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November 12, 1946
Song of the South's premiere. A record-breaking release campaign for both Walt Disney and RKO pictures alike, this movie was heralded worldwide as Walt Disney's greatest accomplishment yet. A great deal of memorabilia can be found from this release because of such a successful campaign to boost the popularity of Walt Disney's first live-action/animation full-length film. Notice the campaign's ornate and elegant themes. Much of the main focus was being placed upon the live action aspect of the film, as opposed to the animation aspect, as stressed in subsequent releases.
1956
Song of the South's second release, this time released by Buena Vista Pictures. All subsequent releases would be distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. Information and memorabilia from this release is fairly difficult to find. Notice the sharp contrast between the 1946 campaign depicting live-action as the main focus compared to this campaign, where only Uncle Remus and his characters are depicted. This clearly shows where the majority of the film's popularity lay—not so much in the live action sequences, but rather in the animated sequences. Of all the releases, I liked this campaign style the best.
1972
Song of the South was released a third time in 1972 for Walt Disney's 50th anniversary. Touting a new look which was in stark contrast to the film's previous release in 1956, it was almost as if the movie's identity had started anew, and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" was blazoned across the top, acting as the main trigger to people who were still humming the 1948 Academy Award-winning song. Notice how Uncle Remus has been transformed into almost a cartoon himself. Of all the releases, this campaign has probably the most memorabilia items associated with it.
1973
In 1973, the film was paired up with The Aristocats as a double feature. Touting a new look which was in stark contrast to the film's previous release in 1956, it was almost as if the movie's identity had started anew, and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" was blazoned across the top, acting as the main trigger to people who were still humming the 1948 Academy Award-winning song. Notice how Uncle Remus has been transformed into almost a cartoon himself. Of all the releases, this campaign has probably the most memorabilia items associated with it.
October 8, 1980
Marked for the one hundredth anniversary of Joel Chandler Harris' classic Uncle Remus tales, Song of the South was released for its fourth time. The most "low-key" of all five releases, used an almost identical campaign identity to the film's previous release in 1972/1973. Notice that the Brer characters have been redrawn and appear a bit truer to Disney-style animation.
November 21, 1986
Song of the South's 40th anniversary warranted a full release once again. For the first time, this movie was actually billed as "Walt Disney's Classic". Song of the South had officially graduated to Classic Disney status. Disney could rely largely on the parents and grandparents of a new generation to be their exploitation, and it worked wonderfully: I was one of those fortunate children who was able to see this movie. For the first time since 1956, Uncle Remus appeared on the posters life-like once again, shown holding hands with the children.


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