With the imminent closure of Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, is it time to listen to a Disney Legend and bring the polemic movie Song of the South back?
The permanent closure of Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom has been the topic of the moment, with national media even mocking the event. From the controversial decision to completely reimagine the iconic Disney ride to turn it into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure inspired by the 2009 Disney movie Princess and the Frog to the thousands who wanted to save it, the history behind the Disney Park’s ride, and the controversial movie that inspired it, Song of the South, it’s no wonder why there has been so much discussion around the subject.
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While many would prefer to forget that shameful part of Disney’s history, others would instead shine the spotlight on Song of the South and start a discussion around it, including Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg.
In an interview made during the 2017 Disney D23 Expo, during which the award-winning actress received the honor of becoming a Disney Legend, Whoopi Goldberg was asked what her all-time favorite Disney movie was, to which she responded she didn’t have a favorite, as all Disney movies have their own charm. Goldberg then added, “I’m trying to find a way to get people to start having conversation about bringing Song of the South back so we can talk about what it was and where it came from and why it came out,” which could be a controversial decision considering how divisive the movie is and how opinionated people have gotten online.
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“I want people to start putting the crows, you know, in the, uh, in the merchandising because those crows sing the song in Dumbo that everybody remembers,” added Goldberg referring to “When I See An Elephant Fly” performed by the Hall Johnson Choir, Cliff Edwards, and Jim Carmichael, which also was a controversial performance due to Edwards’ previous performances doing blackface.
Related: Disney Plus Will Not Make “Song of the South” or the Jim Crow Scene From “Dumbo” Available for Streaming
“I want to highlight all the little stuff people sort of maybe miss in movies,” added the Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg. Agreeing with Goldberg, it is essential to recognize the history behind these projects and learn about their background to better understand what they represented to society then and how their significance has changed in current society. However, Song of the South (1946), Cliff Edwards’ performance in Dumbo (1941), and the reimagining of Splash Mountain will likely remain controversial topics with highly polarized opinions. You can see Whoopi Golberg’s interview by clicking here.
Related: “Faith-Friendly” Streaming Platform Offers Polemic, Racist Disney Movie ‘Song of the South’ When Disney Plus Doesn’t
As of this article’s publishing, Disney Plus still doesn’t offer Song of the South in its ever-expanding catalog. However, Dumbo (1941), like some other films on the streaming platform, now includes a variation of the following advisory:
This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.
To learn more about how stories have impacted society, please visit
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The Walt Disney Company has recognized, “We can’t change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of.”
Should Disney release the original Song of the South or bring the polemic movie into discussion? Let us know what you think in the comments below!