NickAndNora34

NickAndNora34's Disney Movie Journey

165 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, sagebrush said:

I was working at a preschool when FROZEN was released in 2013. You have no idea how many times a day I heard little 4 yr olds singing "Let It Go". Even little kids couldn't make it cute for me anymore! ?

 

A couple years ago, I was on a Disney vacation, and Anna & Elsa were on the list of princesses to "meet", so figured I'd get a photo for completism.

Behind me in line, one little girl was so excited when the two came out, her mom was prepping her, "Look!  There's the one that sang 'Let It Be'!"

(I almost wanted to pass that along to the two--"Er, no, I think somebody else sang that one."  :D

4 hours ago, sagebrush said:

I like the "Fixer Upper" song with the trolls. I also like the reprise of "For the First Time In Forever" with Anna and Elsa in the ice castle. That version is sung in Broadway format, with both performers essentially singing in counterpart

Errr, yeah.  A LOT of the movie is sung in "Broadway format", which was the problem.  You can almost see the climactic first-act break after Anna meets Elsa at her new ice-castle, and I'm sure that's where the Broadway version we now did get breaks.

But that was because the movie was produced by gushing Broadway fangirls, who wanted to turn their "Disney musical" into the ultimate Wicked/Book of Mormon fan-fiction.  The same problem almost brought the 90's Renaissance to a screeching crash, when "Beauty & the Beast" was doing so well on Broadway that '96's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" claustrophobically looked like they just drew over the future Broadway rehearsal.  Both movies had the same "Coming soon to the New Amsterdam, tickets now on sale!" feel to them onscreen, it just brought a feel of cynical merchandising to them...In addition to Hunchback being corny/PC, and Frozen being male-bashing/stereotypic.

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12 hours ago, EricJ said:

Errr, yeah.  A LOT of the movie is sung in "Broadway format", which was the problem.  You can almost see the climactic first-act break after Anna meets Elsa at her new ice-castle, and I'm sure that's where the Broadway version we now did get breaks.

But that was because the movie was produced by gushing Broadway fangirls, who wanted to turn their "Disney musical" into the ultimate Wicked/Book of Mormon fan-fiction.  The same problem almost brought the 90's Renaissance to a screeching crash, when "Beauty & the Beast" was doing so well on Broadway that '96's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" claustrophobically looked like they just drew over the future Broadway rehearsal.  Both movies had the same "Coming soon to the New Amsterdam, tickets now on sale!" feel to them onscreen, it just brought a feel of cynical merchandising to them...In addition to Hunchback being corny/PC, and Frozen being male-bashing/stereotypic.

I did not know that about the producers. I love Broadway, and that probably explains why I like the songs while so many others don't. I have never seen a Disney film-turned-Broadway musical, though (with the exception of Tony Awards performances.)

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#35: THE SHAGGY DOG (1959) Score: 2.5/5 

Starring: Fred MacMurray, Jean Hagen, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, Tim Considine, Annette Funicello (4 Mouseketeers, wow). 

MacMurray stars as a married man with children who is a stick in the mud. He hates dogs, and seems to get upset over the smallest things. His wife is played by Jean Hagen, and, frankly, he treats her like a 5 year old. Not to mention she's totally wasted in this. His sons are played by Corcoran and Kirk. 

Essentially, the oldest son gets turned into a sheepdog through some ancient curse, and it all goes downhill from there. 

I really liked Corcoran and Kirk as brothers in Disney's 1957 film, "Old Yeller." Honestly, one of the few Disney live action films of this time period that I thoroughly enjoy. 

I have now seen all 3 of Disney's versions of this story: The Shaggy Dog (1959), The Shaggy D.A. (1976), and The Shaggy Dog (2006). 

*This was based on the story, "The Hound of Florence" by Felix Salten (who also wrote the "Bambi" story). 

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#36: DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (1959) Score: 2.5/5 

Starring: Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery, Estelle Winwood, Denis O'Dea. 

The film begins with the local meddling widow (Winwood) paying Katie (Munro) a visit, and lecturing her on marriage and how she's not getting any younger, etc. The lord of the land Katie and her father live on decides to pay a visit, so Katie runs to the local pub to collect her father (he enjoys telling the employees and patrons tales of leprechauns and his encounters with them). 

