‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ Song From Racist Film Removed From Disneyland Parade
Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2023
Though it’s one of Disney’s catchiest melodies, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” originates from one of the entertainment company’s most shameful films, “Song of the South.”
Following a national reckoning prompted by the killing of George Floyd in 2020, Disneyland announced plans to re-imagine Splash Mountain, a popular ride that features imagery and themes from the racist 1946 film, ensuring the song’s days in the Disney oeuvre were numbered.
Now, the twice-daily Magic Happens parade, which reopened Feb. 24 after a three-year hiatus because of the pandemic, has quietly been altered to remove the “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” tune and instead includes a song from “Peter Pan.”
“Song of the South,” which Disney chairman Bob Iger told shareholders in 2020 was “just not appropriate in today’s world,” employed racist tropes and painted a rosy picture of race relations in the antebellum South.
The movie was based on a series of short stories by Joel Chandler Harris centered on Uncle Remus, a Black man in the Reconstruction era who spoke of “a long time ago” when “everything was mighty satisfactual.”