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Voice actor Jess Harnell reacts to Disney’s planned to change

Jess Harnell, who voiced the character on Splash Mountain, recently talked about the changes to the ride.

SHARE Voice actor Jess Harnell reacts to Disney’s planned to change
20180620 Rock singer and voice actor Jess Harnell sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the June 20 sound check at California’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. An eclectic group of guests sang with the choir during sound checks throughout the 2018 Classic Coast Tour.

Rock singer and voice actor Jess Harnell sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the June 20 sound check at California’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. An eclectic group of guests sang with the choir during sound checks throughout the 2018 Classic Coast Tour.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Jess Harnell — yes, that Jess Harnell — recently reacted to the changes to Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

What’s going on?

Harnell — who voiced Brer Rabbit and other characters for Splash Mountain, recently told ComicBook.com about the changes to Splash Mountain, which will shift from focusing on “Song of the South” to “The Princess and the Frog.”

Harnell said he personally doesn’t see the original Splash Mountain is offensive. Harnell said he is of two minds about the ride. He doesn’t see the ride as offensive, and he understands how happy it makes children.

  • “I’ve had the experience of looking down from above on the Main Street Electrical Parade, watching kids’ faces light up when voices I did come out. And there’s no greater feeling. To know that you gave people that happiness. Now, personally, I don’t believe that Splash Mountain was offensive, and I don’t believe that it alluded to anything offensive, but if it’s going to upset people or make people feel bad about something terrible, then I get it. I’m sorry to see it go, because I loved it. It was an honor to be involved, and I’m happy I had that chance. But I don’t want to be a part of anything that makes anybody hurt.”

Splash Mountain changes

Disney announced earlier this year that Splash Mountain, which is based on the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South,” will be rethemed to focus on characters from the 2009 film “The Princess and the Frog.”

  • The movie “Song of the South” had been criticized for how it portrayed African Americans, relying on racial stereotypes, as I reported for the Deseret News.

More changes coming soon

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, recently said the theme parks could see more changes soon after Splash Mountain is updated.