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  #41  
Old 29 March 2007, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Milkshake View Post
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...
That's the remastered re-release. I have that exact same cassette. I seriously do NOT think there are chains at all, but I will go home and check. The pastoral symphony was my favorite part of fantasia. I watched it over and over and over. I can basically visualize it scene-by-scene. I just don't think there were ever any chains.
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  #42  
Old 29 March 2007, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
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.
It was the briefness of the comment that made me think you were thinking Henson was too wholesome to be offensive. I think if you'd stated it the way you do in the first paragraph here I wouldn't have thought that.

Sorry.

Seaboe
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  #43  
Old 29 March 2007, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
It was the briefness of the comment that made me think you were thinking Henson was too wholesome to be offensive. I think if you'd stated it the way you do in the first paragraph here I wouldn't have thought that.

Sorry.

Seaboe
Ah. Upon rereading I can see how that wouldn't have been so clear. No apologies necessary.
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  #44  
Old 30 March 2007, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Well, eventually Pochantas did come out.
Pocahantas was a lesbian?
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  #45  
Old 30 March 2007, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by We'veBeenHad View Post
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.). . .
Only hippies were breast-feeders? Who knew? All poor people aren't trashy, either. Gaahhh!

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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
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
Absolutely. We had a very long discussion about this subject on the old board. I searched but cannot find the thread. I found a couple that were before I joined snopes.com.

I saw this movie in the theater with my mother when I was a very young child and never realized it was racist. All I saw was the love between a wonderful old Black man and a young White boy. Perish the thought! The old man was telling folk tales. What's wrong with that? It was only after I began to search for this movie for my own children that I saw it from any other angle, and I believe to this day that the target audience would never have even seen anything remotely racist. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most adults back then would never have considered it to be anything other than a charming story. Face it, folks, during the period of time the movie represents, Blacks still were tenants on the White man's farm. Even poor Whites were tenant farmers. ETA: Some still are. I suppose a movie about them would be considered racist, too.

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Originally Posted by Simply Madeline View Post
Pocahantas was a lesbian?
Oh, heck. You beat me to it.
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  #46  
Old 30 March 2007, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonny T View Post
I did. Not that scene specifically, but the cultural image of the Native American is the only one I was exposed to growing up and it wasn't until late teenagerhood that I became aware that not all of them lived in the "traditional way" (or the media representation thereof).

Admittedly I'm not from the US so my exposure is necessarily limited but I wouldn't be surprised if some USAns shared my experience.
And that sort of image was perpetuated here in 1970s adverts such as "Don't Forget Um Fruit Gums Mum"
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  #47  
Old 30 March 2007, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
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?)
That is the one! I was so young when I saw it, so I didn't see anything wrong with it. I didn't even remember any of the characters, except the Mynah Bird and that was only because it really creeped me out!
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  #48  
Old 31 March 2007, 04:12 AM
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Default song of the south

I hope they release it (some of the best songs, i.e., Zippity Do Da, etc. ). I did try to order it on-line, but it was a British company, I did not realize at that time that British DVD's were not compatable with U.S. standards. Song of the South is a commentary of the morals of the time. You can't change history. I love Mark Twain's books, not only for the prose, but for the commentary of how life was in the south at that time.
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  #49  
Old 31 March 2007, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tenko View Post
That is the one! I was so young when I saw it, so I didn't see anything wrong with it. I didn't even remember any of the characters, except the Mynah Bird and that was only because it really creeped me out!
"Inki and the Minah Bird" Warner Brothers, 1943, Chuck Jones. It was universally acclaimed as brilliant at the time.

The major problem with defining "offensive" subjectively is that there is no meaningful control. If I am "offended" by your wearing of a blue shirt, what the hell can anyone do about it? It is clear that no offense was intended in the creation of this character, although one might just possibly get a conviction on "negligence," i.e., not thinking it through fully.

In any case -- publish, with as many footnotes and apologia as one deems necessary -- but do not censor! I would love to see this short cartoon again, even though I know I would wince at the racial caricature.

Silas
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  #50  
Old 31 March 2007, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Signora Del Drago View Post
I saw this movie in the theater with my mother when I was a very young child and never realized it was racist. All I saw was the love between a wonderful old Black man and a young White boy. Perish the thought! The old man was telling folk tales. What's wrong with that? It was only after I began to search for this movie for my own children that I saw it from any other angle, and I believe to this day that the target audience would never have even seen anything remotely racist. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most adults back then would never have considered it to be anything other than a charming story. Face it, folks, during the period of time the movie represents, Blacks still were tenants on the White man's farm. Even poor Whites were tenant farmers. ETA: Some still are. I suppose a movie about them would be considered racist, too.
Can someone enlighten me as to what the film's racism entails? I've never seen it, or really heard of it beyond these boards, and have no idea what's racist about it.

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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
And that sort of image was perpetuated here in 1970s adverts such as "Don't Forget Um Fruit Gums Mum"
Not to mention that character in the Beano, or was it the Dandy? Never mind: I got both when I was young (early to mid 1980s).
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  #51  
Old 31 March 2007, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Signora Del Drago View Post
I saw this movie in the theater with my mother when I was a very young child and never realized it was racist. All I saw was the love between a wonderful old Black man and a young White boy. Perish the thought! The old man was telling folk tales. What's wrong with that? It was only after I began to search for this movie for my own children that I saw it from any other angle, and I believe to this day that the target audience would never have even seen anything remotely racist. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most adults back then would never have considered it to be anything other than a charming story. Face it, folks, during the period of time the movie represents, Blacks still were tenants on the White man's farm. Even poor Whites were tenant farmers. ETA: Some still are. I suppose a movie about them would be considered racist, too.
In many ways racism is even worse when it is invisible, implicit in a society. Racism cannot be fought as easily in the form. I think that's part of Song of the South's problem. It's rehashing old Uncle Tom stereotypes common to that era. Song of the South, by itself, isn't that offensive. However, when viewed together with negative portrayals of blacks in other facets of society at that time, it can easily be viewed as reinforcing racial stereotypes for later generation. I think you're right about it not seeming that racist today. The reason it doesn't seem racist today is because we do not see these blatant racial stereotypes as much. For example, a single Law and Order episode where a black man rapes a white woman isn't necessarily racist in modern America. However, if it were shown in an era when black men were constantly portrayed in the media as attempting to rape/or raping white women, it would be offensive.

[Now this upper-middle class white kid from Birmingham, Alabama is going to put on his Eldredge Cleaver hat]
First, let's examine Uncle Remus as a character, what are his qualities?
He isn't a "slave", but he is a product of the de facto slavery of tenement and share cropping in a Jim Crow society. He doesn't seem too angry with his place in life; in fact he seems to be quite affectionate to his employer. All though the movie takes place after the emancipation of slaves it seems very reminiscent of the old southern plantations.
To a critical viewer, a movie that appeals (in that era) to entrenched white racist's notions of the "good old days" really, smells, tastes, sounds, and looks like a defense of slavery.

Secondly, just what is the Uncle Tom, a kindly old slave? No, he's more than that. He's representative of the black man emasculated (Note that I don't agree with many of the black radicals positions on feminism, I'm just stating what many of them thought). Who does Remus take care of? Children. Under Jim Crow we have men taking up these feminine positions, taking care of children, while the women work in the fields. The hierarchy is rich white men, poor white men, white women, black women-- and at the bottom--black men. You can see the ripple effects that the 1940s and 50s portrayals of black men and women in the works of new generations. Look at the black sitcom of the 1970s, how often was there a strong black man at the head of the house hold? How often did a black man confront his white boss, landlord, or others in positions of power? Rarely, if ever. The black woman was the head of the household, she wore the “pants” in the family, while her husband stands by weakly. The "sassy" black woman can stand up to a white man, the black man cannot stand up. The black man is feminized, deprived of his power. Uncle Remus, even with his deep voice, is an emasculated man who is content with his place in a society.
Uncle Remus is just one half of the way black men were portrayed, it was hyperbolically polarized. Either the black man was like Uncle Remus or he was a hypersexuallyaggresive “buck” who threatened white women.
[Takes off his Eldredge Cleaver hat]
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  #52  
Old 01 April 2007, 03:59 PM
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Signora Del Drago Signora Del Drago is offline
 
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There are so many differing opinions about this movie. For those of you who've said you know nothing about it, I did a little searching.

http://www.snopes2.com/disney/films/sots.htm

This article http://www.linguatics.com/uncleremus.htm presents my view much better than I could.
Quote:
The warmth and love radiated in this movie are unsurpassed, in my opinion. For, as Mrs. Doscha states to her daughter Sally, regarding her grandson Johnny: "Without Uncle Remus' stories he is utterly desolate". And as Johnny himself adds, while stating directly to Uncle Remus: "You're the best friend I have." Such sentiments far transcend the narrow scope and contaminated perspective of age differences, the color of one's skin, or the distinction in social class.
You can listen to some of the music from the film here. http://www.songofthesouth.net/radio/index.html

