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22.05.01 Song of the South, released in 1949

Notes Concerning Producer

Song of the South is a 1946 American live-action/animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Studios and released by RKO Radio Pictures, based on the Uncle Remus stories written by Joel Chandler Harris of Atlanta, Georgia.  You may go to 11.11.01 to see the Society’s review of Joel Chandler Harris’s stories collected together into a sizable book.  They are available as reprint hardbound books and as e-books. 


This was Disney’s first feature film using live actors, who provide a sentimental frame story for several animated segments.  The film depicts the character Uncle Remus – an African-American former slave – cheerfully relating to several children – both black and white – the folk tales of the adventures of Br’er Rabbit and his friends.  The film’s leading song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Song of the year.  The song has become widely used in popular culture both North and South.  

This movie, an early application of mixed live people and animation, in color, was a great hit in 1946.  Children loved it.  It stared James Baskett as Uncle Remus and Bobby Driscoll as the white youth who interacts with Uncle Remus and his friends.  The story is set in rural Georgia during the latter 1800’s.

Availability of this Movie

This is a great movie.  However, the full movie is not released in America in dvd format.  Some VHS tape versions might be found on the internet.  The problem is not the quality or potential popularity of the movie.  The problem is that a story of a cheerful old black man of the country being helpful to a young white boy just arrived from the city is not politically correct by today’s standards at Disney for portraying African American life.  However, you might be able to find a copy produced overseas.  Good hunting.  If you find a copy for your personal viewing, fine.  But if you start making copies and selling them, Disney’s lawyers might come knocking on your door.  The book is great, so go to 11.11.01 and get a copy of it.