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  1. #46

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    Post Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    I just picked up the Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies, and I thought I'd share some thoughts from Leonard Maltin as he presented them:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltin
    “It’s important to remember that these films were made many years ago. Society was different then, and that was reflected in Hollywood movies. People thought nothing of often crude cartoon violence, or an exposed rear end as a joke. Ethnic, racial, and even gender stereotypes were commonplace, not only in cartoons, but in live action feature films too.
    He then went on to site specific actors, gags, and characters that would have been commonly caricatured. He concluded with:

    These gags certainly make us feel uncomfortable today, as they should, we’ve come a long way since the 1930s. But, rather than sweep these cartoons under the rug and pretend they didn’t exist, I think it’s healthier to show them intact and discuss they way things were and the way people were perceived in years gone by.”
    I thought this was interesting for a few reasons. First off, regardless of your stance on Song of the South you cannot deny that the Disney company HAS swept it under the rug and tried to pretend that it does not exist outside their pocketbook. It's interesting then, that they would take a stance like stated above on certain cartoons, but then take the opposite stance on Song of the South.

    It's also important to note that this was commonplace. SotS is not the only movie that can be racially offensive. Gone With the Wind for example has often fallen under similar criticism, yet more often then not it is viewed as a masterpiece.

    As for the other Disney cartoons that has atrociously faced censorship (Aladdin, Pocahontas), Pocahontas itself hold some interesting bonus features on the DVD. For instance, one interview with Russell Means (a Sioux himself, who voice Powhatan...Pocahontas’s Father) states that Pocahontas is one of the most accurate depictions of a Native American culture in film up to that time (1995). Side note:

    Quote Originally Posted by imdb
    Russell Means was born an Oglala/Lakota Sioux Indian. He was the first national director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in which role he became prominent during 1972 standoff with the US government at Wounded Knee. He has championed the rights of indigenous peoples in other countries as well as the US. In a televised speech to the 2000 Libertarian Party National Convention, Means said that he prefers the label "Indian" to the more politically correct "Native American." "Everyone who is born in America is a native American, " he said.
    Basically, my point is there is great work being done in these films, if people educated themselves on the issues, culture, time period (both of the movie and of when the movie was made). More often than not when people take offense to something in the media, it is based on a misunderstanding or NO understanding at all.

    All that being said, I think Song of the South should be released, preferably under the Disney Treasures line with an in depth look at the film as history. Rather than ignoring the issues, it would be better the embrace them and move PAST them to acknowledge how far we've come as a culture, and how far we still have to go.



  2. #47

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The honey was used instead of tar only in the Disneyland attraction so as to avoid any racial undertones.
    One of the other reasons honey is used in the attraction is because the beehive scene immediately precedes the final episode in which Br'er Rabbit is taken to the fox's lair atop Chick-a-pin Hill.

  3. #48

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by quasimodo1384 View Post
    As for the other Disney cartoons that has atrociously faced censorship (Aladdin, Pocahontas), Pocahontas itself hold some interesting bonus features on the DVD.
    I differentiate between what happened to "Pocahontas" versus what happened to "Aladdin".

    The use of the term, "dirty redskin devils", was important to the theme and dramatic core of the former story, whereas Aladdin's Arabs cutting off ears was out of place in the song, "Arabian Nights".

  4. #49

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist
    I differentiate between what happened to "Pocahontas" versus what happened to "Aladdin".

    The use of the term, "dirty redskin devils", was important to the theme and dramatic core of the former story, whereas Aladdin's Arabs cutting off ears was out of place in the song, "Arabian Nights".
    I totally see where you're coming from, and you're right: they are different cases. However I am totally against censorship in any form.

    I think that cutting off ears fits better with it being "barbaric" than does the heat being "intense." Even if it's not 100% PC (don't get me started on all of that...) it does admittedly fit with the rest of the lyrics better.



  5. #50

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    I think being PC is different from insulting or belittling someone's race or culture. Its a very fine line and what ones sees as PC gone awry could be very offensive to another.
    " Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. " Oh no we might be in trouble

  6. #51

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    It should be noted that even modern Disney films have the potential to offend.

    "Pocahontas" had a line of one of its songs that used the term, "dirty redskin devils", changed, even though the song was all about racism. And, "Arabian Nights" in "Aladdin" had a line about the alleged barbarism of certain cultural practices that was rightly changed since said line was, indeed, ethnocentric. Disney made an appropriate decision in that instance to project greater cultural relativism.
    And don't forget Peter Pan's "What made the Red Man Red?"

  7. #52

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanaimobar View Post
    And don't forget Peter Pan's "What made the Red Man Red?"
    Indeed...and "Squaw getum firewood!"

    All of these need to be taken into their contexts and the time they were made should be considered as well. The problem is, most of these films are animated features aimed at the family/child market. It takes parents to help children understand that now-a-days we don't call an Indian a "redskin" (unless of course they play for the football team) or redman. It will be hard for small children to grasp since "if Peter Pan said it, what's the problem?"

    Unfortunately not all parents (sometimes it doesn't even seem like "most" parents!) will take the time to do that educating.