http://www.songofthesouth.net/faq/index.html

http://www.songofthesouth.net/news/index.html

http://www.songofthesouth.net/movie/overview/index.html
This is the last paragraph found in the article above (Sally is Johnny's mother.):
Quote:
While Johnny hovers between life and death, his father returns and reconciles with Sally. But Johnny calls for Uncle Remus, who had returned in all the commotion. Uncle Remus began telling a tale of Brer Rabbit and the Laughing Place again, and the boy miraculously survives.
Glurge that it is, to me this is the main point of the story. An elderly Black man befriends a distraught little White boy. There is much love and understanding between the two. Making a movie that reflects the time it is portraying is not inherently racist, misogynist, homophobic, whatever term describes the particular movie. Maybe this film serves to illustrate that children are not born hating since Johnny loved Uncle Remus. That makes as much sense as the opinion that it's a put-down of Blacks and is racist. I typed so much about this on the old board that I don't seem to have the energy to do it all again, but the article by Armand A. Gagnon says it all for me. I loved the film as a six-year-old, and I deeply regret that my children and grandchildren were unable to see it.
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  #53  
Old 03 April 2007, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
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
Indeed, there are many stereotypical portrayals of minorities in other Disney releases. The crows in Dumbo or the Indians in Peter Pan come to mind. We also seem to tolerate portrayals of Blacks in other films, such as Gone With the Wind. So why is SotS so controversial?
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  #54  
Old 03 April 2007, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Debunker View Post
Indeed, there are many stereotypical portrayals of minorities in other Disney releases. The crows in Dumbo or the Indians in Peter Pan come to mind.
True, but "stereotyping" and "racism" are not the same thing. Portrayals of groups can be stereotypical without necessarily being racist.

- snopes
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  #55  
Old 04 April 2007, 12:45 AM
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Disney

Thinking back on the Sesame Street bit, I remembered a few days ago that when they showed Muppet Frog Prince on TV over a decade ago they had Gonzo make a commentary at the beginning about the cigar in the King's mouth and how they didn't know how bad cigars were back then.

I'm genuinely curious to watch Song of the South again- the only time being when I was six or so with no real memory of it- just to see what the big deal is. Maybe Disney's just holding out to create buzz like this?
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  #56  
Old 04 April 2007, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Debunker View Post
Indeed, there are many stereotypical portrayals of minorities in other Disney releases. The crows in Dumbo or the Indians in Peter Pan come to mind. We also seem to tolerate portrayals of Blacks in other films, such as Gone With the Wind. So why is SotS so controversial?
The complaint about the older films about the subservient black man is the idea of the noble or magical negro.

Quote:
Although he has magical powers, his "magic is ostensibly directed toward helping and enlightening a white male character."[5] It is this feature of the magical negro that some people find most troubling. Although the character seems to be showing African-Americans in a positive light, he is still ultimately subordinate to whites. He is also regarded as an exception, allowing white America to "like individual black people but not black culture.
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  #57  
Old 05 April 2007, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by songs78 View Post
The complaint about the older films about the subservient black man is the idea of the noble or magical negro.
Off topic, but some people actually called Obama this. Now I know why.

Uh, carry on.
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  #58  
Old 06 April 2007, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I'm sure Song of the South was released on video in the UK.
It was on terrestrial here shortly after Christmas. I remember because my daughter was ill and I was casting around for anything child-friendly on TV. I was pretty surprised to see it being broadcast. She loved the Briar Rabbit animations.
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  #59  
Old 06 April 2007, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mosherette View Post
Can someone enlighten me as to what the film's racism entails? I've never seen it, or really heard of it beyond these boards, and have no idea what's racist about it.
There's a Q&A here.

I've only seen this film twice - once aged under 10, and once nursing a feverish 3-year-old, so my synopsis is not very considered, but I understand it to be a film about a young white lad whose father is away on service and whose mother is a little over-protective. The lad is befriended by an elderly black employee?/slave? on his parents' farm, Uncle Remus, who tells him little fables about Brer Rabbit and generally cheers him up. A little white girl from a very poor family also comes along to listen to the stories. His mother isn't at all sure about all this, although her insecurities aren't actually voiced as either racism (in the case of Uncle Remus) or snobbery (in the case of the poor white girl). Various spurious reasons are found to keep the son away from Uncle Remus and the poor girl, until finally the boy cracks and runs across a field to reach Uncle Remus and gets bored by a bull. Seemingly on his deathbed, the boy calls out for Uncle Remus and he is finally allowed into the home where his stories give the boy sufficient spirit to recover.

From my two viewings, I would suspect that the problem with the film stems partly from the mother's obvious discomfort with her white son associating with black and/or poor people, and from the stereotyped way in which black people are presented in this film.

I think it is a product of its time and essentially contains a good, warm message.
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  #60  
Old 07 April 2007, 02:25 AM
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Signora Del Drago Signora Del Drago is offline
 
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I linked to that Q & A in my post above. You got the main points, but the parents were separated, and the daddy came back after Johnny got hurt, but Johnny still wanted Uncle Remus. There's a link to a really good essay on the movie, too. I think it's the second one in my post, and the last link is to another good defense of "Song of the South." I'm glad to see that a few people here can see the warmth and love in this movie.
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