The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Splash Mountain scheduled for make over

    By Bellefontaine Nhan | Staff Writer

    Image by DisneyParksBlog

       Disneyland’s Splash Mountain has been a crowd favorite for years, however, recently its racist undertones have come to light, resulting in fans advocating for it to be re-themed. 

       Splash Mountain is a Disney ride based on the Disney produced movie “Song of the South” that was released in 1946. The film’s setting and characters are based off of racial stereotypes and is said to have a “romanticized view of the post-Civil War South,” as stated by CNN. 

       According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the main character of “Song of the South,” Brer Rabbit, is based on folklore which depicts the African slave trade. Brer Rabbit is meant to represent common experiences among oppressed peoples, however, due to the fictional nature of the film, it glosses over the hardships and cruelty oppressed people experienced in that era.

       The author of the Brer Rabbit stories, Joel Chandler Harris, also compared the animal to African Americans and used racial stereotypes to describe and ridicule them. 

       Disney has permanently banned the film from it’s Disney+ platform due to its offensiveness, according to Yahoo writer Suzy Berne.

       Subsequently, fans have requested that Disney redesign the Splash Mountain ride as well. They have organized protests and created petitions which gained traction on Twitter.

       It wasn’t only fans who wanted the change. Many members of Disney’s staff voiced their opinions on re-theming the ride.

       Berne stated that “nearly 13,000 people have signed [the petition], including Disney loyalists and employees.”

       Due to the popularity of these demands, Disney released statements acknowledging the changes desired by the public and is planning to fulfill these requests. 

       Disney tweeted, “We’re thrilled to share Splash Mountain at Disneyland & Walt Disney World will be completely reimagined with a new story inspired by an all-time favorite Disney Animation film, “The Princess and the Frog.”

       Following the announcement, people started to post their ideas for the design of the new ride online. Brian Lynch, a film and comic book writer, suggested a “Moana” themed ride instead.

       One petitioner wrote on the Washington Post, “This change could kill two birds with one stone, remove the offensive stereotypical theming the ride currently has and bring a much needed diversity to the parks.”

       With the current Black Lives Matter protests making headlines, the public is paying closer attention to the outdated cultural depictions and racist references that have been overlooked during the last several decades. This has resulted in the cancelation and modification of many of Disney’s popular movies, television shows, and rides, such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

       As Carmen Smith, creative development and inclusive strategies executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, told the Washington Post, “Because we consider ourselves constant learners, we go to great lengths to research and engage cultural advisers and other experts to help guide us along the way.”

    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Activate Search
    Splash Mountain scheduled for make over