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Song of the South
(1946)

Country: USA

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family, Musical

IMDb

Synopsis

Set after the Civil War, little Johnny isn't too thrilled to be staying at a plantation. He runs away to find his father and sees Uncle Remus telling his stories to a group of children. Uncle Remus and Johnny form an immediate bond. Uncle Remus draws upon his tales of Brer Rabbit to help little Johnny deal with his confusion over his parents' separation as well as his new life on the plantation. A difficult to find movie that has been accused of racial stereotyping.

Gallery

Picture for Song of the South

Cast

  • Ruth Warrick
  • Bobby Driscoll
    (Johnny)
  • James Baskett
  • Luana Patten
  • Glenn Leedy
    (Toby)
  • George Nokes
    (Jake Favers)
  • Gene Holland
    (Joe Favers)

BoyActors Reviews

8 member reviews/ratings for this Movie

Average Rating: Blue StarBlue StarBlue StarBlue StarBlue StarBlue StarBlue StarBlue Star (8.38 / 10)

View All Member Reviews/Ratings & Stats

Most recent review listed first

Dividing Bar

The Br'er Rabbit character here is one of the best things Disney ever did. Objections to this film's sanitised portrayal of singing, wide-smiling black people who are just delighted to work for white people are not new. The National Negro Congress picketed cinemas where it was played on its first release, and a Jewish newspaper commented that it added to Walt Disney's reputation as "an arch-reactionary". Norma Jensen of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People thought that it contained "all the clichés in the book" but was "so artistically beautiful that it is difficult to be provoked over the clichés" and years later it is difficult to disagree with her assessment, and also difficult to understand why Disney has been at such pains to pretend this film never existed but so sanguine over the 'What Made the Red Man Red?' song in 1953's Peter Pan.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
Dividing Bar

8/20/17:

My hat is off to Diogenes, for that most eloquent review! I could not have said it better!

I first saw this movie at Drive-in, with my family in the early 1970s! at the time I didn't know it had already reached the status of classic! and years later I watched it again on VHS, and didn't realize then that it was Bobby that played Johnny, I still to this day remember most of the songs from the movie, especially the ones Uncle Remus sung! I think, because of it's Racial classification, it's very hard to obtain a copy today, I did find it on YouTube once and watched, then went back a few months later to see it again, and it had been deleted, because a violation of User agreement

I think Uncle Remus was singing because of his joy of being free! It's factual, everything is satisfactual!!

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
Dividing Bar

Disney is good at certain things, and terrible at others. "Song of the South" exhibits Disney at its very best. The blending of live action with animation is done thrillingly well, and the signature song is gloriously memorable. Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) is upset by his parents' temporary separation, particularly as his mother insists on dressing him up as Little Lord Fauntleroy (thus proving without a shadow of a doubt that Boys Need Fathers). Fortunately, Uncle Remus is on hand with his tales of Brer Rabbit, to help Johnny face his problems in a more intelligent way. Personally, I rather liked the Favor brothers, particularly the tall freckled brother, Joe (played by Gene Holland). There is a touch of Huck Finn in the fact that the brothers go around barefoot. True, they like drowning puppies, but then everyone needs a hobby. Ignore the Politically Correct fools who think there's anything wrong with this movie. We all know the kind of people: the kind who, already determined to see this as racist, will stare and stare at it, and then STARE HARDER, until they 'see' the racism they so desperately wish to find. In fact, Uncle Remus is a superb character, a gentle and wise old man, to whom kids will readily relate. And unlike the PC brigade, kids won't think about his colour when they warm to him; they'll just like him for who he is. And why shouldn't they? The idea that a negro in the American South should always be portrayed as miserable is tantamount to saying that people should be defined by their colour. The narrative unfolds on a POST-bellum plantation, and Uncle Remus is a man who was once a slave but is now free, so why the heck shouldn't he be happy? Finally, in a very moving scene at the end of the film, Johnny, who is lying in bed having been seriously injured, reaches out as he recovers consciousness to hold Remus' hand. The scene makes clear that it is precisely his relationship with Remus which has enabled his recovery, and in doing so affirms the value of a sociability between adults and children that pays no regard whatever to racial distinctions. The movie thus constitutes a very powerful statement against racial Segregation, at a time when Segregation was very much a reality in the South. Only a snivilisation as morally corrupt as our own could find this movie objectionable.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
Dividing Bar

A beloved classic! Bobby Driscoll was great as Johnny!

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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Page Last Modified: 7th June 2013
Page Added: 12th April 2004

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