Splash Mountain is very slowly working its way out of the Disney Parks to make room for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but the march of progress has many fans wondering what will happen to Br’er Rabbit and his friends from the Briar Patch.
While Song of the South will always be Disney’s most controversial film, Splash Mountain did give its animated cast a new home and a much kinder light. The famous log flume ride arguably gave the critters from the film a more positive reception, eventually having them more associated with the Disney Parks rather than the problematic motion picture. Now that the original ride is being remodeled, are Br’er Rabbit and his friends on their way out in a more permanent sense?
There’s no ignoring that the characters seen in the original attraction have controversial origins, but the characters of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and even Uncle Remus have existed in American culture long before Walt Disney brought them all to the big screen. Originating in African/African-American folklore before being brought to the page by Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus, Br’er Rabbit’s adventures are a huge part of American legends and literature, and outright throwing them away feels like erasure to a certain extent.
That’s not saying the Disney adaptation is without sin, far from it, but considering the characters have had such a cultural influence in and out of the Parks, should Disney keep them in some form or fashion? While there will undoubtedly be some sort of backlash from certain audiences at the idea, true fans of the characters, Splash Mountain, Disney, and its history would certainly be satisfied having some reference to the original attraction in the upcoming update. Even something as simple as a nod to “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” or having the animatronics join Tiana and her friends in the Bayou would be enough.
As of now, Splash Mountain is slowly dying as prep for the new overhaul trudges along. Br’er Rabbit and the rest of his companions from the original attraction are MIA, and their fates remain uncertain. Their origins might be controversial and problematic, but that doesn’t mean they have to joint the graveyard of forgotten Disney projects. Hopefully, the Briar Patch won’t be vacant for very long.
Do you think the Splash Mountain cast should be dropped from the Disney Parks? Tell us in the comments below!