"One of Disney’s Very Best"
What You Need To Know:
Uncle Remus is the hero, regularly providing Johnny wise advice, but circumstances cause Johnny’s mother to think Uncle Remus is the cause of several problems, rather than the solution. SONG OF THE SOUTH would not be made today. It’s wonderful morality tales cannot overcome its politically incorrect representation of race relations. It would take courage on the part of Walt Disney Pictures to make this great movie available to Americans today.
(CCC, BBB, V, D, M) Strong Christian worldview where the mother says she’s trying to bring up her son to be obedient and truthful and where former slaves literally sing a prayer to God on behalf of the injured plantation owner’s grandson; no foul language; a brother pushes is sister down in the mud, her friend gets into a fight with him for doing so, a bull that runs down a boy and injures him, Br’er Rabbit animated segments contain some cartoon violence; no sex; no nudity; brief smoking; no alcohol; and, boy attempts to run away from home.
SONG OF THE SOUTH is one of the most Christian and most entertaining movies ever made by Walt Disney. It can be hard to find today because it featured a former slave named Uncle Remus.
The movie opens with young Johnny and his parents arriving at a reconstruction era plantation. His dad, a controversial newspaper reporter, heads back to Atlanta leaving Johnny and his mother to visit with her mother. Johnny tries to run away to be with his father, but he runs into Uncle Remus, an elderly former slave popular for telling stories. Uncle Remus tells a story about Br’er Rabbit that convinces Johnny not to run away. The stories are animated with some of the cleverest characters and best music ever in a Disney movie. The first story features the wonderful catchy song, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” The brilliantly conveyed message of the story is “You can’t run away from your problems.”
Uncle Remus is the hero of the movie, regularly providing Johnny wise advice, but the circumstances cause Johnny’s mother to think Uncle Remus is the cause of several problems, rather than the solution.
It is a shame Disney has virtually shelved this wonderful movie because it was made at the end of World War II and does not focus on racism. In fact, Johnny dearly loves Uncle Remus and has a black friend named Toby. It even features a number of former slaves singing a beautiful prayer for Johnny when he is injured. The grandmother, who owns the plantation, comes across as wise and friendly to everyone. She respects and appreciates Uncle Remus and even seeks his help.
Br’er Rabbit stories are like animated parables set to music. Children are taught not to run from problems, not to get mixed up in other people’s problems and not to get too discouraged by life’s challenges. The songwriters won an Academy Award.
When viewing old movies it’s wise to consider American culture at the time the movies were made. SONG OF THE SOUTH would not be made today. It’s wonderful morality tales cannot overcome its politically incorrect representation of race relations in the reconstruction period of American history. It would take courage on the part of Walt Disney Pictures just to make this great movie available to Americans today.