This beautiful hand painted animation cel is from Walt Disney's "Song of the South." This wonderful piece of Disney art hangs proudly in my home and is a reminder of America's continual issue with race. Even in the year 2013, we can't seem to get past Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby shown in this image. As a black man I continue to support Walt Disney's motion picture even as the Disney Company remains terrified of the film.
You gotta feel sorry for the Disney Company since this movie continues to be a cultural hot potato. So much so, that Disney CEO, Bob Iger is determined not to even release the motion picture on DVD or any other medium for that matter. I fully understand the concerns of the company and the social impact they fear. In my opinion that happens to be a fear unfounded but that's another story I won't deal with here.
Even though I continue to nudge the Disney Company about this classic movie Walt Disney produced, I hope you understand the affection I have for the motion picture. I find the film underrated in spite of the rather clunky live-action sequences in the movie. Although, some of the live-action is often pretty darn charming in my opinion. I love the relationship the old black man has with the woman of the house. She's a white woman, of course. Clearly, they've known each other for years and are the best of pals. However, the issues of color limit their friendship. I've also loved the scene between Uncle Remus and the cook played by Academy Award winner, Hattie McDaniel. Even an Oscar win failed to changed the career of this talented AfricanAmerican woman. She remained pretty much restricted to the roles of a cook or a servant for the remainder of her career. It wasn't much easier for the late Dorothy Dandridge some years later although actress, Halle Berry eventually changed the game. Then again, Berry is multi-racial. Why is that important, you say? in America, multi-racial still means black. Don't believe me? Just ask the President.
These social issues were never the concern of Walt Disney. The Old Maestro was simply doing what he always did best. Walt was simply telling the story of a special relationship between an old black gentleman and a troubled young boy. The film is charming in its simplicity and often people tend to read too much into the film. Things that are simply not there. Of course, that's why Walt Disney's "The Song of the South" will continue to remain on the shelf for decades to come. American has yet come to terms with its racist past and the Walt Disney Company remains uncomfortable with this marvelous motion picture that still causes me to tear up every time I view it. And, there's really no need to say this film contains some of the most brilliant Disney character animation ever seen on the big screen.
Naturally, there are those who consider me an "Uncle Tom" for simply loving this Disney film. I really don't give a rat's ass what people think. And, I honestly don't care what color your skin happens to be. Walt Disney's "Song of the South" is a remarkable motion picture and I'll continue to praise the wonderful film when ever I get the chance. I can do this without any hesitation because deep down inside, this is a Walt Disney motion picture I continue to love.