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News Splash Mountain retheme to Princess and the Frog - attraction discussion only

Parker in NYC

Well-Known Member
I think there are extremists on both sides - people who will negatively categorize anyone who wants to make change as "woke" and people who believe all people who are not on the streets actively protesting are terrible humans. I think most people fall in the middle; recognizing that racism is still pretty prevalent, and things need to get better.

That being said, I think Disney jumped too quickly into committing to this SM makeover and did it solely to stay relevant in the media. I think it was easy for them to pat themselves on the back in admitting Song of the South Disney-fied a very serious cultural problem, and then promising to make up for that by substituting the ride theme with like literally their only black protagonist (Soul didn't come out until Christmas).

What I hear is: Hi! Disney here. We have known SOTS was problematic for a while now, but this ride was like super popular and it would cost a lot of money to do an overlay, so we did not do anything to change it. But now we feel like we need to stay relevant, so we're promising to change it, but only if we can do it with a coupon code (2-for-1 deal), and we're going to restrict the options for overlay to only something involving a black protagonist. Ah! Since we only have one of those, that's what we're going with. Oh, and again, we're only doing this if we can get a good deal $$ on it, and if not, then sorry - it's staying as is.

Also, we are not changing IASW even though each region is over-simplyfyingly seperated by skin color. And, we are not changing Peter Pan's Flight even though we portrayed Native Americans very poorly in that movie. And, we are not changing pirates of the carribean, which has no black animatronics, even though a significant amount of pirates were black, having become pirates after their slave ships were taken over.

So, it seems to me Disney isn't REALLY committed to the overall message of change and bettermant, and is more committed to staying relevant in the media, but only if it can do it at a discount.

Ultiamtely, I'm all for changing SM to PATF. The music is awesome and I love hte movie. But, I don't believe for one second that Disney will prioritize the movement for cultural change above their bottomline. They want to appear as if they do so that people believe they are supporting a "good" business. But, never forget, Disney is a for profit business.
Thank you. This was very well said. My big issue is the "pick and choose" approach as to what is offensive and what isn't. If you're going to put your money where your (mouth is), be consistent across the board. Otherwise, what's the point?
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
I’ve said it before but I feel it’s worth saying again, black tribes people are wrong and shouldn’t be used for entertainment but a black bad voodoo man is a piece of great cultural representation?

I've said this here before, but might as well say it again: of all Disney villains, the most sympathetic is, IMO, Dr. Faucilier. He was a black man at a time when black people had little power of any kind. So he found a source of power - the wrong kind, but it's hard to blame him for taking that path, given the circumstances. I still think he should have been the leading man in PatF, not boring bland Naveen. It could have been a Beauty-and-the-Beast-type relationship: a good woman turning a bad man around. But hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

If there ever is a sequel to PatF (doubtful) it'd be great to revisit the Doctor in a scenario where, say, he's given a chance to escape "the other side" by redeeming himself. Kind of like Iago became a good guy in the Aladdin sequels. I think it could work, and I would definitely watch it.
 

Rescue Ranger

Well-Known Member
I hope when I'm there in October Splash is still open so I have the opportunity to ride and experience one of my favorite attractions one last time...

Would be nice if the characters could live on in some form.
 

KaliSplash

Well-Known Member
I am certainly glad to see we are staying on topic here and discussing the attraction only, NOT the motivation for the change--NOT! Come on, people.
 

FulcrumSolo

Well-Known Member
I hope when I'm there in October Splash is still open so I have the opportunity to ride and experience one of my favorite attractions one last time...

Would be nice if the characters could live on in some form.
If you’re going to WDW, I don’t think it’s closing there anytime soon. Not in the next few years at least.

Disneyland will probably start saying goodbye after summer comes and goes.

Also, the Br’ers will always live on in pirated copies of SotS and the cameos they had in House of Mouse.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
- Disney creates Splash Mountain. Uncle Remus stereotype is dropped. However, they fail to acknowledge the true nature of the stories, and refuse to acknowledge it outside of the ride.
I don’t understand how the bolded would have been feasible to begin with. It’s a ride in a theme park, not a museum exhibit that can be contextualised with educational videos and wall texts. Moreover, it would have been disingenuous for Disney to claim that the ride was in any way inspired by the original stories, because it wasn’t. The immediate source of the current theme is Song of the South, and that connection can never really be disguised or reframed.
 
