Song of the South

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
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Song of the South on DVD?

Post by JustinWilliams » January 23rd, 2005, 7:11 am

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I really want to see this happen! It's been out here in the UK on video and recently shown on TV. Is anyone aware of whether this is due or even if it will ever arrive on DVD? I know about the crazy hoo-ha over its content, but it's not upset people enough worry the BBC from showing it! What's the score? Anybody?

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Post by Ben » January 25th, 2005, 12:13 pm

That would make a really nice cover image, but it's not going to happen with Roy Disney's sig on it! ;)

But what to fill the two discs? Here's my personal run down of what they could do to bolster up material. The first disc, of course, would be devoted to SOTS and some behind the scenes material (enough exists, as seen on many bootlegs):

Radio Interviews from the 1946 Release, featuring Johnny Mercer and Walt Disney
Re-issue Radio Commercials from 1973
Original Press Kit Materials from the 1946 Release
1946 and 1986 Theatrical and Re-issue Trailers
Stills Gallery featuring Concepts, Storyboards, Publicity and Promotional Artwork
Extensive Gallery of Song Of The South Collectibles
DisneyLand’s Splash Mountain, based on Song Of The South
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah: Variations on a Theme (a look at the different versions of the song over the years)
A featurette on Disney child star Bobby Driscoll, with scenes from Treasure Island, So Dear To My Heart, Peter Pan and and an excerpt from the 1950 TV show One Hour In Wonderland

Disc Two, as well as showcasing a newly created documentary, say called "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah: The Making Of Song Of The South" which discusses the reasons that it has not been seen in so long, could also house other Disney hot potatoes: "The Martins And The Coys" segment, uncut from Make Mine Music, as well as the 2002 animated short "John Henry", which was released as part of the American Legends disc, but hasn't been seen uncut with front and end titles and in original ratio. This also shares similar themes and reasons for not being widely seen, so would be a good fit.

Finally, a documentary on other "touchy" subjects could be included, featuring several more scenes from politically corrected Disney films. Here, we'd see uncut scenes from Melody Time, Saludos Amigos and Fantasia.

I'd say, what with any other bits of previously self-censored material, a 2-disc set like this would be absolutely grand! Could it happen?

Maybe sooner than we might imagine:
http://dvd.ign.com/articles/576/576790p1.html?fromint=1 :)

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true...

Post by JustinWilliams » February 7th, 2005, 6:30 pm

True Roy's signature wouldn't be on it, nor the slip itself it seems - based on the last wave. What's the word on the next set of Treasures?

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Post by Christian » February 7th, 2005, 7:08 pm

No word yet. It might still be another few months.

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Post by Ben » February 7th, 2005, 7:22 pm

Won't be this year.

If at all, look for 2006 - the 60th Anniversary no less - and of course the last year that Disney would be able to viably market a DVD without many of us waiting for the eventual Blu-Ray release!

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Post by GeorgeC » February 7th, 2005, 10:48 pm

Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben...

You're making assumptions that there will be enough people wanting to upgrade to high-definition DVD even want to get this film on high-def before 2012!

I say don't worry to current DVD fans... Hardware costs ALONE for high-def players and (more importantly the exorbitant costs of) high-definition TV sets will keep high-def video from becoming standard for AT LEAST another 5 years.

I've said this before, but it's not sinking into the skulls of you high-spenders and early adopters. The general market will dictate whether a new media succeeds, NOT Bill Gates OR the guys writing video reviews and praising the heck out of new tech at sites like Home Theater or The Digital Bits. Sorry, but most people the world 'round -- and even in the richer countries like the US-- DON'T have that kind of money to throw around on their entertainment. Most people will not spend in excess of $3000 to upgrade their home video equipment. Did you happen to notice DVD player sales didn't really take off until the average price of players dropped below $200? And that was AT LEAST 3.5-4 years AFTER the launch of the DVD format in the US!

As it is, most people are satisfied with standard DVD and don't want to contend with yet ANOTHER new format. Even if the studios and computer companies HAD standardized the next-generation disc format, DVD has been around less than 10 years and most people don't want to upgrade now. Give you another example -- have ANY of the proposed audio CD format successors managed to replace audio CD yet? Didn't think so!

(My own prediction for the next-generation DVD format would be HD-DVD, not Blu Ray. Blu Ray will cost too much for plants to upgrade. I think hardware costs on the format will win out over whatever advantages are claimed for Blu Ray unless the home video/computer companies want to delay the transition to high-definition video even longer. The whole transition has been stretched out way over 10 years because of a lack of political will, high costs to upgrade, and the general satisfaction of the public with currently available, cheaper cost equipment. If the public had really cared about "best quality" audio and video, laserdisc would have been a hit, and everybody but the strongest laser-zealot will admit laserdisc was a bust as far as the general public was concerned.)

*************************************************

My own prediction for Song of the South is a DVD release within the next 2 years (Disney can wait until at least as long as 2007 -- this high-def DVD mess WON'T be settled by then), more likely a Platinum-level 2-disc release rather than a Disney Treasures Wave release.

Disney KNOWS this movie will be a hit with the general masses and probably won't bother to do a limited print run even with the 90-print issue restriction. They could sell anywhere from AT LEAST 1 million copies of this movie to upwards of 5 million, maybe even 8 million copies of it in the US alone.

The movie has never been sold on home video in the US, and that kind of "forbidden stigma" will convince many people to seek it out and buy it. Most Disney fans will get it no questions asked.

I wouldn't expect a Disney Laserdisc archive-quality release, but hopefully it'll be at least as good as the releases of Snow White and Beauty & the Beast on DVD were as far as extras are concerned...

