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Who's Afraid of the Song of the South? And Other Forbidden Disney Stories Paperback – 12 Dec 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Theme Park Press (12 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984341552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984341559
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book explores both sides of the coin of Songs of the South and other controversial films. I found the style engaging and fascinating. The author argues the case just brilliantly and I hope this great book makes a difference and one day we will see Song of the South in its full Blu Ray glory.

Just fantastic!!!
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By C. Jones on 7 Oct 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting and well-written. Details from the horses' mouths rather than the rumour sites all over the internet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 64 reviews
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Great movie good book 17 Dec 2012
By Roger Farnham - Published on
Format: Paperback
I saw "Song Of The South" as a first run movie as a kid and the whole country was singing "Zip-a-de-doo-dah" for months. I recently saw it again as an import DVD and my question is, where is it racist? The hero is Uncle Remus, a black ex-slave who is not treated as a slave. He is, in fact, the hero of the story. Most people object to the fact that the "slaves" are happy and singing, showing that they are not mistreated. Contrary to popular belief, the story takes place after the U.S. Civil War, during the period known as "Reconstruction" so the workers are not slaves but hired hands. The book delves into this and into many other facets of the production. I can't improve on the other reviewers reviews so all I can say is, if you are at all interested in an almost forgotten and very controversial Disney movie this is the book for you.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Your One-Stop Laughing Place 4 Dec 2012
By Thad Komorowski - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jim Korkis is one of those rare individuals in any field, the kind of expert who's a friendly, one-stop "go to" guy for anything on Disney. If he doesn't know the answer, nobody does. And if he does know, he'll let you know for free, just out of sheer love for his vocation. What more could you ask for in a historian?

His latest book, "Who's Afraid of Song of the South?" is a much-needed account of Disney's most notorious work. Though talked about endlessly, there is actually very little written about the movie based on hard facts and anecdotes from the key players. Jim rectifies this with a most excellent history of how SONG OF THE SOUTH was conceived, made, and received. If you feel that the film is a product of its time, you would be right. But did you also know that there was a general concern over perceivable racism in the film's material at the time while it was actually being made? No spoilers from me: to find out why, read the book.

If there is a flaw with this tome, it's that there isn't even more on the actual movie in it. More than half of the book is devoted to articles by Jim about the more 'verboten' side of Disney. Granted, I always like whatever Jim has to say about Disney, and the included articles are mostly excellent. But it felt like I had bought something of a misnomer, given it's a book about SONG OF THE SOUTH and not even half of it is devoted to the film. Maybe there's something to that - that the movie simply isn't good or interesting enough to warrant an entire book solely about it. I certainly don't feel slighted or have any unanswered questions after reading Jim's account, so perhaps there's really not much more to say about the film and its history. (I wonder how short all of those pretty "art" books on the Disney movies would be if you got rid of the pictures... now you know why they make 'em!)

But for $7.99, you are getting an wonderful account of the film's history, production and reception, a bargain no matter how you slice it. I highly recommend it for that alone. Think of the non-SONG OF THE SOUTH pieces as icing on the cake, and that your purchase might help Disney wake up and release the movie finally.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Just got this--and I love it 2 Dec 2012
By T. Russell - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because I found it on a website and it looked really interesting.

Pro: Jim Korkis-- one of the top Disney historians who really knows what Disney has been up to over the years. He not only talks about Song of the South, a breakthrough in animation/storytelling, but addresses the controversy around it with a historian's eye. Also, he looks at other topics that are more "salacious" in Disney history. I liked this, as it is a little controversial for your average Disney book but not The Dark Side of Disney dark. I feel that he represented many ideas that the big D may not want to address, but did it with a historian's eye.

Con: I am unsure if this book transcends beyond Disney fans--most of these books hit the more "hard core" Disney nerd then your usual "general history of Disney" type books. However, if you are not a super fan then consider getting this book because of the other themes (like racism in TV/Film history, revisionist history and how corporations deal with skeletons in their closet) that are in this book.

