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Disney plans to open up its vault for Disney+ and release several classic films on the direct-to-consumer streaming service, but one title is staying locked away.
There are no plans to make Song of the South available on the $7-per-month offering.
That is consistent with Disney’s previous policy regarding the 1946 film, which has been criticized for its portrayal of African-Americans following the end of the Civil War. The film, which won a best original song Oscar for “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and inspired the Disneyland ride Splash Mountain, has not been released on home video in the U.S.
Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke about the decision during the company’s 2011 annual meeting, saying that, after a rewatch of the film, he felt parts of it “wouldn’t necessarily sit right or feel right to a number of people today” and that “it wouldn’t be in the best interest of our shareholders to bring it back, even though there would be some financial gain.” Boardwalk Times first reported the movie’s absence.
The company also doesn’t plan to include a scene from the 1941 animated film Dumbo featuring a crow named Jim Crow, a reference to a 19th century blackface character that later became the name of the segregation laws enacted following the Reconstruction era. The scene also does not appear in Tim Burton’s live-action remake of the original animated pic. Boardwalk Times also first reported the scene’s absence.
Disney+, which is designed to be a family-friendly service, is set to launch Nov. 12 with an expansive library of programming, including the Disney classics 101 Dalmatians, Bambi, Fantasia, Mary Poppins, The Sword in the Stone, Steamboat Willie and Sleeping Beauty. In addition to the some 7,500 TV episodes and 500 movies available, the platform will also be home to original programming including The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and the live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp.
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