I have Song of the South on Japanese laserdisc and don't think it's that good a movie, but the animation and songs are great. For purposes of historical accuracy and completist collectors, it SHOULD be released unedited no question. It's neither the most racist film nor Disney's best, but it's far being Steppin Fitchit or Jar-Jar bad, too.

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Post by Ben » February 8th, 2005, 5:00 pm

George, George, George...

I totally agree! I was just saying that I don't think they would chance releasing it much later than late 2006. Even though Blu-Ray/HD won't have made much inroads as a replacement format, there could still well be the "oh man, why buy this now when I'll have to get it again in HD".

Remember that Disney themselves have sped up the release of the Platinums in order to stave off the jump to HD (and therefore be able to re-issue them all again in that format).

Plus, if it DOES happen, the 2006 60th Anniversary is just too good to miss... who wants the 61st Anniversary Edition? ;)

I'm actually very lucky enough to have a broadcast master tape of SOTS, which is one of my most cherished items. The print isn't restored, but it's tons better than the one that was released on home video and on LaserDisc (which I've seen, but didn't see the need in owning due to having the master clone). The tape comes from Buena Vista's TV transfer of the film for international territories, so was mastered from a film print, running at the correct speed and pitch. Fantatstic!

I love the film, and it's been a favorite since my very young years. Uncle Remus is a heartwarming fellow - I certainly didn't pick up any racial undertones when I watched it as a kid and find it hard to take objection to now - if it IS "slavery", then it is done so in typical Disney fashion.

The animation is top notch, coming from the studio's rich 1940s look, and the combinations between the cartooning and live-action are frankly astounding - tons better than Poppins and even putting Roger Rabbit to shame in some shots. Excuse me, but this film did tracking combo shots 40 years previous to Roger, and they still amaze (check out Remus shaking "fingers" with the rabbit, and the waqy the dog reacts to the frog jumping in front of him at the end). Pure magic!

Also, it never fails to make me cry... :)

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So Dear to my Heart DVD

Post by JustinWilliams » February 10th, 2005, 3:40 pm

:lol: Just purchaced the R2 Disney DVD release of 'So Dear to my Heart' which has the same ethos of SOTS, but an overall lesser fare. The DVD quality is great and for a R2 DVD, the extras are those mentioned on the Amazon.com site for the R1 release!! The animated menus [below] are gorgeous....Any idea why this too was held back for US DVD release. I think I recall it being a Gold Collection whim....Please don't tell me it's because it has a black sheep in it!

ImageImageImageImage

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Post by Ben » February 10th, 2005, 6:14 pm

I LOVE SDTMH!

"It's what you do with what you got that counts!"

Several of those animated segments were later re-used on the Disney TV shows, which is where many people would have seen them.

I know you're kidding, but I hope the "black sheep" theory isn't the reason this is being held back (we've had two release dates set and missed over the past two or three years for this in R1 land).

My only possible explanation is that they may be waiting to see how they put out SOTS, and could possibly - if done as a Treasures tin - bundle it with that film, since they do share so much in common.

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Post by GeorgeC » February 10th, 2005, 11:47 pm

My last few words on Song of the South and you won't hear me talk about it until Disney makes an OFFICIAL announcement -- which they haven't yet for any kind of release date --

A) the animation in this film is top notch;
B) it's set during Reconstruction, NOT the Civil War or pre-Civil War period of the US
C) it's really a harmonious, peaceful co-existence film;
D) there may be some subtle ethnic dominance issues, but the film DOES NOT intend to be overtly or covertly racist;
E) when all is said and done, I felt that the live-action sections of the movie were mostly bland. It's not the best live-action Disney film (I think that one was 20,000 Leagues), nor the worst one (take your pick of the kiddie movies Disney's produced in the last 10 years).

Yes, I liked James Haskett as Uncle Remus and was delighted that his voice-acting as Brer Fox was great, too. Haskett earned the special Oscar he got for this role, God rest his soul... (He died soon after the film's original theatrical release.)

Song of the South is NOT Birth of a Nation or comparable to any one of the dumb comedies airing on UPN right now.

The fact that many people -- especially Disney executives -- are making hay out of a movie that is half-animated speaks loads about how over-sensitive people are today.

Disney will make a ton of money off this film on DVD and that's the only thing that will trump any P.C. concerns the current Head Rats have over releasing this film on North American video...

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Song of the South

Post by Phil » February 22nd, 2005, 12:26 pm

Jim Hill has some inside information claiming that Song of the South will be released on Video next year.

http://www.jimhillmedia.com/mb/articles ... hp?ID=1313

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Song of the South on DVD in 2006

Post by Wonderlicious » February 22nd, 2005, 1:01 pm

Whilst on UD.com, I found a thread linking to Jim Hill Media saying that Disney is going to release the forgotten classic in 2006.

http://www.ultimatedisney.com/forum/vie ... php?t=7517

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Post by Christian » February 22nd, 2005, 1:25 pm

I actually saw your post right after I wrote up an article about this but went back and gave you credit anyways.

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Post by GeorgeC » February 22nd, 2005, 11:35 pm

Not a big surprise.

Disney is running out of big gun classic movies to release on DVD (before the high-definition DVD transfer over the next 3 years) and Song of the South is the last REALLY big one left that people are clamoring for that HASN'T ever had a home video release in the US...

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Jamie Foxx hosting Song of the South DVD

Post by Josh » February 28th, 2005, 11:59 am

Remember that Jim Hill article which told that Bill Cosby was once being considered as a host for the Song of the South DVD? The article went on to say that with all the controversy surrounding him lately, though, he may not get the job.

Am I the only one who would LOVE to see Jamie Foxx host the Song of the South DVD? That would be a very smart move for Disney, in my opinion.

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