Upon Darby's arrival back on the land, the lord tells him that young Michael McBride (Connery) is going to be taking over the caretaking of the land, as Darby is getting on in years. Darby doesn't want Katie to find out that they're getting kicked out of their home, so he pretends that everything is fine. 

Essentially, Darby has friends, but there are also several townspeople who think he's a couple crayons short of the Crayola box (or a couple coins short of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if you will). The rest of the film deals with Darby making wishes, trying to outsmart King Brian (the leprechaun monarch), and convincing the villagers that leprechauns are real. 

Overall, a cute little romp between fantasy and reality. I enjoyed it much more than some of these other 50s live action films. I'd never seen Janet Munro before, but, wow, how refreshing it was to have an ingenue that wasn't as overly saccharine and dramatic as Luana Patten. *As I type this, I'm remembering that I've actually seen Munro in Disney's 1960s film, "Swiss Family Robinson." That's why I seemed to recognize her while watching this one...  

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*TRIVIA* 

Apparently, Barry Fitzgerald was first in line to play Old Darby, but when offered the role, Barry thought he was too old for the part and declined (too bad, it would have been nice to see him in this). And, no offense to Albert Sharpe, but I initially thought it was Barry in this film. 

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I've never even heard of this one before! Looks like fun.

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7 hours ago, sagebrush said:

I've never even heard of this one before! Looks like fun.

I’d never heard of it before this challenge either, sage. While it was a bit slow in some scenes, it was definitely better than all those early-50s costume pictures. 

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*skipping "Zorro the Avenger" right now, not because I can't find it, but because I don't feel like watching it right now* ?

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38: THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN (1959) Score: 1.5/5 

Starring: James MacArthur, Michael Rennie, Janet Munro, James Donald. 

The film opens with a shot of a mountain, so we're off to a good start. 

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This was based on a book entitled "Banner in the Sky" by James Ramsey Ullman. I haven't read the book, but judging by the bland material of the film, I don't think the original material was all that interesting to begin with. I don't honestly know what made Walt want to make this movie, but it's here nonetheless. 

MacArthur plays a young man named Rudi Matt, whose dream is to climb mountains and be a guide for tourists/other climbing enthusiasts. His father died trying to climb the tallest peak in their village. Rudi works as a dishwasher at the local inn, but constantly gets distracted by his mountain daydreams ("They keep calling to me"). Who is he, Fraulein Maria? 

Rudi's surviving family (uncle & mother) keep trying to discourage him from following in his father's footsteps, but he doesn't listen. Rudi's big break comes when he rescues a famous explorer (unbeknownst to him at first). The mountain scenery was quite nice and relaxing. 

*TRIVIA* 

I believe this movie was the inspiration for the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland (I kept waiting for the Yeti to make an appearance). 

I didn't know MacArthur was Helen Hayes' son (he was adopted by Hayes & playwright husband, Charles MacArthur, when he was a baby). 

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#39: TOBY TYLER (1960), OR TWO WEEKS WITH A CIRCUS Score: 3/5 

Starring: Kevin Corcoran, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, Bob Sweeney, Richard Eastham, James Drury, Marquis Family, introducing Mr. Stubbs (a chimpanzee), and Ollie Wallace. 

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This movie was based on a book of the same name by James Otis Kaler. 

Circuses have always fascinated me, so I was definitely more interested in this material than some of the previous live-action movies I've been watching. 

Young Toby Tyler lives with his (very) old aunt and uncle on a farm. Toby's uncle is a verbally abusive waste of space who ultimately drives Toby to run away and join the circus. Toby becomes a concessionaire apprentice to Mr. Tupper, a discount Harold Hill who is a cheat and a liar who tries to keep most of Toby's pay for himself. 

Toby befriends one of the clowns (Sam) and the strongman/animal wrangler (Ben) and eventually learns how to do trick-horseback riding. He becomes part of the circus, and eventually, his aunt and uncle come around and see him as something more than a "millstone around their necks" (you know, since he's making money and he's the main bread-winner of the family). 

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1 hour ago, NickAndNora34 said:

38: THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN (1959) Score: 1.5/5 

I believe this movie was the inspiration for the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland (I kept waiting for the Yeti to make an appearance). 

