Disney to Release Song of the South on Blu-ray and DVD in 2009

Disney has decided to release the film Song of the South to Blu-ray and DVD later this year.  After waiting over twenty years since it’s last theatrical release, this is enormous news.

Not surprisingly, the decision came after the recent Disney shareholder meeting.  Expect the official announcement within the next two weeks or so.

Releasing Song of the South is a topic that is often mentioned, but until now has never been taken seriously by the company.  Two years ago there was promising discussion at the same meeting by CEO Robert Iger, but nothing came of it.

Not so in 2009!

We’re privy to this information now because one of the shareholders (and a friend of the Nest) thought we should know in advance in order to prepare ourselves.  I’m considering buying a phone headset to avoid answering-elbow.

This should be a marketing coup for Disney.  As we’ve mentioned here time and time again, there’s an unquestionable demand for the movie, and absence has made the heart grow fonder for many fans and potential consumers, I’m sure.

Nevertheless, the issues that made Disney hesitant to release the film in the first place still stand.  It will be very, very interesting to see the ensuing marketing campaign.  I’m putting my money on a healthy dose of nostalgia with just a pinch of “Look!  We’ve entered a new (racial) era!  Thanks, President Obama!”  Or, you know, not saying anything while quietly raking in the money.

As for our day-to-day lives at the Wren’s Nest, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.  Sure, it means I’ll be more helpful to blue hairs who call looking for the movie (one caller recently assured me she “knew the number for eBay”), but as far as royalties go, we can’t expect anything.  Stinks, right?

In fact, I’m a little fearful that the more widespread the movie, the more people might get the priorities of our museum and the movie confused.  Folks are known to do that sort of thing. We do have a history to maintain, after all.

On the other hand, the increased visibility could be HUGE for us.  As far as I’m concerned, people can visit the museum for whatever reason they want.  If they come in because they think we give tours with bluebirds on our shoulders, fine by me!  Though they will be a touch disappointed, methinks.

Either way, we can cross our fingers and hope that, just like its theatrical release in 1946, Song of the South’s marketing will include the Wren’s Nest, and that the Brer Rabbit stories will come to the foreground once again.  We’ll keep you updated!

My oh my what a wonderful day!

Comments (77)

  • But if it isn’t, you should be proactive and reach out to Disney NOW and work with them on getting a special feature on the disk about JCH and the Wren’s Nest. Also mention what GREAT PR it would be if they did the announcement at the Nest and at the time time gave you a nice, fat check.

  • Fake. Things are released on DVD and Blu-Ray, in that order – not the reverse like you said in the title of this post.

    Nice try, and nice work. I was looking forward to seeing what sort of elaborate lie you would come up with this year.

  • While Amelia wrote the post, I wrote the title. I put ’em in alphabetical order and had to look up how to spell Blu-ray.

    Are Blu-ray releases and DVD releases separate? If so, how long is the lag time between?

  • Well, I guess what I was referring to is that you always HEAR “Coming to DVD and Blu-Ray” NOT “Coming to Blu-Ray and DVD.”

    As far as the actual day things are released, I think that’s usually the same.

    I would have come up with an elaborate, fake story, but don’t have the time right now, unfortunately 🙁

  • good one! even better if we could somehow orchestrate our millions of blog readers to flood the Disney hotline with inquiries as to this news. Sort of like when people sent nuts to CBS to bring back Jericho. Start dialing people. Jokes on them.

  • Good call, Jodi. What readers could also do is vote to have Song of the South included on the National Film Registry due to its historical, cultural, and aesthetic contribution. Details are here: http://www.loc.gov/film/vote.html

    Their board votes to include 25 new films every year. There’s no reason Song of the South shouldn’t be one of them. I sent ’em an email this morning.

  • Remember how last year you said this, “Atlanta History Center to Acquire the Wren’s Nest, Move it to Buckhead.” If you two are auditioning to be the hosts of, “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,” you’ve got my vote.

