Disney Producer Encouraging About ‘Song of the South’ Release

The half-sheet poster for Song of the South's 1973 theatrical re-release.

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.”

About Stephen Slaughter Head

Stephen Slaughter Head co-founded the much-loved movie news website IGN FilmForce. He has more than 2,000 published articles at IGN.com. His filmmaking interviews, reviews and features have been published at AOL, Script magazine, Esquire magazine and the Boston Phoenix. He is also the host of the Diabolique Webcast at DiaboliqueMagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/stevehead

14 comments

  1. Shut up and just release the damn movie! #Murrica

  2. great post, thanks for sharing

  3. Thank you mr. bossert.

  4. Thank you for the reading about song of the south Release.

  5. Thanks Steve for the news.

    Hopefully it will come to pass that ‘Song Of The South’ is released.

  6. This is wonderful news! I had heard from an insider towards the beginning of the year that the film has been restored, but then Iger came out with his comments at the shareholder’s meeting and it seemed all hope was lost. Song of the South has been the single movie that has impacted my life more than any other, and definitely in a positive way, so I’m beyond thrilled at this news. Hopefully it’ll be released (relatively) soon!

  7. This is music to my ears! Song of the South is my favorite movie. It deserves recognition for the song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” having won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1947, for the combination of live action and animation, and for the wonderful acting performances. It contains rich examples of our country’s history, and it brings alive the Brer Rabbit folklore stories. I would love to see Disney re-release the film to the big screen and then to DVD.

  8. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! I would love to see this released! I have been waiting for this! I feel it’s the one movie that would complete my never-ending collection….hehehe…ponder that statement :o)