When it launches in early November, Disney+ will have an embarrassment of riches. It will have the Marvel films, and Marvel shows, which the studio owns. It will have Star Wars films, and Star Wars shows like The Mandalorian, because Disney owns them, too. And, of course, it will have the many classic Disney animated “masterpieces,” such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians, Steamboat Willie, plus some deep cuts that haven’t been seen much since their release. It just won’t have all of them.
As long suspected — and now confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter — Disney+ will be missing a title they perhaps understandably want nothing to do with: Song of the South, their 1946 animated/live-action hybrid set on a Georgian plantation shortly after the Civil War. A monster hit at the time — a bigger money-maker than Fantasia and Pinocchio — it has since been criticized for being, well, shall we say “a bit racist.” Part of that is because it depicts a plantation filled with happy, carefree former slaves. There’s also the pesky animated segments that boasts a “tar baby,” about which not much needs to be said.
Disney has often been criticized, including by “Disney Legend” Whoopi Goldberg, for trying to whitewash its own history, as though they were pretending the studio wasn’t once run by people who weren’t exactly racially progressive, at a time when much of America wasn’t either.