  • “ev’rybody has a laughing place, a laughing place to go ho ho
    take a frown turn it upside-down and you’ll find yours I know ho ho!” – brer rabbit

  • Please don’t disappoint me!! I have been waiting for the release of
    “Song of the South” since I first owned a VCR (1982). This is a long awaited release. When it happens, I can die happy (although I hope in the very distant future)! =o}

  • What a horrible April’s Fool Joke to play on people. I have been waiting for this movie to come out on VHS or now DVD for a very long time. You had me get my hopes up and now to find out that it is just a cruel joke, Shame on you.

  • I am 49 years old. I saw this movie as a child and then when it was re-released, I took my baby brother to see it, I was about 20 or 21. I was so offended by this movie, that I walked out. I am proud that we have President Obama, but this still does not make this movie socially acceptable. That is why Disney has shelved this movie for more than 20 years. The African-American general public will perceive the cartoon characters as follows: Brer Rabbit – As the white man who always overcomes the black man. Brer Fox – the sneaky and conniving black man and Brer Bear – the stupid and ignorant black man. I feel, no I know, that the backlash of this movie will hurt Disney. I know that the movie was made back in the ’40’s and depicts the time that we lived in, but aren’t we supposed to move forward and not look back to see how we depicted people, even if it is with cartoons? I hope that they never release this movie!!

  • Great comments, everyone. Just to make it clear — yes, this was an April Fool’s Day joke.

    Robbin, that’s a fascinating point of view. Since we at the Wren’s Nest are inextricably tied to Song of the South (whether we like it or not!), I’m very familiar with the film and the controversy surrounding it. However, reading your comment is the first time I’ve heard those specific complaints.

    In the Harris versions of the stories, Brer Rabbit is almost universally interpreted as black, and his adversaries represent white overseers in most cases. That Disney would invert these doesn’t surprise me (after all, Bugs Bunny though not Disney, is an example of a white, homogenized Brer Rabbit). It does get tricky when you know that James Baskett (Uncle Remus) provided the voice for Brer Fox and, for at least 1/3 of the animation, Brer Rabbit.

    That said, I will respectfully disagree with you about remembering history. If we are allowed to watch overtly racist films but important films such as Birth of a Nation, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to watch Song of the South (which, in my mind, is no more racist than The Legend of Bagger Vance or The Green Mile).

  • For all you Song of the South Lovers just say my name..torrents. Seek and ye shall find, ask and it will be given.

    Tor Rents

  • Besides,
    Some times a rabbit is just a rabbit and a spade is just a spade. Quit being so PC and pull your heads out.

  • 1st off, For the Bluray DVD comment, Ill give u an example, SNOW WHITE will be released on BLURAY 1st! in OCTOBER then the dvd will be released a few weeks after. 2nd, Disney was supposed to release Song of the South a few yeARS AGO, they made announcements and had articles in magazines and Disney stores were telling people the news….sadly they retracted and once again refused to release it. As for now with DISNEY releasing this new “URBAN” Themed cartoon the princess and the frog…or the frog and the princess…whatever…There should be no reason why SOTS shouldnt see the light of day. and if this was a April fools jokeby this website…GO F yourself,Ill roast ya and tar u and then throw u in that der briar patch

  • This was NOT a funny joke, as millions of people (myself included) have been waiting and hoping that Disney will finally release this movie.

  • I THINK IT IS SHAME THAT EVERYONE JUST CANNOT SEE EACH OTHER AS PERSON TO PERSON INSTEAD OF TURNING THIS FILM INTOA RACIAL PROBLEM AND THAT SO MANY CHILDREN ARE MISSING ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF ALL TIME.

