I love this cool photograph of Walt Disney and the kids, Luana Patton and Bobby Driscoll. Probably a publicity shot for the film, “Song of the South.” The Old Maestro appears to be reading the kids an Uncle Remus story. You'll notice that the book is by author, Joel Chandler Harris. Much of the material for the Disney motion picture was inspired by the fanciful Uncle Remus stores.
However, Walt's raised eyebrow happens to bring a few thoughts to mind. It's almost as though Disney is suddenly thinking to himself, gosh, this could possibly cause a boat load of problems for the studio. What if people are offended by the way black people are portrayed in the film? What if these delightful stories by Joel Chandler Harris are misinterpreted and audiences think we're being insensitive concerning the social issues of this period in American history and particularly the treatment of people of color in the post Civil War South. Should that be a concern? Or am I simply worrying needlessly.
After a moment of thought, Walt reconsiders. What am I worried about? He thinks to himself. This movie is full of fun, light hearted Disney entertainment. The songs are great and the characters are warm and genuine. Plus, the film features some of the finest, funniest cartoon animation ever put on the screen. There's nothing about this movie that could ever be considered offensive or insensitive. Why am I worrying so much over nothing?
Who would have thought that this motion picture would one day become such a hot potato and the Disney Company would find every possible reason to keep the film under wraps. However, back in a more innocent time the stories told by Uncle Remus would never have generated such controversy and “Song of the South” would simply be another delightful Disney film.