Disney fans were hopeful SONG OF THE SOUTH might receive a DVD release last year for its 60th anniversary, but it didn't happen, apparently due to fears on Disney's part that there would be a politically correct backlash.
Song of the South.net has the latest news, which is that Disney President Robert Iger has indicated a willingness to revisit whether or not to release SONG OF THE SOUTH. Iger recently stated: "We've decided to take a look at it again because we've had numerous requests about bringing it out. Our concern was that a film that was made so many decades ago being brought out today perhaps could be either misinterpreted or that it would be somewhat challenging in terms of providing the appropriate context."
The Disney Treasures set ON THE FRONT LINES did a good job placing some of the more "controversial" cartoons in historical context, and I'm sure that they could do the same for SONG OF THE SOUTH if they feel it is necessary.
I saw a reissue of SONG OF THE SOUTH in a movie theater as a young child and the mix of live action and animation made quite an impression on me, along with the famed Oscar-winning song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." I also remember what a positive impact the Uncle Remus character had on the young children in the film. Indeed, a reviewer at IMDb suggests that the film's politically incorrect reputation is unfair.
It's a shame that to date Disney has prevented my children from seeing anything more than a scene in a sing-a-long video. The movie is very significant in terms of both animation and Disney history, and hiding it in the vaults because some portions of the film may seem dated or make current audiences uncomfortable is wrong. I don't believe it's appropriate for Disney to make those kind of judgments on behalf of its audience. Today's audiences should have the right to view this classic and make their own assessments.
You can sign an online petition to help campaign for the movie's release at the Song of the South site linked above.
(Hat tip for the Orlando Sentinel article at the subject link: Holy Coast.)
Wednesday Update: Here is an AP article which is a much longer version of the article at the subject link.