I thought I lobbed huge, slow-pitch softball-like questions for another news outlet to knock one out of the park. I thought other sites would pick up on this news, especially Disney-related fansites. But I haven’t seen the statements regarding the possible release of Song of the South printed anywhere. So I thought I’d post it here on our podcast page, which makes sense since I asked the questions, you know?
Last Monday, during the Q&A portion of the Fantasia: A 70th Anniversary Celebration at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, I asked Disney creative director Dave Bossert about the animation department’s concerns with Song of the South and its much hoped for release on DVD. Here’s his response:
“I can say there’s been a lot of internal discussion about [Song of the South]. And at some point we’re going to do something about it. I don’t know when, but we will. We know we want people to see Song of the South because we realize it’s a big piece of company history, and we want to do it the right way.”
That’s encouraging news for those who’ve been waiting years for Disney to do something about its most culturally controversial animated title.
And it’s even more encouraging because this quote doesn’t come from Disney CEO Robert Iger. It’s from Dave Bossert, the artistic supervisor for Disney’s restoration team, and an integral person in deciding which animated film next goes through the restoration and release process. He’s one of the guys who makes the case to Robert Iger. In addition to the forthcoming release of Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, Bossert supervised restorations for Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty.
Song of the South fans will also find it of interest to know that, although the film is not listed in the National Film Registry, Mr. Bossert said Disney keeps the original negatives for Song of the South in a climate controlled vault at the Library of Congress’ audiovisual preservation facility in Culpeper, Virginia.
Mr. Bossert assured those in attendance that all of the negatives “Are preserved to the best of the lab’s ability, until they turn to dust. Because, like all acetate negatives, they eventually will. And we can’t do anything about that.”