When Disney formally introduced their exclusive streaming service Disney+ to the world, they promised to fill it with Disney content. Earlier statements from the company hinted that the platform will render unnecessary the practice of putting movies and series in a Disney vault. If it’s made by Disney or any production company under their umbrella, it will eventually be found in Disney+. That’s the ideal.
But even such grand dreams have limitations. And that limitation applies to decades-old Disney productions that the company deems racially insensitive. That means, again in this newest distribution medium, the 1946 musical “Song of the South” still won’t see re-release.
We already know the story, about how the depiction of Uncle Remus and life in a Southern plantation has since been derided as a false picture hiding the actual inhuman conditions of workers back then. For this reason Disney and its CEOs have held off on “Song of the South” ever seeing a home video release, from VHS to DVDs.
That movie’s not the only one affected. The original 1941 animated film “Dumbo” will have a key scene cut from it before hitting Disney+. Said scene involves the talking anthropomorphic crows led by the (offensively-named) Jim Crow who helps Dumbo learn how to fly. The recent live-action adaptation directed by Tim Burton lacks the crows.
Disney+ is expected to launch on November 12. Those looking for a “Song of the South” fix will have to look for the old “Disney Sing-Along Songs” videos (featuring the immortal “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”), or ride on Splash Mountain in Disneyland Resort, Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland.