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  #21  
Old 28 March 2007, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Syllavus View Post
I think the chances of the Song of the South seeing the light of day are just about as good as seeing Sunflower re-edited back into the Pastoral Symphony segment of Fantasia.
I did like the exotic zebra centaurs, though. Were those a later addition? They were the coolest of all the centaurs! Plus, they got to hang with Dionysos all the time!
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  #22  
Old 28 March 2007, 10:50 PM
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I never undestood what was wrong with Song of the South. It can't be as bad as that new Brer Rabbit Tales being advertised by Bow Wow on BET! Then again, I've never seen either movie, so I'm probably not the best source in this case.

This whole thing reminds me of the toon Mynah Bird.
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  #23  
Old 29 March 2007, 01:07 AM
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. . . This whole thing reminds me of the toon Mynah Bird. . . .
Was that the one that limped along (to the tune of Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture") followed by a feckless young aborigine with a spear?

I loved those when I was young, not for the racial connotations (I was too young to comprehend that part!) but simply for the "Heckle and Jeckle" style surrealism: the poor little hunter couldn't cope with "Toon magic," and the bird always got away. Very, very little difference between this and the Roadrunner!

Silas (or...did you have another Mynah Bird in mind?)
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  #24  
Old 29 March 2007, 05:05 AM
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The only thing I remember from Sesame Street that ever offended anyone was a short-film montage like they used to show showing a lot of, IIRC, babies. One of the babies was being breastfed in a park on a blanket by his mom. There was no nipple visible but I recall seeing the rest of the breast, her shirt being either pulled up or pulled down. Myself, it didn't phase my child's brain in the least, but my mother about had an aneurysm. She thought and thinks breastfeeding is just about the nastiest thing; only for trashy poor people who can't afford or don't know anything better. (I may have been born in the sixties but my parents were no hippies.)

I was hoping to see the clip again for some odd reason - maybe because her ridiculous overreaction made sure that I would never freaking forget it. Probably it has nothing to do with the warning, but really, with all the things happening these days and women being thrown out of restaurants and dressing rooms and admonished on planes and so forth just for nursing their babies, I was wondering if that might not be one of the factors.
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  #25  
Old 29 March 2007, 06:26 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Hell, as far as I am concerned, the movie is in the public domain, because of Disney's refusal to publish it. Copyright protection is intended to protect profits, and if a company refuses even to attempt to make a profit on a work, then it is not holding up its end of the bargain.
Not entirely, it's also a way of protecting your work from being altered or misrepresented, and to protect it from being claimed as someone else's work.

The GPL license is a perfect example of that principle. The work is copyrighted and put under a license that allows it to be used, but still maintains some restrictions (you can not restrict access to the work, you can not claim exclusive ownership and so on).
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  #26  
Old 29 March 2007, 06:49 AM
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I'm sure Song of the South was released on video in the UK. It was the only Disney video my colleague's daughter wouldn't watch a 2nd time as something in it scared her too much.

There are lots of films that are incorrect by modern standards. They form part of our history and should be watched in that context. Disney's Snow White is pretty bad by modern standards - a young girl and 7 adult men? That can't be healthy. Dopey clearly has special needs, but he's treated as an object of ridicule instead (including that awful and insulting name). Plus Snow White is stereotyped as a maid/cook/cleaner for those 7 men.
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  #27  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I'm sure Song of the South was released on video in the UK.
Yes, it was; I had it as a kid, about 15 years ago. It's a very long time since I've watched it, but it had some wonderful moments - the trickster-god style stories that have been adopted as Brer Rabbit tales are fantastic. As young as I was, the racism didn't really register, but looking back, some of it is pretty appalling.
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  #28  
Old 29 March 2007, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
I did like the exotic zebra centaurs, though. Were those a later addition? They were the coolest of all the centaurs! Plus, they got to hang with Dionysos all the time!
As far as I know the zebra centaurs were always there, but unlike Sunflower, they weren't designed to portray the "mammy" type racial stereotype of a black servant. They were the same size as the "pretty white" (although they were a myriad of colors, including blue) centaurs, and were drawn to look beautiful and appealing like the "pretty white" centaurs were. Sunflower was obviously designed to look comical with her smaller size in comparison to all the other centaurs, and her exaggerated facial features.
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  #29  
Old 29 March 2007, 03:28 PM
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One Warner cartoon that may never appear in a sanctioned release is "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs," a 1943 jazzy parody of Disney's Snow White with an all-black (voice) cast. It is zany, funny, and the most frantic cartoon I've ever seen as far as direction goes (Bob Clampett was the supervising director). Its use of black stereotypes was extreme, far beyond anything in Song of the South, but probably just on the edge back then, given such movie actors as Stepin Fetchit and others.