  • I agree with everyone! We should all start a protest outside of Splash Mountain at every Disney themepark! I am sticking to my guns and protesting that they bring back Song Of The South! I have an ill friend, who’s diing and would love to see Song Of The South this year! Me and my friend are both, avid fans of this film! Disney should take time to respect the diing and the newly, born, who were not around in 1946. I know I wasn’t! I’m so unlucky! The closest thing to it that I have is a book of Uncle Remus tales. I’ve been on Splash Mountain, but haven’t a clue as to why that is the only thing that has a “Br’er Roadrunner” when my Uncle Remus tales don’t have one. I don’t even know if the Song Of The South has one! If it doesn’t then why is Splash Mountain the only source of that? Anyway, Disney should bring back Song Of The South, get together with McDonald’s and other hamburger stands, to make happy meal toys of Song Of The South, Disney Stores around the world should have collecter’s items of it, they should also have a person’s costume of Mr. Bluebird, Uncle Remus, and Br’er Roadrunner, walking around the Disney themeparks, and Disney Channel should also show Song Of The South on TV! If not, then to at least have a special, separate Disney Channel, just for classic Disney movies and cartoons and TV shows! All Doctor’s offices should have Bluebird bandaids and bandages, so that whenever anyone gets their shots, then they would have a Bluebird on their shoulders! Heck! Just bring back Song Of The South before the end of this month! Email me to notify me when it is coming, or if you have any questions. My Email is “Kbluebird1013@aol.com” if you have any, further information. Have a “ZIP A DEE DOO DAH” Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I recently described this movie to a friend who hasn’t seen it, but is a fan of Uncle Remus and the Wren’s Nest. In doing so, I realised that there is no strong white male role in the movie. As the movie opens, the parents of the main character are fighting. The father leaves the mother and son on the plantation while he goes back to work, out of town.
    The plantation owner is dead; his widow runs the place and relies heavily and openly on Uncle Remus. These two are the only ones who have it together in the movie and are a strong team.
    Upset his pa left (among other reasons), the son runs away. Uncle Remus takes care of him in the tender, thoughtful and friendly ways that children deserve and need. Uncle Remus treats him like an adult, and helps him learn about life through the Brer Family stories.
    Economically, the slave element cannot be ignored; Georgia/Atlanta have made restitution by being the most progressive state (& country) I’ve worked in and/or visited (that is saying a lot – I’ve lived/visited 50 countries and much of the USA. I now live in Johannesburg, South Africa).
    Another viewpoint is that white men are not portrayed positively in this movie at all. Applause for keeping the plantation running and families together goes to everyone but the white men. This possibly could be a subtle, subversive and thoroughly effective comment on whether that economic system was built to last from Joel Chandler Harris. We know the answer now, don’t we?

  • I am looking forward to seeing Song of the South on the shelves and be able to see it once again. I am 68 years old and saw it as a child. My grandchild, age 4 loves it. I bet I could sell hundreds for you. Hope you e-mail me and let me know when they are going to be for sell.

    Thanks for having the guts to redo the movie.

  • I saw song of the South in 1946. I have been trying to find a copy for at least the last 15 years. I under stand that it is available in the UK and Canada.

  • Well, It’s a year later and it’s still not out. Any comment about that from your stockholder friend? Seems like more rumormilling to me. Disney will never, ever release Song of the South. Bank on it.

  • I was born 92 years and eight months ago, have seen South of the South, probably back in the 40’s and would love to see it again. I used to do my housework singing Zippity Doo Dah but not anymore. I don’t do housework, neither do I sing!! Let me see it once more as my time on Earth may not be long.

  • I LOVE The Song of The South!! My Grandma took me to see it many years ago. I do have a vhs copy with Japanese subtitles, but with no machine to play it in. I wish Disney would get off their butts and release it in DVD so the world could enjoy it. They made a ride out of it why not release it.
    I think that is shows what great story tellers the blacks were back then and probably still are.

  • Song of The South was one of my favourite films when i was young. For some reason I only have half of it on vhs and i’de love for it to be released so I can watch the whole thing again.
    Please, please, please Disney! So many people would be grateful.

  • I have a copy of Song of the South (entire movie, no subtitles), if anybody wants a VHS copy, let me know.

