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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After abandoning his studies of pharmacology for financial reasons, James Baskett supported himself as an actor, moving from his home town of Indianapolis, Indiana to New York City, New York and joining the company of Bill Robinson, better known as Mr. Bojangles. After achieving moderate success on the stage, Baskett and his family moved to Hollywood where he found work in a couple of films. In 1945, he auditioned for a bit part of voicing a talking butterfly in the new Disney feature film Song of the South (1946). "I thought that, maybe, they'd try me out to furnish the voice for one of Uncle Remus' animals," Baskett remarked. Upon review of his voice, Walt Disney wanted to meet Baskett personally, and had him tested for the role of Uncle Remus. Not only did Baskett get the part of the butterfly's voice, but also the voice of Br'er Fox and the live-action role of Uncle Remus as well. Additionally, Baskett filled in as the voice of Br'er Rabbit for Johnny Lee in the "Laughing Place" scene after Lee was called away to do promotion for the picture. Disney liked Baskett, and told his sister Ruth [Disney] that Baskett was "the best actor, I believe, to be discovered in years". This was one of the first Hollywood portrayals of a black actor as a non-comic character in a leading role in a film meant for general audiences. Even after the film's release, Disney maintained contact with Baskett, where the two became close friends, like brothers. Disney also campaigned for Baskett to be given an Academy Award for his performance, saying that he had worked "almost wholly without direction" and had devised the characterization of Remus himself. Thanks to Disney's efforts, Baskett won an Honorary Academy Award in 1948. Four months after the Academy Awards ceremony, James Baskett died from heart failure resulting from diabetes. After his death, James' widow, Margaret, wrote a letter to Disney and told him that he had been a "friend indeed and [we] certainly have been in need." See more »
Before Uncle Remus tells the story about the Laughing Place, the mud on Ginny's dress disappears and reappears between shots. See more »
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.
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On a 1991 British VHS release and a British television broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2006, the "The End" card was displayed on a blue background. See more »
Song of the South is a beautiful piece of film art. I acknowledge that some of the scenes are ignorant towards the plight of African Americans in the Civil War and Reconstruction era but I can't imagine a child who loves this movie coming away feeling racial prejudice or insensitivity towards African Americans. We should remember that this is a children's film and generally, people are happy in Disney movies. Should Birth of a Nation be banned because it champions the KKK? Of course not. We learn from our mistakes in the appreciation of our past. This isn't Nazi Germany. It was an Oscar winning film for petes sake. Please release Song of the South now.
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