Splash Mountain is one of Disney’s most beloved attractions is sadly based on the film Song of the South, which is widely believed to be Disney’s most controversial film due to its horrendous racial stereotypes.
Now, fans are petitioning for the company to re-theme Splash Mountain in hopes of breaking away from any mention of the film.
Several suggestions are popping up, including a re-theme to Zootopia or Moana, but the most popular suggestion is Disney Animations’ 2009 film The Princess and the Frog, which is famously known for introducing the world to Disney’s first black princess, Tiana.
The petition comes just days after the company took to all its social media to show support for the Black Lives Matters movement.
For those unfamiliar with the film, originally released in 1946, Song of the South is a live-action/animated hybrid set in the Reconstruction era after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. It is narrated by Uncle Remus, a plantation worker considered by many to be a racist stereotype. He tells stories about the adventures of characters like Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear, and Br’er Fox to a young white boy living on the plantation.
The film was re-released in theaters 1986 but is not part of the deep vault of Disney films on its Disney+ streaming service. Back in March, former Disney CEO confirmed that the company has no plans to release the movie ever again and that it isn’t on Disney+ due to its “outdated cultural depictions.”
The NAACP has criticized the movie over the years for perpetuating “a dangerously glorified picture of slavery” and has been panned by movie critics for its depiction of the antebellum South.
In 1989, Splash Mountain debuted at Disneyland decades after the film debuted and was denied a video release. Uncle Remus doesn’t appear anywhere in the attraction; however, Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox all appear with the same racially insensitive dialect from the film, and features the now-classic Disney song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.”
Disneyland cast member Frederick Chambers took to social media to share his re-theme concept that uses The Princess and the Frog as it’s main theme, his idea has quickly taken off.
Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain retheme for Disneyland thread. Just put on the soundtrack and a splash ridethrough while reading this. pic.twitter.com/8z5wOalyB7— Frederick Chambers (@HelmsmanFreddy) June 9, 2020
I feel if Disney wants nothing to do with Song of the South (it’s a very inappropriate film, so I don’t blame them), then they should re-theme Splash Mountain as well, Disney has a ton of fantastic family-friendly IP they can pull from that could make fans and parkgoers alike happy, this is a time for change, Disney has the biggest platform on earth and can use that platform for good.
Disney has responded to criticism in the past in regards to its theme park attractions, back in 2018, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World updated a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean that formerly showed pirates chasing and auctioning off women. Now, the attraction features the popular pirate Redd as she is auctioning off items from the village they pillaged.