    Lain & Amelia, I still believe it was very insensitive of you to announce that Disney was finally going to release the movie in 2009. Maybe it was intended to be a joke, but it wasn’t funny at all.

  • No, You cannot purchase or rent “Song of the South” in Canada.I know. I have been trying to get it for years. I saw this movie in 1947 with my beloed late mother, and just loved it! We saw it at least 3 times. I would love to see it again with my grandchildren. Please,please, Disney honchos release this movie!!

  • Where is it? Its already 2011. There is nothing wrong with that picture. If some people don’t like it, too bad, don’t watch it then. As kids we all went to see it. It was our first interaction with a black person and we loved it.

  • I don’t understand the Americans. Every other country in the world reveals its problematic past; no child would be foolish enough to imagine that the Uncle Remus story is taking place in the Twenty-first Century. So there were slaves. There were slaves in ancient Greece, too, and in Rome. This has not stopped people making films about such times. “Gone with the Wind” is set on a slave plantation. The acting in “Song of the South” is superb; the animation masterly; the music wonderful. What the HELL is the problem?????

    • I AGREE WITH YOU TOTALLY, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE US THESE DAYS. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE. MY MOTHER WANTED TO SEE THIS MOVIE, BUT SHE PASSED AWAY BEFORE IT COULD BE RELEASED ONTO DVD.

  • I remember watching it at the movie theater in the 80s it was good. The only part I think may sound racist is the tar baby. yet that is how people talked in the old days. some black people still about each other. I think it is a Disney classic and it needs to be release. I like to see more Disney on blue ray like bednobss and broomsticks. I watch the Prince of Egypt. it showed slaves in the bible torah and koran There are many slaves. I think AMericans have come far enough to be able to watch this movie and not hate it.

  • I SEE NOTHING MORALLY WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE,I GUARANTEE IF THERE WAS,MY PARENTS NEVER WOULD HAVE TAKEN US TO SEE IT.THIS WAS ONE OF MY DADS FAVORITE MOVIES AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT FOR HIM TO SEE IT AGAIN (AS HE REQUESTED OFTEN),BUT WE WERE UNABLE TO OBTAIN A COPY.SADLY,MY DAD PASSED LAST YEAR, AND AS A FAMILY IT WAS HARD FOR US NOT TO FILL THIS REQUEST FOR HIM.NOW,WE WANT TO GET IT,WATCH IT,AND BRING BACK THE MEMORIES OF TIME SPENT WITH OUR PARENTS AND OUR TREAT ( ON PAYDAY), AS A FAMILY TO GO TO THE DRIVE IN AND WATCH DISNEY MOVIES.THIS IS A GREAT MOVIE AND IT WAS ALREADY 32 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME WE SAW IT (IN THE MID 60’S) THIS IS A VIDEO THAT EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE IN THERE COLLECTION.WE CAN’T WAIT TIL ITS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE,HOPE ITS SOON,WE’RE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER……

  • I am 75 years old and have been waiting since 1946 for this movie..why is amazon charging 250.00 for the movie…highway robbery…come on Mr. Disney…let the film go to the public at an affordable rate for all of the pubic.

  • Hi. I noticed your blog title, “Disney to Release Song of the South on Blu-ray and DVD in 2009 | Big Money No Whammies | The Wren's Nest Blog

    | The Wren's Nest Blog” doesn’t really reflect the content of your web site. When creating your site title, do you believe it’s best to write it for Website positioning or for your visitors? This is something I’ve been battling with simply because I want good rankings but at the same time I want the best quality for my website visitors.

  • Still waiting for this dvd, I had it on VHS, but that got destroyed
    Loved it
    Hope that it will be coming out with nordic subtitles

  • I wrote a letter requesting that they look over releasing this onto DVD…answer came back after 3 months…”enjoy your VHS”…will not be releasing onto DVD…” that was it…from a corporate letter nothing signed by anyone… so sad…also waiting for it to be made into a blu ray…family doesn’t mind it at all coming out

  • I’d like to see this movie again as it has been a while. I’d also like to see us move away from the extreme politically correct that we are in. Sure some is needed but not where we are at now; one thing is said that is not to be offensive and yet is taken that way, and then taken out of proportion.

  • 2013 and still waiting !!!!!! Come on Disney, get your finger out and release this film, you are denying so many children the chance to see this fantastic film.

  • I went to see it in 86 with my parents…some of the best Disney music…I was five and all I remember was feeling good.

  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message
    home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog.
    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

  • See the thing is… AA that live OUTSIDE the South don’t want to be perceived as talking akin to blacks in the South, and then we find out (here living IN the South…) despite how some people REALLY DO TALK down here (not WANTING to be understood… really… believe me when I say this, it’s NOT out of ‘meanness’ it from experience… the dialect is done on purpose, to confuse outside listeners AND then they don’t WANT to hear their own dialect on anything dealing with hardly (no offense here) ‘happy’ or mixing the blender in any shape or form. I can NOT talk for every black Southerner down here, (That’s for sure)… because I HAVE heard where some AA lady’s would LIKE to have this movie available for their kids to see it. Overall the movie DOES have some good morals within the movie. I even got into an argument with a friend of mine who is black… she’s NEVER seen the movie!!! She kind of talked ‘against’ it, nearly completely changed the topic of the conversation to racist propaganda for no reason at all… and I finally said, “The music is happy… the kids end up holding hands singing together, and you’ve NEVER seen the movie, so why are you so against the movie when a WHITE kid gets hit by a bull in it? Should THAT be ok for you?” I was getting so mad with her diverting the conversation from the movie I actually said that. And this was coming from someone who CLAIMED loving to see older movie’s she’s NEVER seen before! Disney is playing ‘principal to the students here’… if ONE kid hates it for ANY reason, you deny the ENTIRE student body. And this movie NEEDS a MAJOR facelift. And it’s just not fair to the REST of us… I mean really… the guys we see going to fields and back with their ‘garden tools’ you KNOW they are NOT really singing… we happen to have a DVD copy, and it’s…”ok” quality, but we’d love to have a cleaned up visual and audio of this old movie… and I’ll admit. The story about Johnny is a bit… boring, and the cartoon of the Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear really save this movie when it comes down to it. I forgot we actually see cameos of Brer Terrapin, Brer Coon, Brer Bullfrog and a few others too. The most magical moment of all is when Remus cast’s his fishing line and it turns into cartoon close up in foreground…

  • My children have seen it and love it just as much as I did 40 years ago. The concern over the racial stereotypes is ridiclous. It’s about love, respect and friendship – nothing more, nothing less. Skin color was never an issue for me, nor my children. (Fyi…for review purposes, it might be helpful to know that my family is a colorful crew.)
    Release this movie already!

  • We have the NAACP to thank for this long delay of a time honored treasure. How may people are still trying to erase the memory of slavery. Alot of the things we use and travel on were build by slaves, all slaves, African-American, Chinese (Asians), IRISH, and many others. You can’t wipe out history. It’s there for eternity, and so should this piece of art.

  • I wish they would release song Of The south officially, what are they waiting for, more people like it than not. i guess for now we have to settle for unreleased versions. I recently found a place that offers it for a low price, just passing on the info for anyone interested.
    songofthesouth.weebly.com

  • “Song of the South” is one of the strongest vehicles showing the sadness of the slavery that existed prior to the end of our Civil War, not just in the US but the entire world.

    Uncle Remus was shown to be a dear and wonderful good man, and a very sympathetic character. If the film was “racist” as some narrow-minded people CHOOSE to think, you can be sure Uncle Remus would have been portrayed in a far different way. The same thing hold for the dear woman who worked in the house.

    There is NO RACISM in this movie, none whatsoever. Those who are racists themselves search for racism, and will find it only in their own minds…. these are the professional racists.

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