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TeriofTerror

Well-Known Member
It’s a great idea but Disney of today is not a company of courage. They are going to take the easy way out to appease activist political groups every time. Shame that James Baskett was the first African American to win an Oscar and Disney will make sure that performance never sees the light of day or is discussed ever again. Your
Um, your statement regarding James Baskett is patently false.
 

yensidtlaw1969

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Rather than even changing the attraction, they could add a museum/display area explaining the oral history of these African American stories and how they came to be...
Their adaptation to book form saved these African American folk tales from disappearing completely...
Perhaps an exhibit celebrating the origin of the stories would be better than erasing them and their history from existence
Maybe Song Of The South was not the best way to represent them, but for it's time, I believe it tried...
Time has passed, we are more evolved now on the issues...
Make the stories' origins a part of the attraction...Use this as a teaching moment, not erase and replace with something else.
Song of the South was called out for its problems even before its release - Disney was encouraged by several groups not to even release the film because of its issues. Of course, Disney didn't listen. But the idea that it's only a problem in retrospect is a misconception - what is closer to the truth is that we are now more willing to listen to the groups of people who have always recognized its problems.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Rather than even changing the attraction, they could add a museum/display area explaining the oral history of these African American stories and how they came to be...
Their adaptation to book form saved these African American folk tales from disappearing completely...
Perhaps an exhibit celebrating the origin of the stories would be better than erasing them and their history from existence
Maybe Song Of The South was not the best way to represent them, but for it's time, I believe it tried...
Time has passed, we are more evolved now on the issues...
Make the stories' origins a part of the attraction...Use this as a teaching moment, not erase and replace with something else.
To read posts like this, you’d think Splash Mountain—a ride that, before 2020, was never discussed as having any educational value whatsoever—is somehow critical to the survival of African-American folklore. It’s a bizarre argument that not only disregards how one actually experiences the attraction, but also—and more to the point—gratuitously invokes a cultural tradition whose legacy is in no way dependent on a Disney log-flume.
 
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The Aracuan Bird

Well-Known Member
I don’t understand how the bolded would have been feasible to begin with. It’s a ride in a theme park, not a museum exhibit that can be contextualised with educational videos and wall texts. Moreover, it would have been disingenuous for Disney to claim that the ride was in any way inspired by the original stories, because it wasn’t. The immediate source of the current theme is Song of the South, and that connection can never really be disguised or reframed.
Why are you assuming that? I made several points to say that the log ride is irrelevant to the matter. They could have done it in a film, in a documentary, a show, even a press release if they were too lazy to put the money in and just admit their failures with it & how it doesn’t reflect the true nature of the original source.

You’re talking that it’s disingenuous to claim that the ride was inspired by the original stories. Where do you seriously think the tale of Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch came from? Disney did not invent it with Song of the South. It was borrowed, just like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Snow White, etc. Most of Disney’s plot points are borrowed from what they’re adapting. It was only recently, with Frozen, where they started making radical changes to the source material in order to differentiate their films from what they were inspired by.

It’s more disingenuous to claim that they did come up with all of this. The general public usually looks to the Disney adaptation of a story first and foremost. If their adaptation is racist, then people will assume that the original source is inherently racist as well. That’s why it’s so crucial that they represent a story properly. If they don’t and have no interest to correct their mistakes, then they should be held accountable because their films are integral to the public perception of what they are adapting.

I don’t know why people that know better are praising them for their laziness in the matter. Perhaps these people really don’t know better. Go to the drawing board, redesign the characters, and move them as far away from Song of the South as possible. Anything less isn’t correcting what they did with that film.
 

The Aracuan Bird

Well-Known Member
To read posts like this, you’d think Splash Mountain—a ride that, before 2020, was never discussed as having any educational value whatsoever—is somehow critical to the survival of African-American folklore. It’s a bizarre argument that not only disregards how one actually experiences the attraction, but also—and more to the point—gratuitously invokes a cultural tradition whose legacy is in no way dependent on a Disney log-flume.
You’re right. There’s no place for education in the Disney world. All they do is take culture, exploit it, maybe destroy it, then play the victim. And everyone gives them praise because...?

I don’t get it.

I understand the argument that many folks that like the ride are coming out of nowhere to discuss this point even if they may not truly care about it. But the fact is, the point is still valid, even if the proposed solution of keeping the ride isn’t. They’ve misrepresented culture and they have zero interest in properly representing it.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
It’s more disingenuous to claim that they did come up with all of this.
You’re misunderstanding me. Of course Disney didn’t invent the material, but the reason the stories and characters are in a Disney theme park at all is that they have appeared in a Disney film. It is no surprise, then, that the association with that film will always overshadow the secondary connection to the original stories. The same applies to any number of literature-derived attractions at the Magic Kingdom. When one rides Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, one is going to tie it to the 1989 animated film rather than to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale.
 
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Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
Song of the South was called out for its problems even before its release - Disney was encouraged by several groups not to even release the film because of its issues. Of course, Disney didn't listen.

They didn't listen because the groups who objected were not seen as that important at the time, unfortunately.

This was only a few years after Gone with the Wind became the highest grossing movie ever, despite similar pre and post release objections. It was a decade when blackface and editing movies to appease white southern audiences was still a thing. It's shocking today to think Disney would allow it, but then? It was par for the course for Hollywood.

More importantly, Walt wanted to do it. And the guy had a history of doing what he wanted despite what others thought.
 
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Sharon&Susan

Well-Known Member

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