Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed the reasoning for keeping Song of the South off of Disney+. When the streaming service was first announced, the studio said it would include everything released underneath the Disney umbrella. This was a huge announcement since the Disney vault is so vast. However, that was not the case, as some titles are either on their way to the new platform, or not coming at all. Iger spoke to shareholders today and explained why Song of the South and other, less controversial titles, won't be calling Disney+ home.
Song of the South is probably one of the most controversial movies that Disney has in their vault. It was revealed early on that the movie would not be on Disney+ and some fans were critical of the decision. Dumbo has some controversial aspects to it involving race and a disclaimer is provided. Why wouldn't the disclaimer work for Song of the South? Bob Iger had this to say.
"I've felt as long as I had been CEO that Song of the South was, even with a disclaimer, just not appropriate in today's world. That's actually true with some of the other things that we've made as well, it's just hard given the depictions in some of those films to bring them out today without in some form or another offending people, so we decided not to do that."
Song of the South really does not need to be included on Disney+, but it is a part of Disney's past. With that being said, many would find the movie to be, at the very least, controversial, while others could find it hurtful. In the end, Bob Iger and crew probably made the right decision to keep it from their streaming platform, even though aspects of the movie are still all over Disneyland and Disney World, with Splash Moutain home to most of the characters featured in the movie.
As for some other nuggets missing from the Disney+ library, they might not meet the quality control standards in terms of the digital transfer. This makes sense, especially for things that weren't made with huge budgets and weren't really popular to begin with. So, saying that everything Disney has to offer was going to be included wasn't exactly the whole truth. Bob Iger explains.
"I think when I said 'The whole library' one of the things that we realized is that a lot of what was made in the past is not of the quality just in terms of the quality of the film initially when it's digitized and we're working through some of that. We also had to prioritize because there's so much that had to be digitized so we couldn't get everything on. So I think in the end when I said, 'The entire library' it turns out not everything will be available because of some of those issues."
Disney+ is working on ramping up their original content while filling in the gaps with pieces from their extensive library. While the vault is a big selling point, the studio has to focus on new and original content in order to compete with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple, and the rest. Just don't expect to see Song of the South on the streaming platform or released officially anywhere else. Comic Book was the first to report on Bob Iger's comments.