I have a feeling that's exactly what he's talking about. I have never seen the movie in full myself, but from many people I have heard from, the movie is highly overrated and at times, quite boring. But never seeing the movie myself, that may not be entirely true for me (and of course, it's all personal opinion).
I think it's highly overrated. There are some great songs, and the animation is worth a look, but it's just not as good as everyone claims. The story is a little too convoluted, the animated shorts are... well short.
It's worth a look for its historical contribution, but I definitely wouldn't call it a "classic". It's far below par of the original stories and the castrated book.
Last edited by Soulquarian; 03-14-2006 at 01:12 PM.
"Thank you very much. You may change your mind when I answer your question, though. Um... we've discussed this a lot. We believe it's actually an opportunity from a financial perspective to put Song of the South out. I screened it fairly recently because I hadn't seen it since I was a child, and I have to tell you after I watched it, even considering the context that it was made, I had some concerns about it because of what it depicted. And thought it's quite possible that people wouldn't consider it in the context that it was made, and there were some... [long pause] depictions that I mentioned earlier in the film that I think would be bothersome to a lot of people. And so, owing to the sensitivity that exists in our culture, balancing it with the desire to, uh, maybe increase our earnings a bit, but never putting that in front of what we thought were our ethics and our integrity, we made the decision not to re-release it. Not a decision that is made forever, I imagine this is gonna continue to come up, but for now we simply don't have plans to bring it back because of the sensitivities that I mentioned. Sorry."
Friday, March 10, 2006
This is a sensitive subject and I'm just happy to see that Iger has taken the time out to see the film for himself and come to a place where he is happy saying that the financial gain we would make off of the release is not worth compromising our company's integrity. I don't believe Disney should be ashamed of its past and this film, but if the time isn't right and our culture just isn't ready then we have to take that into account the same way we have to take into account the context in which the film was made. In other words, this film was released in 1946 and American culture, especially regarding race was different then, just as it was different during the time this film was set (during the Jim Crow era), and its for those reasons we might just have to wait a few more years.
Until then the bootleg dvd is not hard to come by.
If, as Iger suggests, Disney has released its commercial interest in Song of the South in favor of (overblown) socio-political concerns, then the film should be released to the public domain - - or at the very least licensed to an outside vendor (I'm sure they would line up for the title).
Otherwise, this decision makes no sense. The copyright laws exist only to protect the commercial interests of the rights holder and to protect them from unfair competition... but if a rights holder chooses to suppress a historic and creative subjective work from the marketplace, rejecting its commercial value, the film should no longer be protected by that copyright.
People have a right to view a noted artist's historic work freely.
Copyright: Use it or lose it. But to keep intellectual property from the public under these conditions amounts to nothing less than corporate censorship.
Last edited by merlinjones; 03-19-2006 at 09:44 AM.
The NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film when it was first released, but decried "the impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship". Disney re-released the film in 1956, but then kept it out of circulation all throughout the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s. In 1970 Disney announced in Variety that Song of the South had been "permanently" retired, but the studio eventually changed its mind and re-released the film in 1972, 1981, and again in 1986 for a fortieth anniversary celebration. Although the film has only been released to the home video market in various European and Asian countries, Disney's reluctance to market it in the USA is not a reaction to an alleged threat by the NAACP to boycott Disney products. The NAACP fielded objections to Song of the South when it premiered, but it has no current position on the movie.