Get it. Fun reading, and just a pleasure.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The Truth Behind Disney Legends, Rumors and Factoids 16 Jan 2013
By Rene Thompson - Published on
Format: Paperback
In the mid-nineties, I got hold of a copy of a Japanese release of Walt Disney's SONG OF THE SOUTH on VHS (with Japanese subs!). I had never seen it before and loved the animated parts very much! By that point, however, the film was locked away in Disney's vault, never to see the light of day again in the US (apparently). For the next week, I asked every black person I knew or who just happened to come in my store if they were familiar with the film and if it offended them. Honestly, most of them started singing songs from it and several insisted I had to make them copies (which I did). Not a one was offended and many were quite upset when I informed them Disney said they should be!

Now comes WHO'S AFRAID OF THE SONG OF THE SOUTH? by premier Disney historian Jim Korkis. This recent volume, one of a couple on the subject, details every aspect of the film from its original inspirations through its early protests (Which I had not been aware of previously), the exploitation of the characters in comics, several successful film re-releases and the eventual burial of the picture itself. All of this follows an enlightened and enlightening foreword by Disney's legendary first black animator, Floyd Norman.

It's a convoluted tale at best and one of the odder ones in Disney history for any number of reasons but Korkis is the one to streamline it. Arguably the best Disney historian of them all, having been so both officially and unofficially for decades now, he knows where the bodies are buried...or in this case frozen...or contrary to persistent rumor, not.

Jim categorizes all of the different aspects of SONG OF THE SOUTH into separate chapters, giving the reader easy to digest doses of how the individual aspects all fit into the larger image. The one missing puzzle piece seems consistently to be how current Disney management continues to turn a deaf ear to calls for releasing it on Blu-Ray and DVD in the US under ANY spite of legal releases in quite a few other countries.

If you notice the cover, though, this book has a subtitle--"...And Other Forbidden Disney Stories."

The SONG OF THE SOUTH issue fills the first half of the volume while the second half sheds bright light on another dozen or so mostly fun and fascinating Disney rumors, legends and factoids.

Among the items covered here are the story behind Wally Wood's dirty Disney poster (of which I many years ago purchased Jim's own framed black light mini-version).

You'll also find Ward Kimball's UFO's, the studio's VD and menstruation films, Ike and J. Edgar Hoover, Mickey's attempted suicide, Jessica Rabbit's naughty bits, Tim Burton, Kirt (sic) Russell and John Carter of Mars (like you never got to see him!).

All in all, if you're a Disney fan of any depth whatsoever, WHO'S AFRAID OF THE SONG OF THE SOUTH? needs to be in your library as soon as possible. Of course, that could and has been said of every other Jim Korkis book. Remember that name and buy any book he puts out that has anything to do with animation or Disney.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Didn't damage us! 5 Jun 2014
By bookwormmovielover - Published on
Format: Paperback
My parents loaded us up in the car along with our friends, several that were black to take us to the movie theater to see this wonderful movie. For weeks all of us children re- in acted the movie sang the songs and played in the woods near our home. My father say a notice in the local newspaper about the movie not being shown at the theater any more because of the racism. All of the children my parents took to see the movie with us went to the theater before they stopped playing the movie and everyone of them came back confused. They couldn't understand why and enjoyable movie was being removed. They did Not find it offensive at all. as a mater of fact one of the fathers said that the movie was so far from racist it was funny. He said that it told an accurate yet cartoonish was as that all people including animals should get along. He was very upset that it was to be stopped, he shook my fathers hand and said thank you for taking all the kids to see the movie. He told my father that more people should see the movie and maybe there would be less racism in this country. I think Disney Corp the parent company of ABC should look at the garbage they produce for TV it is much worse and the values are much worse than those portrayed in the movie Song of the South! I for 1 would love to see it again along with all my black friends that are to this day my very dear friends that would like to take their children and grandchildren to see the movie, maybe it may open some eyes today that are closed very tightly about racism in this country that exists today. And I personally agree!!!
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