The film portrays a very cheerful view of African American life right after the Civil War. And while a positive attitude is always a plus, the singing of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah will never change the fact that African Americans (free or not) experienced horrific treatment well into the Twentieth Century. And to sugar coat that time in history (even for a kids film) is a disservice to an entire race.
That being said, Uncle Remus was the signature role for James Baskett and by Disney keeping Song of the South buried in their vaults, means that his work is buried as well. Is this fair? Well, what is fair?
Was it fair that James Baskett was not allowed to attend the premiere of Song of the South in Atlanta because of segregation laws? Was it fair that he was given an honorary Oscar for his performance because in 1946 the Academy was afraid to nominate a black man in a leading role? And is it fair that an actor's best work is not available for the world to see because the movie he's in might offend people because of the racist attitudes that were perfectly normal at the time the film was made?
No answers. Just questions. And any opinion one has will bound to be disagreed upon by someone else.The only thing I know for sure is that James Baskett is Not Very Famous...but should be.