disc's special features.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment is also supoosedly toying with approaching a prominent African-American performer to serve as the MC on the DVD version of "Song of the South."
LINK

Now all the young visitors to DisneyWorld will know what that whole "Splash Mountain" ride is about.

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