Pongo here. We recently watched Disney’s “Song of the South” and our son, Roly, gave his review of the film earlier this week. I felt that a follow up was in order.
The setting of the movie is the post Civil War, reconstruction period in the US deep South. The story is of a young boy being helped through the separation of his parents by a nice, grandfatherly man. In my opinion the setting is not really important. The plot is strong on it’s own. With Disney now in the throws of redoing seemingly every movie from the past, I think that “Song of the South” would be a perfect movie for a re-make. I would change the setting, though, taking out the elements of contention.
In my re-imagining of “Song of the South,” I would set it in modern Texas. This would at least help “Brer Roadrunner” from Splash Mountain make sense as roadrunners are not native to Georgia. I would cast Cheech Marin as Uncle Remus and possibly Felicia Rashad as the grandmother. A cultural potpourri would hopefully make the story agreeable to everyone. Again, the race of the characters is not what makes the film work, it is the story and the characters. I would touch up the animation of the Brer Rabbit scenes but keep the voices, the songs, and the animation the same. Again, this would keep Splash Mountain from needing changed. Give royalties to the families of the voice actors of the animated characters, who if I am not mistaken, also did the voices of the crows in “Dumbo.”
Anyway, I recommend that if you get a chance, watch the movie. It is entertaining, and I hope that Disney will take my advice and do a worthy remake that opens this story to the modern public.