Disney has decided to release the film Song of the South to Blu-ray and DVD later this year. After waiting over twenty years since it’s last theatrical release, this is enormous news.
Not surprisingly, the decision came after the recent Disney shareholder meeting. Expect the official announcement within the next two weeks or so.
Releasing Song of the South is a topic that is often mentioned, but until now has never been taken seriously by the company. Two years ago there was promising discussion at the same meeting by CEO Robert Iger, but nothing came of it.
Not so in 2009!
We’re privy to this information now because one of the shareholders (and a friend of the Nest) thought we should know in advance in order to prepare ourselves. I’m considering buying a phone headset to avoid answering-elbow.
This should be a marketing coup for Disney. As we’ve mentioned here time and time again, there’s an unquestionable demand for the movie, and absence has made the heart grow fonder for many fans and potential consumers, I’m sure.
Nevertheless, the issues that made Disney hesitant to release the film in the first place still stand. It will be very, very interesting to see the ensuing marketing campaign. I’m putting my money on a healthy dose of nostalgia with just a pinch of “Look! We’ve entered a new (racial) era! Thanks, President Obama!” Or, you know, not saying anything while quietly raking in the money.
As for our day-to-day lives at the Wren’s Nest, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Sure, it means I’ll be more helpful to blue hairs who call looking for the movie (one caller recently assured me she “knew the number for eBay”), but as far as royalties go, we can’t expect anything. Stinks, right?
In fact, I’m a little fearful that the more widespread the movie, the more people might get the priorities of our museum and the movie confused. Folks are known to do that sort of thing. We do have a history to maintain, after all.
On the other hand, the increased visibility could be HUGE for us. As far as I’m concerned, people can visit the museum for whatever reason they want. If they come in because they think we give tours with bluebirds on our shoulders, fine by me! Though they will be a touch disappointed, methinks.
Either way, we can cross our fingers and hope that, just like its theatrical release in 1946, Song of the South’s marketing will include the Wren’s Nest, and that the Brer Rabbit stories will come to the foreground once again. We’ll keep you updated!
My oh my what a wonderful day!