I apologize if I drift off topic, I will try to remain focused.The fact that the stories have their origin in African folklore is irrelevant. We don’t ride Journey of the Little Mermaid and think “Hans Christian Andersen”, or the Mad Tea Party and think “Lewis Carroll”. The Magic Kingdom is not the place for serious cultural or literary education; let’s stop pretending that Splash Mountain was ever meant to be, or can be rebranded as, a tribute to African (American) tradition.
I have somewhat stopped responding on this site, but have monitored the conversation as I am interested in what others have to say.
I am going to start by saying that, I as an African American ...KIND OF started that back on Twitter, when things first started getting talked about sometimes before the announcement. I had noticed that it seemed most people did not know the origins of where the characters truly come from, as most did NOT know they really did belong to "us". So I made a short thread.
The mindset I had when I brought it up was--
Disney took the stories and made a film that many people found to be offensive and degrading, and eventually created Splash Mountain to be based off the the Critter stories they used in the film. I simply find issue with the idea of not holding Disney accountable for this mistake. And that to mend it, they could give it BACK to the people who created them. Instead of running away from actually facing this mistake, they have chosen to act as if one was never made.
Have you noticed that they are being "vague" on WHY it is being rethemed? I have found it to be far more disrespectful and disingenuous. It is harmful to act as if these kinds of mistakes were never made.
You are absolutely correct on the fact that people don't ride an attraction at a DISNEY park and think of their roots, as they simply visit for the Disney retelling. But in this case, things a slightly different, as stated above, this Disney retelling ended up offending quite a bit of people. And that, in fixing this they could turn the depictions towards those who created them.
However, it seems most people are using this as to say, "do absolutely nothing to edit this". Which is absolutely not what I had in mind when I started this topic. My idea included getting recasting and re-recording lines, changing queue sound tracks, scenery, and some general changes to the ride, and even new character designs, (and more focus on Black storytelling culture as a whole throughout the company). And this would occur AFTER Disney truly acknowledge the error of the current adaptations.
After all, the idea of the retheme is to make their parks more inclusive and welcoming to it's guests. They have a true "black" story on their hands. I do not see the issue of allowing the ride to shift focus to sharing a culture's story in a fun way. After all Frontierland/Liberty Square does have slight "edutainment" vibes.
But that was all just my idea, and I do NOT speak for any other African Americans out there with this so take it all with a grain of salt. I see where you are coming from as, the way most present the "argument" comes off more as an excuse.
It was more of a way to honestly acknowledge a wrong, and make it right in a sense. Not that the average tourist would care much. I honestly am not as riled up about the retheme anymore if at all. It's just a log flume and Disney has made their choice, they'll do what they want, and that's okay. If it were up to me, though; I'd pick a different theme...
P.S. I am certainly not a fan of some of the chaos and discord I have seen going about between the Disney community about this retheme, we all can do better.
I apologize if I am missing your point though, I just felt the need to come out and own up to that...