    Ultimately I would like to see SotS released, but as I said...I think it will take a plan that included various cultural/social associations to assist in spreading the word about the reasons and context of some the content.

  8. #53

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy Daddy View Post
    Indeed...and "Squaw getum firewood!"

    All of these need to be taken into their contexts and the time they were made should be considered as well. The problem is, most of these films are animated features aimed at the family/child market. It takes parents to help children understand that now-a-days we don't call an Indian a "redskin" (unless of course they play for the football team) or redman. It will be hard for small children to grasp since "if Peter Pan said it, what's the problem?"
    This is where there is no reason to be offended. The color of one's skin is a physical characteristic, just like blond hair and blue eyes.

    The time to be offended is when one person asserts that he or she is superior by virtue of a meaningless characteristic like white skin or when he or she asserts that his or her culture is superior to another. There is more genetic diversity within a "race" than there is between two "races"; scientists don't even use the word, "race". And, each culture evolves in response to the unique needs its people face. So, straightforward terms like "red-skin" or "pale-face" are fairly innocuous, especially in the contexts of "Pocahontas" and "Peter Pan".

  9. #54

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    I said it before I'll say it again. The film is not offensive.

    release it as a Disney treasure.

  10. #55

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound View Post
    Walt took the film to the NAACP after it was completed and ready to be distributed. His intent was to inshure that the film would not be offensive... We are talking good intentions.

    NAACP really took him to task... They complained that Walt should have gone to them with a script before filming even started. My understanding is that they made their objections known.
    a bit off topic, but I hope I'm dead a buried before movie makers take their script to the NAACP for approval before they start filming.
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  11. #56

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    a bit off topic, but I hope I'm dead a buried before movie makers take their script to the NAACP for approval before they start filming.
    You don't have to worry about that. Instead they take them to Target and Wal*Mart for aproval before filming.

  12. #57

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    This is where there is no reason to be offended. The color of one's skin is a physical characteristic, just like blond hair and blue eyes.
    Thats true that the color of one's skin is just a physical characteristic, but terms like redskin or redman were created and used to marginalize Native Americans and make them less than people. Not simply to describe them
    " Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. " Oh no we might be in trouble

  13. #58

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy Daddy View Post
    Indeed...and "Squaw getum firewood!"

    All of these need to be taken into their contexts and the time they were made should be considered as well. The problem is, most of these films are animated features aimed at the family/child market. It takes parents to help children understand that now-a-days we don't call an Indian a "redskin" (unless of course they play for the football team) or redman. It will be hard for small children to grasp since "if Peter Pan said it, what's the problem?"

    Unfortunately not all parents (sometimes it doesn't even seem like "most" parents!) will take the time to do that educating.

    Ultimately I would like to see SotS released, but as I said...I think it will take a plan that included various cultural/social associations to assist in spreading the word about the reasons and context of some the content.
    Word. As an adult, *I* don't need the context explained, and though I do not have kids, if I did, I would certainly gauge any explanation, based on their age and socialization. I'm not going to browbeat an 18-month-old into "all this racisim is bad!" -- they just want to see the cartoon characters.

    Really -- take a look at the old uncensored Popeye, Betty Boop, etc. -- I don't think any of us in this generation have anything to say! There was some stuff going on there that makes SotS tame by comparison.

    History is history, warts and all. This is like those people who say, "Don't show any more old movies that have shots of the World Trade Center in them!" It's not the filmaker's fault, nor were they fortune-tellers!

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  14. #59

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    Quote Originally Posted by Djmutto View Post
    Thats true that the color of one's skin is just a physical characteristic, but terms like redskin or redman were created and used to marginalize Native Americans and make them less than people. Not simply to describe them
    Which brings up a good point. Does anyone see the hypocrisy in not releasing SotS while Peter Pan is in wide release? What are we saying? It's okay when you use statements that are considered derogatory towards Native Americans, but not towards other groups?

    Edited: Yes. That will teach me to skip posts. You have already discussed this.
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    Before we totally disregard extremism; lets remember the lesson of the 3 little pigs.

    The moderate pig lost his house to the wolf too
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  15. #60

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    Re: Would Anyone on MiceChat Object to "Song of the South" Being Made Available?

    I believe every piece of history should be released and made available regardless of how offensive it may be. However, this issue is a lost cause...

    The fact that groups of people INSIST that the movie is not offensive at all, or that people who are offended by elements of the film are overly sensitive proves that America hasn't really "gotten" racism, and we have not come as far as many believe we have.

    As a result of the lack of available American History that's unaltered or not twisted into a half truth, many people will probably never see SOTS in anything more than a rose colored view. Our own ignorance produces an even greater divide amongst one another...

    As a result, I can't condone another piece of history to not be released and further that ignorance.

    I will say this... it's not the film that bothers me the most, it's the attitude some parents have towards the film. If they don't see a problem with racial stereotypes, and dismiss sensitive issues as the over-reaction of overly sensitive groups, what will the children think?

    The purpose of portraying pre/post civil war blacks in film as likable grandfather/mother figures was to create the illusion that slavery and the post civil war was not as bad as it was. It amazes me that it works all that way into 2007.
    Last edited by Soulquarian; 01-08-2007 at 12:06 PM.

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