Song of the South (1946)

Song of the South




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Song of the South is a blend of live action and animation, based on the popular "Uncle Remus" stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Set in the years just after the Civil War, the story begins with young Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) being sent to live at the southern plantation of his grandmother (Lucile Watson) while his parents contemplate divorce. At first disconsolate, the boy is cheered up by African-American handyman Uncle Remus (James Baskett), who tells him many delightful fables concerning the … More

Rating: G
Genre: Animation, Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By: ,
Written By: Bill Peet, Maurice Rapf, Dalton Raymond, Morton Grant, Ralph Wright
In Theaters:


as Aunt Tempy

as Favers Boy

as Grandmother

as Brer Rabbit

as Brer Fox [voice]

as Mrs. Favers

as Favers Boy

as Br'er Bear
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Song of the South

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Critic Reviews for Song of the South

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

This rather mushy combination of animation and live-action remains one of Disney's most controversial efforts.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Apparently the Disney wonder-workers are just a lot of conventional hacks when it comes to telling a story with actors instead of cartoons.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Better save this for nostalgia only -- kids won't be missing anything if they never encounter this relic.

Full Review… | September 10, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Warrants watching for its misguided naive look at slavery.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
Cinema Crazed

The central drama is only intermittently successful, and not only because any rational modern viewer will be seriously put off by the jolly racial ignorance of it all... but its heart is in the right place.

Full Review… | November 18, 2010
Antagony & Ecstasy

Song of the South's cartoon sequences are as fine as anything produced by the Disney animators.

Full Review… | November 3, 2009
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Song of the South


Considering the reputation this film holds, I compliment it with revealing that it's not as racist as one expects. Oh, there's no disputing that the insensitivity of the Disney Corporation in making this film wasn't apparent, just that it couldn't possibly be worse than anyone could expect. Based on the tales of Uncle Remus, the logic behind making this film is apparent: a folksy old man tells tales of hilarity to a socially disadvantaged youth. In simple terms, this is cute and kitschy as any other Disney live action film, but making it about slavery in the Antebellum South and adding in the cute as it went along made for a confusing and racially deplorable film watching experience. There is so much wrong in this film: the slave/master relationship is not a dramatic and abusive toil, but a pleasant exchange. There's even a scene where the Uncle Remus goes against his mistresses' orders and asks if she's mad at him, to which she replies, "I could never be mad at you, you old coot!" Because we all know slave owners were respectable and understanding folks. Another incredulous moment came when Uncle Remus leaves the plantation forever and while the misguided boy runs after him, the owner sadly watches it all happen. The live action, overall, was disgusting. As for the cartoons incorporated, they weren't all that spectacular, and the animal characters could easily have been copy/pasted from Robin Hood, but with worse quality and voice actors who were obviously portraying stereotypical black characters. Worse was a sequence one can only title "Tar Baby" which made me flinch all the way through. It hurt to see, and I only gave as many stars as I did for the one redeeming value, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," a mellifluous song that Disney can claim credit for.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

As this film was meant for children, and seeing as how I'm an adult AND a history graduate student, it was really hard for me to watch this film objectively. Anything related to racism, hurt stereotypes, and the like, can be attirbuted to when this film was released, and the time period it depicts. Regardles though, it's still pretty dated by modern standards, but any "offensiveness" is purely relative. The story is well intended, and fun, and filled with fantasy, but that's the problem. This film is segregation through the eyes of Disney, meaning that it is not only watered down, but candy coated in the extreme. If this movie is to be considered offensive, then it would be on the grounds that it totally fucks up how it portrays history due to the agenda of the filmmakers. I can only tolerate such a thing for so long. I enjoyed the film, for the most part, but it was hard for me to care really about everything. I did like the blending of animation and live action though. If I'm not mistaken, this was one of, if not the earliest, film to blend the two, so in that regard, it has some merit, but as I said, even though I should just shut up and enjoy, it's really hard to do that when you spent most of your time in classes where they teach you to scrutinize.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Wonderful Disney classic that has become hard to find due to the contemptible specter of political correctness.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Song of the South Quotes

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