As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
I was on such a roll with my Theme Park Press reviews, but Who’s Afraid of the Song of the South? really slowed me down. Not because I didn’t like the book, but because it was more the kind of book that you pick up and read in smaller chunks rather than devouring all at once. I had been intrigued by the premise of this book since I first saw the cover, so I’m glad I had the opportunity to finally read through it. Now, I’d like to share . . .
About the Book
The Real Dark Side of Disney
You won’t find it on cable. You won’t find it on NetFlix. Ever. Disney thinks that you can’t handle Song of the South, a film that Walt Disney himself championed from contentious start to controversial finish. Jim Korkis chronicles the sad ballad of this forbidden film, lynched by the politically correct and banished to the deepest, darkest depths of the Disney vault for its “racist” storyline.
Silencing the Song of the South
The last time Americans could legally watch Song of the South was in 1986, before Disney pulled it from cinemas. For those confident of an eventual re-release, Disney CEO Bob Iger advises: “Don’t expect to see it again…ever.”
But even if you can’t watch Song of the South, you can still read about it—and what a fascinating story Korkis spins, covering everything from the original Uncle Remus stories, the behind-the-scenes politics and problems of filming what was even in the 1940s a sensitive issue, and such topics as Walt Disney’s alleged racism, the hypocrisy of Splash Mountain, and a provocative Disney skit on Saturday Night Live.
Sex, Sleaze, and Suicide
Korkis covers much more tawdry territory than just Song of the South in this book. He’d also like to whisper in your ear seventeen forbidden Disney tales, including:
- Disney’s cinematic attack on venereal disease
- Walt Disney’s nightmares about stomping an owl to death
- Disney Legend Ward Kimball’s obsession with UFOs
- Wally Wood’s Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster
- Mickey Mouse’s multiple attempts to commit suicide
Racism. Sex. Pornography. UFOs. Disney. What are you waiting for?
About the Author
Jim Korkis is an internationally respected Disney historian who has written hundreds of articles about all things Disney for over three decades. He is also an award-winning teacher, a professional actor and magician, and the author of several books.
Korkis grew up in Glendale, California, right next to Burbank, the home of the Disney studios. As a teenager, Korkis got a chance to meet the Disney animators and Imagineers who lived nearby, and began writing about them for local newspapers.
In 1995, he relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he portrayed the character Prospector Pat in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, and Merlin the Magician for the Sword in the Stone ceremony in Fantasyland.
In 1996, Korkis became a full-time animation instructor at the Disney Institute teaching all of their animation classes, as well as those on animation history and improvisational acting techniques. As the Disney Institute re-organized, Jim joined Disney Adult Discoveries, the group that researched, wrote, and facilitated backstage tours and programs for Disney guests and Disneyana conventions.
Eventually, Korkis moved to Epcot as a Coordinator for the College and International Programs, and then as a Coordinator for the Epcot Disney Learning Center. He researched, wrote, and facilitated over two hundred different presentations on Disney history for Cast Members and for such Disney corporate clients as Feld Entertainment, Kodak, Blue Cross, Toys “R” Us, and Military Sales.
Korkis has also been the off-camera announcer for the syndicated television series Secrets of the Animal Kingdom; has written articles for several Disney publications, including Disney Adventures, Disney Files (DVC), Sketches, and Disney Insider; and has worked on many different special projects for the Disney Company.
In 2004, Disney awarded Jim Korkis its prestigious Partners in Excellence award.
Heidi Says . . .
I really, really enjoyed this book. First of all, I’ve always been intrigued by Song of the South. When Ashley was little, we had a bunch of Sing-Along videos (that’s right, VHS tapes!) “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” was one of our favorite songs to sing along with!
Now, after reading this book, I know WHY. And, you know what? The truth is — it’s really not THAT controversial. There are so much more controversial things these days (regarding racism and beyond). I wish that the Disney powers-that-be would release this movie once again. I think that we could learn a lot from it!
The other “scandalous” stories in this book really weren’t all that scandalous either. It was rather humorous to read about what was covered up and the reasons for the cover ups. In fact, I got a bunch of good chuckles out of the stories.
As always with Jim’s books, it was fun to get the little extra glimpse behind the Disney scenes.
If you’re interested in either this movie or Disney history in general, this is definitely a book worth picking up and reading!
There’s lots more to learn about this book and all the other fine books from Theme Park Press at the website. (New books are constantly being added to their line-up! Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll see my name on the cover of one of them!)
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press.***