Song of the South is set in the 1870s, after the slaves had been emancipated (though the choice of costumes makes that hard to tell), and part of the discomfort is that the former slaves, now tenant farmers, still seem terribly subservient; but I think the screenwriters were aiming at the sense that individual affection (Uncle Remus is more like an adoptive grandfather to the little boy) trumps racial differences. They didn't bring it off as well as they should, but I agree: the film should be available as a historical document.

Besides, I love the moment when Br'er Bear says, "They ain't nothin' in there but bees," and a string of angry bees shoots out of his mouth.
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  #30  
Old 29 March 2007, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Not entirely, it's also a way of protecting your work from being altered or misrepresented, and to protect it from being claimed as someone else's work.

The GPL license is a perfect example of that principle. The work is copyrighted and put under a license that allows it to be used, but still maintains some restrictions (you can not restrict access to the work, you can not claim exclusive ownership and so on).
Well, as the saying goes, you learn something new every day: this was the first I'd ever heard of the GPL license. (I had to go and look it up.)

My guess is that this is a slightly different thing than copyright, per se... One copyrights a story or song, and, sure, one can also copyright a computer application: but the trick here is that one wants to protect the function -- the "look and feel" -- of the program. This goes beyond copyright; you cannot copyright the "look and feel" of a story or song. I am entirely free to write a children's fantasy about a boy magician in a boarding school for wizards, wholly aping the look and feel of Harry Potter, so long as I make sufficient alterations in content; but I am not free to emulate a software app you wrote, even if I change all the colors and placement of all the buttons.

However, I've got a lot of studying to do before I am sure!

Silas
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  #31  
Old 29 March 2007, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
I did like the exotic zebra centaurs, though. Were those a later addition? They were the coolest of all the centaurs! Plus, they got to hang with Dionysos all the time!

I found it offensive, actually. It wasn't until I was older that I noticed they were in chains.
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  #32  
Old 29 March 2007, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Milkshake View Post
I found it offensive, actually. It wasn't until I was older that I noticed they were in chains.
Um, I don't think they are in the remastered version.
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  #33  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:01 PM
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I've not seen the movie in quite some time, and I can't find any clips or stills, but I'm pretty sure the zebra centaurs weren't ever shown in chains. It would have been pretty difficult for them to follow Dionysius around refilling his wine glass if they were shackled in any way.

ETA: I found some development art, certainly doesn't look like the zebras were intended to appear as slaves.

Last edited by Syllavus; 29 March 2007 at 08:10 PM.
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  #34  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
I mean, Sesame Street was Jim Henson's for goodness sakes!
If you think Jim Henson = strictly wholesome, then I guess you're too young to remember when some muppets were on SNL.

Seaboe
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  #35  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
If you think Jim Henson = strictly wholesome, then I guess you're too young to remember when some muppets were on SNL.

Seaboe

Not sure where you got the idea that I thought that, but good lord, if he and his group can have a pig in love with a frog, I'd be pretty suprised if he included racist stuff in his other work.

Actually, to be clear, I am pretty familiar with Jim Henson's work. I am definitely a fan of what he did. I don't for a moment think Jim Henson = strictly wholesome.
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  #36  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milkshake View Post
I found it offensive, actually. It wasn't until I was older that I noticed they were in chains.
I have spent some google time searching for evidence that the zebra centaurs were in chains. I can find plenty of reference to Sunflower, but no mention of this. Can you provide a cite?
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  #37  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:19 PM
Milkshake
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
I have spent some google time searching for evidence that the zebra centaurs were in chains. I can find plenty of reference to Sunflower, but no mention of this. Can you provide a cite?
I'm afraid not. You see, I have the video cassette that my parents bought us when we were younger. I watched it recently and was a bit surprised, that's all... I'll try to find a source, though.
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  #38  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Milkshake View Post
I'm afraid not. You see, I have the video cassette that my parents bought us when we were younger. I watched it recently and was a bit surprised, that's all... I'll try to find a source, though.

I may have the same video cassett. What year approximately did they get it?
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  #39  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:27 PM
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I actually agree that they should reissue it. But yeah, with an appropriate warning label and an extremely limited release, and NOT placed in normal children's sections of stores.
I couldn't disagree more. I think Disney should issue it in the U.S. and treat it just the same as they have every other DVD release.

Honestly, Song of the South is pretty inoffensive even by modern standards, and a multitude of other films from the same era were far, far worse in their depictions of blacks (and other groups). Withholding the film and treating it as if it were something shameful only serves to foster the false impression that it really is shameful. Most people wouldn't even view the film as controversial if someone hadn't told them that they should.

- snopes
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  #40  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:54 PM
Milkshake
 
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Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
I may have the same video cassett. What year approximately did they get it?
Around the early nineties/late eighties. I was probably around three or four, around that age.

I also had a Bugs Bunny tape that was racist towards Blacks. I think my parents got rid of it. I wondered where it went...
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