Disney to Redesign Controversial Splash Mountain Ride – Variety

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The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday introduced that its basic experience Splash Mountain can be “fully reimagined,” amid scrutiny over the experience’s roots within the racist 1946 movie “Music of the South.”

The experience shall be redesigned to draw from the 2009 movie “The Princess and the Frog,” the primary Disney animated film to function a Black princess. In accordance to Disney, the redesign has been within the works for over a yr, although no concrete timeline for its building and relaunch has been introduced. The brand new experience’s storyline will decide up after Princess Tiana and Louis’ ultimate kiss within the movie, and have music from the film because the pair put together for a Mardi Gras efficiency.

The “conceptual design work is nicely underway,” in accordance to a Disney Parks weblog put up, and Imagineers will “quickly have the ability to conduct preliminary evaluations and develop a timeline for when the transformation can begin to take form.”

Different firms have vowed to re-brand racially insensitive merchandise in latest weeks, equivalent to Quaker Oats’ choice to retire the Aunt Jemima title and picture. As Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests proceed throughout the nation within the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and different Black Individuals, requires firms to cease utilizing problematic and racist imagery of their merchandise have gained traction. A petition to re-theme Splash Mountain to “The Princess and the Frog” had accrued over 21,000 signatures earlier than Thursday’s announcement.

Disney has beforehand redesigned rides to take away problematic content material. In 2017, Disneyland eliminated the bride public sale scene from its Pirates of the Caribbean experience.

In its present kind, Splash Mountain incorporates characters and songs from “Music of the South.” Although the experience attracts from a movie from the 1940s, Splash Mountain was not conceived till the 1980s. The experience opened at Disneyland in 1989. Quickly after, it was added to Walt Disney World in Florida and different Disney parks around the globe.

“Music of the South” takes place within the southern United States throughout the Reconstruction period. The story follows a younger white boy who befriends an older Black man that works on a plantation and tells tales of his adventures with animals. The movie has drawn criticism for drawing on racist stereotypes in its portrayal of freed slaves, in addition to its ahistorical conception of the plantation system as a harmonious settlement between Black and white Individuals.

The subject material prompted intense backlash when the movie was initially launched and drew additional criticism over the course of quite a few re-releases all through the 20th century. The movie has not been made out there in any format, together with Disney Plus, for greater than three a long time.

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