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March 2006

Adventures of Brer Rabbit

By Kam Williams

Adventures of Brer Rabbit


Cast: Wayne Brady, Nick Cannon, Danny Glover, D.L Hughley, Wanda Sykes, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Monica Allison
Director: Byron Vaughns
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Rating: G
Studio: Mca Home Video
DVD Release Date: March 21, 2006
Run Time: 72 minutes
DVD Features:
Available Subtitles: English
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Brer Rabbit Back on Politically-Correct DVD

Older folks may remember Brer Rabbit from less-enlightened times, as the pathologically lazy and shiftless protagonist at the center of a series of racist nursery rhymes. That infamous collection of fables, written in early African-American dialect, have long been credited to Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), a white reporter for the Atlanta Constitution.

Harris, a folklorist in his free-time, wrote down the poems and proverbs being freely shared by blacks scattered around Putnam County plantations in his native Georgia. He then published his compilation as The Tales of Uncle Remus, a compelling character whose colorful narratives managed to capture the country's imagination, Ala Aesop and The Grimm Brothers.

Unfortunately, the author invariably presented blacks in a demeaning fashion which suggested that they were deserving of their lowly lot in American society, thereby putting a decidedly pro-slavery spin on each of his stories which simultaneously served as a rationalization for the genocidal institution. Truth be told, the tales were actually of East African origin, emanating from an area around the Zambesi River Basin. In African folk lore, Brer Fox was a jackal, Tar Baby was a tortoise, etcetera. Fortunately, The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, an animated overhaul, eliminates Uncle Remus as well as the other ethnically offensive aspects of the Harris' version in order to be more in line with the source material. Not that Brer Rabbit is suddenly an angel by any means.

The DVD features Nick Cannon in the title role, while additional voiceovers are provided by Wayne Brady, Wanda Sykes, D.L. Hughley and Danny Glover. A politically-correct adventure about a mischievous hare which can be safely shared with the kids, and ought to be enjoyed by young and old alike.