Disney's Most Notorious Film: Race, Convergence, and the Hidden Histories of Song of the South
University of Texas Press, 2012 M12 1 - 294 pages
The Walt Disney Company offers a vast universe of movies, television shows, theme parks, and merchandise, all carefully crafted to present an image of wholesome family entertainment. Yet Disney also produced one of the most infamous Hollywood films, Song of the South. Using cartoon characters and live actors to retell the stories of Joel Chandler Harris, SotS portrays a kindly black Uncle Remus who tells tales of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and the “Tar Baby” to adoring white children. Audiences and critics alike found its depiction of African Americans condescending and outdated when the film opened in 1946, but it grew in popularity—and controversy—with subsequent releases. Although Disney has withheld the film from American audiences since the late 1980s, SotS has an enthusiastic fan following, and pieces of the film—such as the Oscar-winning “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”—remain throughout Disney’s media universe. Disney’s Most Notorious Film examines the racial and convergence histories of Song of the South to offer new insights into how audiences and Disney have negotiated the film’s controversies over the last seven decades. Jason Sperb skillfully traces the film’s reception history, showing how audience perceptions of SotS have reflected debates over race in the larger society. He also explores why and how Disney, while embargoing the film as a whole, has repurposed and repackaged elements of SotS so extensively that they linger throughout American culture, serving as everything from cultural metaphors to consumer products.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Disney Studios Postwar Thermidor and the Ambivalent Origins of Song of the South
Postwar Racial Consciousness and Disneys Critical Legacy in the 1946 Reception of Song of the South
Media Convergence Black Ambivalence and the Reconstruction of Song of the South
Coonskin Postracial Whiteness and Rewriting History in the Era of Reaganism
Splash Mountain ZipaDeeDooDah and the Transmedia Dissipation of Song of the South
New Media Nostalgia and the Internet Fandom of Song of the South
Other editions - View all
activist affective African Americans ambivalence animation appeared argued audiences Bakshi’s Baskett blaxploitation box office brand Brer Rabbit Brode cartoons chapter characters cinematic civil rights movement company’s conservative context controversy Convergence Culture Coonskin corporate criticism of Song decades Defender depiction Disney film Disney Vault Disney’s Disneyland Disneyland Records early entertainment fandom featured film film’s Fletch Fletch Lives Golden Books Harris’s Hollywood Ibid ideological images Internet larger later legacy live action Maltin Meanwhile memories movie narrative Negro nostalgia nostalgic noted offensive paratexts past plantation political popular post-racial problematic promote racial racist reading Reagan reception reissue released representations rerelease responses ride Roger Rabbit September 2009 singing Snead Song ofthe South South’s Splash Mountain stereotypes story studio success Tar Baby television texts textual theaters theatrical tion transmedia Uncle Remus University Press utopian Walt Disney Washington Post World wrote York YouTube Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah