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26 June 2020 14:34

Emma Roberts Garrett Hedlund American Horror Story

Black Lives Matter: Disney ditches controversial theme of Splash Mountain ride

Disney theme park ride Splash Mountain is being remodelled to remove all references to 1946 movie Song of the South, which is widely viewed as racist. Disney says the ride, which features at California's Disneyland and Florida's Magic Kingdom, will now instead be based on The Princess and the Frog, a 2009 film with an African American female lead. Image: The new Splash Mountain will be based on the film Princess and the Frog. "The new concept is inclusive - one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year," it said. An online petition calling for the ride to be changed read: "Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be.

"While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South." Disney is one of these companies, and they've announced plans to redesign their Splash Mountain ride in both Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida as a result. Prompted by Black Lives Matter protests around the world, Disney announced that the new inspiration for the Splash Mountain ride would be The Princess and the Frog, a movie that also featured Disney's first black princess, Tiana. Disney released a statement on their website last night that said: 'The theme is inspired by an all-time favourite animated Disney film, "The Princess and the Frog." 'We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.' My reaction when I heard splash mountain was gonna be replaced with a princess and the frog ride:3 pic.twitter.com/d7UtwPxVOa — homo se dice (@jakejunkk) June 26, 2020 Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering said, 'Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. Disney added: 'As part of the creative development process, conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape.' One person tweeted: 'Disney finally retheming its racist ass splash mountain to princess and the frog I absolutely love this song.' Disney has confirmed that it's iconic Splash Mountain ride in both the Disneyland Park in California and Magic Kingdom Park in Florida will soon be completely reimagined. In a blog post on the official Disney Parks website, it was announced that Splash Mountain will be getting a complete makeover.

The announcement said, "The theme is inspired by an all time favourite animated Disney film, The Princess and the Frog. We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure - featuring some of the powerful music from the film - as they prepare for their first ever Mardi Gras performance." It explains, "The new concept is inclusive - one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year." Splash Mountain is based on a 1946 Disney film called Song of the South, which has long been criticised for its stereotypical and offensive portrayals of African American characters, as well as romanticising the antebellum South. Fans have long urged Disney to change the Splash Mountain ride's theme from South of the South to Princess and the Frog - and a recent online petition gained over 20,000 signatures. The petition, now marked as a "victory" on the website, states that "Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be" and that while the log flume ride is a beloved fixture, "its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist ropes from the 1946 film Song of the South." Princes and the Frog is a beloved princess movie but it has very little representation in the parks." We will miss Splash Mountain, but it's about time we right the wrongs of celebrating a problematic movie in an iconic ride. I am excited to celebrate this incredible princess on the new ride!!!" Exclaimed another fan.

Stars from the Princess and the Frog film have expressed their excitement at the news that the 2009 film is taking over as inspiration for Splash Mountain. Anika Noni Rose, Tony award winning actress and the voice of Princess Tiana, said, "It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana's presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realised! Splash Mountain – at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida, are in for some big changes, and are soon to be completely reimagined. The new theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, "The Princess and the Frog." The story on the ride will pick up after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the re-theming of Splash Mountain started over a year ago but the change is happening at a time when racial tensions are at a high throughout the nation.

Splash Mountain is currently based on the 1946 Disney film "Song of the South," which features Disney's iconic tune "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. The film has been criticized for its stereotypes of Black people.