7.4/10
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246 user 32 critic

Song of the South (1946)

Approved | | Animation, Comedy, Family | December 1946 (UK)
The kindly story-teller Uncle Remus tells a young boy stories about trickster Br'er Rabbit, who outwits Br'er Fox and slow-witted Br'er Bear.

Writers:

(book), (story) (as Dalton Reymond) | 6 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
James Baskett ...
...
...
...
Erik Rolf ...
John (as Eric Rolf)
Glenn Leedy ...
Toby
Mary Field ...
Mrs. Favers
Anita Brown ...
Maid
Georgie Nokes ...
Jake Favers (as George Nokes)
Gene Holland ...
Joe Favers
Nick Stewart ...
Br'er Bear (voice) (as Nicodemus Stewart)
Johnny Lee ...
Br'er Rabbit (voice)
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Storyline

Uncle Remus draws upon his tales of Brer Rabbit to help little Johnny deal his confusion over his parents' separation as well as his new life on the plantation. The tales: The Briar Patch, The Tar Baby and Brer Rabbit's Laughing place. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rabbit | boy | tar | laughing | briar patch | See All (84) »

Taglines:

The Story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear & Brer Fox. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1946 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Uncle Remus  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Song of the South (1946) had its world premiere at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. Walt Disney made introductory remarks, introduced the cast, then quietly left for his room at the Georgian Terrace Hotel across the street; he had previously stated that unexpected audience reactions upset him and he was better off not seeing the film with an audience. James Baskett was unable to attend the film's premiere because he would not have been allowed to participate in any of the festivities, as Atlanta was then a racially segregated city. In fact, the second reason why Disney did not watch the film during its premiere screening was for out of respect for Baskett, who was banned to attend the premiere. See more »

Goofs

Before Uncle Remus tells the story about the Laughing Place, the mud on Ginny's dress disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Uncle Remus: There's other ways of learning about the behind feet of a mule than getting kicked by them, sure as I'm named Remus. And just because these here tales is about critters like Br'er Rabbit an' Br'er Fox, that don't mean they ain't the same like can happen to folks! So them who can't learn from a tale about critters, just ain't got the ears tuned for listening.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the South
(uncredited)
Written by Sam Coslow and Arthur Johnston
Performed by the Studio Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Silenced Song
2 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For its time, a time when segregation was still aggressively enforced in the United States, 'Song of the South' was likely a progressive film, a major family film many of whose main characters were black, and whose animated characters were voiced by a black performer. Now, of course, 'Song of the South' is considered problematic due to its depiction of black slaves as happy and complacent, and its portrayal of them as Uncle Tom stereotypes.

Look closer, however, and you'll see a fine family film, warmhearted and gentle, both a technical landmark and a dazzling series of fables as told by Uncle Remus, the movie itself serving up a number of its own morals -- like the fact that a parent's good intentions can unwittingly stifle their child, or that storytelling is key to one's moral and social development.

None of this matters, of course. Walt Disney has now chosen to ignore the film on the basis of its reportedly offensive depiction of African-Americans in the post-Civil War era. For one, this film was not intended as propaganda or considered offensive at the time, and was merely the product of American perceptions of the 1940s; it's not any worse than the scores of westerns that depicted Native Americans as savage Injuns. Of course, Native Americans were and continue to be a marginalized group while African-Americans have maintained a desire to assimilate and have. Being that African-Americans have been far more vocal in their rejection of the injustices committed against them, it goes without saying that white-on-black bigotry is a far more sensitive issue than white-on-Indian bigotry (despite the fact that the Native Americans have suffered just as greatly at the hand of The Man as African-Americans), and therefore, we're less willing to excuse movies like 'Song of the South' than we are films like 'The Searchers.'

But then why is 'Gone With the Wind' still given the green-light and not 'Song of the South'? Well, the answer is simple: The Walt Disney Corporation. Walt Disney will go to any length to keep its reputation clean, and 'Song of the South' is construed as a serious threat to it -- therefore, placing the film on moratorium and making it unavailable simply deters controversy. They can't undo it, but they can certainly hide it. It matters not the value of the film. In a heartbeat, Disney would withdraw something as beloved as the 'The Little Mermaid' if it were one day decided that the film was unfair or offensive in its depiction of mermaids. In 'Song of the South,' one sees an innocence and warmth. In current Disney films, one sees a lot more of the cynicism and calculation of a soulless capitalistic corporate entity.

The depiction of blacks in current cinema is a lot more shameful and offensive than anything in 'Song of the South.' Consider personalities like Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, and films such as 'Phat Beach' and 'Friday,' which depict African-Americans as lazy, dope-smoking ne'er-do-wells who treat women badly and have no morals. I guess the fact that these films are largely created by African-Americans for African-American audiences gives them a dubious seal of authenticity, being that African-American entertainers are, ostensibly, no longer being exploited by the white man and have developed their own independent voice. If that's true, why is it so much more difficult for black filmmakers such as Charles Burnett and Julie Dash, filmmakers with a truly independent voice, to either find financing for their films, or be met with commercial acceptance? 'Song of the South' might be inaccurate in its depiction of slavery, but it never makes a point of being *about* slavery, and it's no more inaccurate than hundreds of Hollywood's historical epics and costume dramas.

By making 'Song of the South' unavailable, Disney is doing a disservice to those involved in the film and, more importantly, to the millions who harbor fond memories of it.


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