A reader writes:
Your reader points out that "Song of the South" and "Victory Through Air Power" are not included in the list of 50 animated features. As a lifelong animation fan, I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
Ostensibly, the reader writes, Disney did so because it is ashamed of the films for being un-PC. While this may certainly be true with respect to "Song of the South," I'd point out that "Victory Through Air Power" was released as part of a DVD set within the last decade, suggesting no major conspiracy to sweep it under the rug.
An easier explanation is this: neither film meets the parameters of the list, which I believe is defined as fictional narrative animated features. "Victory Through Air Power" is non-fiction, and this is likely the reason it was excluded. "Song of the South," like "Mary Poppins" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" is a hybrid of live action and animation. Note that neither "Poppins" nor "Bedknobs" is on the list either.
I do think they should release "Song of the South" already. This tiptoeing around the film is just silly.
It is a great tragedy that the Uncle Remus stories are deemed racist and politically incorrect. Yes, the plantation setting and the Uncle Remus character can make one cringe. But the folklore itself, recorded by Joel Chandler Harris, is authentic to the slave stories that were told by blacks across the South. Brer Rabbit is the symbol and exemplar of black survival throughout this brutal and dehumanizing period. And I think if people read those books and listen to the stories that Uncle Remus is actually telling, they will be forever enriched by the astonishing storytelling power and creativity of American slaves.