Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Special Song of the South Retirement!

As we're anticipating the announcement of 4th Quarter Releases, took the opportunity of looking back over past releases.

While researching television commercials that Disney was involved, came across one featuring Brer Rabbit which had me relooking at my South of the South sculptures.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection released a 3-piece scene consisting of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox plus an Opening Title.

Brer Rabbit ("Born and Bred in a Briar Patch"), Brer Bear ("Duh!") and Brer Fox ("I Gotcha, Brer Rabbit!") and the Opening Title were released in 1996 and all were retired the following year on February 15, 1997. The retirement was handled through a Retirement Event at authorized WDCC Dealers, who for the first time were invited to break the news directly to collectors through a special in-store announcement.

All WDCC Dealers received a special video featuring three retirement segments a few days before the event. Each segment was a complete production starring some of your favorite Disney characters direct from Disneyland. Only one of the three segments was real. On February 15th, each store received a phone call letting them know which segment they could play as the official announcement. I believe this was the only time a retirement was handled this way.

Trivia Question: What were the other two segments featured on the film?

"Song of the South" may never see the light of day on DVD, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy this commercial for the 1955 Rambler Cross Country available through all Nash Dealers starring Brer Rabbit.


Matthew said...

Really loved this set... sorry to have missed it as well... it had such a short production run.

I wish they would revisit these characters, if not a scene from the movie, then a tie-in to the "Splash Mountain" attractions.

Don.. you are going to tell us the answer to the trivia question, aren't you? :-)

Jason S. said...

Thanks for digging up this commercial, Don; enjoyed watching it. Don't recall ever seeing the retirement video you mention although it certainly sounds like a fun way to announce a retirement. I do, however, recall what a chore it was hunting down the title scroll for Song of the South. It was made even harder by my needing not only one for myself, but two more for my brother and Uncle who also have the scene.

I do hope the WDCC decides to revisit this film someday. My personal hoped-for scene to be done would be the Tar Baby sequence even though it is the least likely scene to be chosen as a release in today's politically correct climate. But, then again, we did get the Indian Chief from Peter Pan, so you never know.

Duckman said...

I too wish they would revisit these characters Matthew. If not from the film, do as a tie-in to the theme park attraction. Brer Frog sitting on the Alligator always comes to mind.

Rumors circulated a few years ago of WDCC doing Uncle Remus but nothing ever materialized.

Do plan on sharing the answer to the trivia question once I can track down the other two segments .. LOL!

Duckman said...

Thanks Jason! It's been fun uncovering these older commercials that Disney was involved in.

I too had a hard time in locating an Opening Title. Most stores, once the scene was retired (at least in my search), wouldn't sell the opening title separately. You had to purchase the complete scene.

I lucked out one day and came across a store with one in stock and immediately bought it.

I agree, given how hard it is to get the film on DVD due our politically correct society, the Tar Baby Sequence is probably the one moment in the film that wouldn't make it into the collection. Many never thought they would do the Indian Chief from Peter Pan, so you never know.