Save Splash Mountain and make a new ride for Princess and the Frog in Anaheim and Orlando
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Many of Disney fans are shocked at this re-theming of Splash Mountain. This iconic ride must be kept as it is, and they should build a new ride for "Princess and the Frog" instead of giving Princess Tiana a secondhand one.
Here are the reasons:
Firstly, Splash Mountain must be preserved because it is one of the most popular rides in the world. In August 2020, it took the second place in the survey of best non roller coaster ride by USA Today. Apparently, this shows that the ride is loved by many people and the re-theming will make them depressed. Moreover, “Song of the South” the current theme of Splash Mountain is based on a novel, "Uncle Remus" by Joel Chandler Harris, and the story of this book and the characters, such as Br’er Rabbit are derived from African American folklore, and the ride Splash Mountain has a role of passing down this African American tradition to generations. Therefore, Splash Mountain must be kept as original not only because it is loved by many but also because it is based on African American tradition which needs to be inherited.
Secondly, the re-theming only encourages cancel culture, which must be reconsidered because it leads misunderstanding. For instance, many people who have never watched the film, Song of the South tend to misjudge the intention of the film as "racist" even though the true meaning is anti-racism and peace. This case happens because the film has been locked away for more than 30 years. The film was released in 1940's, when racism and racial segregation was enacted by the laws so that the film reflects the situation of racism of the time, and that is why the film has been controversial. However, it also emphasizes respect to African American people for the most part. For example, a black man, Uncle Remus teaches important lessons of life to a white boy, Johnny through the stories of Br'er Rabbit. In addition, the last scene that Uncle Remus and Johnny holding their hands implies hope for equality between races. According to Floyd Norman, a black animator who worked with Walt Disney, the movie did not include any racism intentionally, and he wants the movie to be released again. Furthermore, removing Song of the South from Splash Mountain is equal to erasing the accomplishments of the actors and other creators of the film.
Thirdly, replacing Splash Mountain to Princes and the Frog is not a reasonable idea. Although it was praised that Disney features the first black princess in the film, it has also been criticized for not describing any racism which is happening in the real world and for some stereotypical depictions. For example, Ray, the firefly in the film has been pointed out that he has an uneducated stereotypical Southerner accent. In addition, other characters, such as Dr Facilier and Mama Odie are voodoo practitioners, and some people see that this reflects distortion of Vodou religion, which was originated by descendants of African slaves in Haiti. In this way, both films, Song of the South and Princess and the Frog have been facing the same kind of criticism, therefore, it does not make much sense to re-theme Splash Mountain to the latter film.
For those reasons, I strongly hope that Disney will decide to keep Splash Mountain as it is and to create a new ride for Princess and the Frog. I think that replacing Splash Mountain will never solve any issues of racism but just ruin culture of African Americans and heritage of Disney. There are only few attractions based on films produced by Walt Disney, so Splash Mountain is an important attraction. It is not "just a ride". Furthermore, the re-theming is really disrespectful to the black princess and to all black people because it only destroys history of black people and gives a secondhand ride to the black representation. We can't let this re-theming happen!! Princess Tiana should be given a new attraction!!
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