Disney changing Splash Mountain, ride tied to Jim Crow film

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Amid calls to alter the Splash Mountain theme park journey over its ties to “Song of the South,” the 1946 film many view as racist, Disney officers stated Thursday it was recasting the journey primarily based on “The Princess and the Frog,” a 2009 Disney movie with an African American feminine lead.

Changes to the journey shall be made each at Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, the corporate stated in a submit.

Disney stated the modifications had been within the works since final yr, however the announcement comes as firms throughout the U.S. are renaming racially charged, decades-old manufacturers amid worldwide protests for racial justice after the police custody demise of George Floyd in Minnesota final month.

“The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year,” the Disney submit stated.

Splash Mountain first opened as a log-flume journey at Disneyland within the late 1980s.

The revamped journey will comply with the contours of the animated film, “The Princess and the Frog,” by which actress Anika Noni Rose voices the function of a 1920s aspiring chef in New Orleans who kisses a prince that has been changed into a frog and turns into one herself.

With racist stereotypes and Old South tropes, “Song of the South” is a mixture of stay motion, cartoons and music that includes an outdated black plantation laborer named Uncle Remus who enchants a white metropolis boy with fables of speaking animals.

Groups together with the NAACP protested the movie’s preliminary launch. The movie isn’t obtainable to the thousands and thousands of subscribers of the corporate’s new Disney Plus streaming service, and it hasn’t been launched in theaters in many years.

“Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be,” stated a web based petition asking for the journey to be modified. “While the ride is considered a beloved classic, it’s history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South.”

But Splash Mountain had its supporters. Another on-line petition requested that the journey stay in its present incarnation.

“Many adults and children ride this attraction because it brings back childhood memories,” the “Keep Splash Mountain” petition stated. “Disney already took out the racist songs which was a good move on their part.”

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