Because everything with us is a potential racially offensive minefield lollapalooza, here’s to hoping this is more “awesome” and a little less “Song of the South II.” You remember Song of the South don’t you? Wait? You’ve never heard of it because you were born after 1986 when Disney stopped releasing the film in its entirety in theaters? Why, it’s the only Disney film you can’t buy in the US because … um, they like to pretend that thing was never popular (it was released to overwhelming acclaim by critics and derision by black people in 1946) and didn’t make a ton of money based on old timey kind, docile slave stereotypes and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.
More after the jump.
I realize that some slaves were pretty tame, but I truly prefer the stories of blacks who made really horrible slaves and just put up a one-finger salute to the “Peculiar Institution” by either A) running away***, B) killing their masters, then running away, C) leading a slave revolt, D) becoming an abolitionist activist, E) fighting in the Civil War against the South or F) contining to return to the South after getting their freedom to rescue others.
You know? The Badasses of Slavery: Your Truths, Tubmans and Turners and whatnot. But, of course, none of these folks would make a kid friendly cartoon. I’ve always advocated that someone should remake “Night of the Hunter” with an all-black cast and set it during slavery, making the two children with the pilfered stash of cash a pair of slave children on the lamb. But even in its original, creepy Robert Mitchum format, “Night of the Hunter” was never a kid’s film. Disney is in the kiddie bidness, so this new venture into Blackland has to work or they will die the death of thousand bad reviews.
That said, I prefer hand animation to computer animation (because at my heart, I’m an “old”), so I really, really, really want them to not screw this up.
DON’T SCREW THIS UP, DISNEY! Myself, Sasha and Malia, every black kid I know and their moms need something good to watch. Don’t make us sad. Because if we get sad, we will get angry. And you would not like us when we are angry.
*** The Snob’s family made horrible slaves. We ran away. A matter of fact, Great-Great-Grandpa Ben, as a child, escaped from slavery in Mississippi with his entire family in a covered wagon and moved to Arkansas. Why they picked that moment and that night to make a break for it has been lost to time, but … um, can you blame them? It must have been bad if EVERYONE made the break at once in that covered wagon. That sounds like the family was under threat of being broken up and, pardon my French, fuck that. We’re moving. Us Snobs may not always get along, but when it comes to our family, we are ride or die. No one is getting split up ever. We have an “add people” to the family policy. Not a subtract. Leave no Snob behind!