Disney fans say Splash Mountain, inspired by Song of the South, should be redesigned

Disney fans say Splash Mountain, inspired by Song of the South, should be redesigned

Splash Mountain, the mainstay of both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, animated characters starring from “Song of the South”, a 1946 movie long criticized for the stereotypes of “spiritual” black men and their seeming nostalgic vision of what South before the war.

The fans want to keep the ride. But they ask Disney to cancel every mention of the movie.

A number of suggestions have appeared urging Disney to redesign the popular flight. The most widely shared film proposes a redesign of “Disney Princess and the Frog”, the first Disney movie to feature a black princess. Some of them turned to Petitions Change.org.

The petitions come as companies – and the country – count their own biases and, in some cases, racial history.

Southern song problems

The stars of Splash Mountain are Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, along with all the ducks, chickens and frogs that share their southern house, culminating in a long point that sends riders straight through the spinal cord. But the animated characters that appeared throughout the movie arose in the 1946 movie, “Song of the South”, known as “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”.

The film has long been criticized for its romantic vision of the post-Civil War South. Scott Tobias wrote The Guardian in 2019 That ‘the world and subjects alike [the live-action portion and animated segments starring Brer Rabbit] Promote nostalgia for a farm in the era of reconstruction. ”

Princess Diana (Back Row, R) ride Mount Splash at the Disney Magic Kingdom in 1993.

Bob Pearson / AFP via Getty Images

The history of Brer Rabbit is also controversial.

Harris stories are told by an old black man named Uncle Remus, the son of a landlord who has brought back farms with stories about Brer Rabbit and his fellow animals. These stories formed the basis of “Song of the South”.

Today, scholars and readers say that Harris’ stories use racial stereotypes without a doubt.

Disney, which discovered dozens of forgotten movies for broadcasting on Disney +, decided to keep “Song of the South” in a cellar. He never got a wide launch at home in the United States either due to criticism of racism.
But Disneyland Mountain Splash opened in 1989Decades after the movie debuted and was denied a video. Uncle Remus does not appear anywhere on the trip, but the countryside animals still speak the same tone Harris used in his stories and Disney used in the movie.

CNN reached out to Disneyland and Walt Disney World to comment and is waiting for her response.

Controversy over racism in old films

Protests across the country against racism and white supremacy are reviving old conversations about how to view art made in the past decades – as racist and insensitive or from the remnants of a separate time.

HBO Max said it would soon show similar warnings with “Gone with the Wind”, which were temporarily extracted from the broadcasting service after criticism of the film’s portrayal of racism, slavery and blacks in the pre-war south.
Modern films like “The Blind Side” and “The Help” are shown through a different lens. Both have been criticized for the “white savior” loyal they have been using since their debut in 2009 and 2011, respectively, despite their nomination – and won – many Academy Awards.
Last week, as protests escalated across the country against police killings of black Americans, “Help” became the most watched movie on Netflix, Entertainment Weekly reported. It is the story of black domestic workers and white women working for him in the mid-twentieth century, and even his stars have criticized the views they portray.

Disney cast members also want to change

Frederick Chambers, who said he worked for Disneyland in California, told CNN that his co-worker participated in the “Splash Mountain Challenge”.

Chambers, who for years developed an idea to change the theme of the trip to “The Princess and the Frog” and talked a lot about it with his “cast members”, who saw the same idea discussed in Disney fan circles.

“It turns out that a lot of people see the same issues with my charm,” he said.

Chambers said he believed returning the topic was “very reasonable” and pointed to how Disney did it before: within months, the Disney California Adventure had changed the theme of the Terror Tower Tour, based on the “The Twilight Zone,” to “Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel.”

“The bones of attraction are good, but I think it’s time to take a serious look at the source of our stories and how people of color are represented on screen and in the gardens,” he said.

Now, the updated scene shows the pirates – the moving female who had been auctioned off in the old scene among them – selling goods from the village they looted by auction.

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