Regarding James A. Snead's commentary on Walt Disney's "Song of the South" (Calendar, Dec. 27), I don't dispute his claim that the film romanticizes a vision of plantation life that never was. However, his charge of untold "social and psychological damage done by the racial stereotypes" of the picture reveals a faulty analysis.
Snead fails to acknowledge the real symbolism of Uncle Remus in the film. Far from being an Uncle Tom, he emerges as the only truly perceptive and human figure on the screen.
The major white characters are a misguided mother, a well-meaning but somewhat ineffectual materfamilias and an absent father. The children of both races are cast as innocents; the adults as generally good-hearted but befuddled personalities.
Only Uncle Remus is delineated as wonderfully and naively wise. He bridges the chasm between powerless children and misinformed adults. In that role, I would contend that he does indeed fulfill Snead's request for a black character championing "heroic goals."