This post is a companion to Jaysen Headley’s Vault Disney Project.
JUMP for more info.
This is the start of the companion to Jaysen Headley’s SISTER Vault Disney Project; Vault Disney: The Others Project. If you’re looking for Jaysen’s Vault Disney #6-10, scroll to the bottom for links to those and more info for this companion and the other Vault Disney Project.
Vault Disney: The Others #1 – Song of the South 
I really really do not think I have anything to add to the conversation regarding this film’s controversy. There are many portrayals of “minorities” in film in our past that would no longer fly today. People were just more ignorant back then. I just saw the Aristocats this week; what the hell is with the portrayal of the Asian cat in the band! Wow! It’s so blatantly messed up! I understand that some of the controversy of Song of the South stems from the setting and portrayals of Black people in the film, which are idealized representations by White people. The film seems to take place in a general time in American History. It isn’t very clear to everyone if it’s before or after the Civil War. The time period in which the film takes place creates a distinction of how offensive it is to some. I assume it’s after. I also didn’t do any research like Jaysen Headley did for his write-up of the film, but was it racist for its time? I think people thought so right? That it started then. It’s almost surprising, which is why I feel, it must have been a misunderstanding of when the film takes place. Not that films wouldn’t be racist after the Civil War.
If I look at it as some fantasy or parallel world that seems somewhat familiar, but don’t know the history of. Like an alternate universe where Blacks and Whites coexisted as they do in the film. Where it seems the Black folk are mostly the help, singing songs, and are very happy about it. I did not have to see this film in that way at all. To say I had to go to that extent to watch it is offensive in itself, I’m just over emphasizing if I just looked at it from the standpoint of the story, a fantasy, without the trappings of history, and racial, and class politics, as if it were a made up fantasy world, which it is, I liked it. Outside of everything, but the stories and morals, I found it a very charming and touching magical fantasy. The kids were also super cute. And who doesn’t like, …..
I just took it for what it is. I wasn’t around when this film came out. I’m sure at the time, it must have felt very different to watch it, especially as a Black person. I think red flags would be all over the place, and it would be hard to just take the film for what it was, unless you were further removed from those ideas, or were just ignorant. Watching the film as a child, if I did at all, I’m sure I wouldn’t have seen it. Watching it now, like I said, crossed my mind, but I did not watch this film and analyze it for that specific content. I did not listen to every word and lyric. I may feel differently if I did. Maybe that’s irresponsible, but it did cross my mind that these Black people seem to be very happy in their station in life in this world, and if it were to imply that they were very happy Black slaves, it would be offensive. As I said earlier, I watched it believing that it’s was after the Civil War, and even then, I thought they seemed very happy about their station in life, but I suppose the question is, are they slaves or not? I can see why its controversial for that reason. I don’t want to get into it anymore. outside of all that, the story itself I found very charming.
Have I come across as too apologetic, like I may be scared to say I liked this film, and be called a racist?
“It’s truth, it’s actual, Ev’rything is satisfactual”
For the actual satis-fact-ual truth I’d head over to Jaysen Headley’s post on this film .
JAYSEN HEADLEY’S VAULT DISNEY PROJECTS:
Jaysen Headley asked me to re-watch every Disney Vault film in chronological order with him. We’re gonna try to watch atleast one a week if not 2. He’ll be writing a blog to accompany this project, and I will post a companion to it.
Jaysen Headley’s Vault Disney: The Others Project
Jaysen also started a sister project for other Disney films that are not considered part of the animated Vault called Vault Disney: The Others, which I will also be posting a companion for.
It’s a fun project! And I’m also mixing in other older films Jaysen had never seen. Right now, we’re working on Arnold Schwarzenegger & Mission: Impossible films!