Yep, that it was--Walt also wanted to make Liberty Square at Disneyland, based on "Johnny Tremain", but that would have to wait for the Florida park.  Most of the modern improvements in Disneyland, like the Matterhorn, Monorail and Submarine ride were brought in for the 4th anniversary celebration in '59.

The Matterhorn used to have daily Third-Man climbers as a feature at Disneyland, but that was soon retired for safety.

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On 10/23/2018 at 6:37 AM, sagebrush said:

I've never even heard of this one before! Looks like fun.

When DARBY O'GILL premiered on TCM a few years ago, you can't imagine the buzz it created on this board... apparently those who saw it as a child had very fond memories of it.

6 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

#39: TOBY TYLER (1960), OR TWO WEEKS WITH A CIRCUS Score: 3/5 

Toby becomes a concessionaire apprentice to Mr. Tupper, a discount Harold Hill who is a cheat and a liar who tries to keep most of Toby's pay for himself. 

I love your conversational tone and your references that only a classic film fan would connect!

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20 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

Rudi works as a dishwasher at the local inn, but constantly gets distracted by his mountain daydreams ("They keep calling to me"). Who is he, Fraulein Maria? 

This made my week! ?

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#40: KIDNAPPED (1960) Score: 2/5 

Starring: James MacArthur, Peter Finch, John Laurie. 

MacArthur stars as David Balfour, the protagonist of this story (the original novel was written by Robert Louis Stevenson). David's father has died, and he is sent to his uncle's house. Upon his arrival, he realizes that his uncle may not actually be spending money for the right reasons, due to the disarray of the house and its grounds. 

David makes his uncle's acquaintance, and it is immediately clear that his uncle may not actually be a decent man. He is extremely stingy, and at one point, urges David to go upstairs in the house where there are a bunch of loose stones, and he could potentially fall to his death. Ultimately, David's uncle sells him into servitude on board a ship (and under the command of a rather villainous captain). 

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The remainder of the film deals with David's journey back to his rightful place as heir of his father's house. Also, James' accent was absolutely atrocious. It seemed to change throughout the film. Other than that, it all seemed to follow the book quite closely. Although, I would say that I liked "Treasure Island" (1950) better. Neither of these are my favorite, but if I had to choose just one, it would be "Treasure Island." I think the story just resonated with me more than this one did. 

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#41: POLLYANNA (1960) Score: 3/5 

Starring: Jane Wyman, Richard Egan, Karl Malden, Nancy Olson, Adolphe Menjou, Donald Crisp, Agnes Moorehead, Kevin Corcoran, presenting Hayley Mills, and featuring James Drury & Reta Shaw. 

Young and optimistic Pollyanna Whittier comes to live with her wealthy, unmarried Aunt Polly (Wyman) after her parents die. Pollyanna finds herself in an entirely new world, as she was born to poor parents. 

Aunt Polly is not what you would call a "happy" or "openly nice" woman. She's definitely not evil or mean, she's just not as emotionally open or demonstrative as her young niece is. Everywhere Pollyanna goes, she seems to make friends. Even the crotchety older people in town (Menjou & Moorehead) grow to enjoy Pollyanna's company. Just a brief side note: Agnes Moorehead's character made me quite wary as a child. I wasn't exactly scared of her; I was just glad that she wasn't a real person. But now that I'm older, I think she's a hoot. 

One of the first older films I ever saw was "National Velvet" (1944), and Donald Crisp happened to be in that film as well as this one. I honestly don't even think I made that connection as a child (possibly due to the fact that there is a 16 year difference between the 2 films and people tend to go through the aging process). 

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*362 girls were seen for the title role, but eventually Hayley Mills was cast after Walt's wife, Lillian, and her friend made the suggestion. 

*Patty Duke was among the girls who auditioned. 

*This was the last film Adolphe Menjou made. 

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#42: THE SIGN OF ZORRO (1958) *apparently, I got the wrong date for this one and thought it was much later than it actually is*

Starring: Guy Williams, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, Romney Brent, Britt Lomond. 

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This film follows in the footsteps of "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier" and "Davy Crockett & the River Pirates," in the sense that it was mostly comprised of footage from 8 of the episodes of the television series. Protagonist Don Diego learns that the tyrannical Captain Montastario has taken control over his (Don Diego's) hometown. Don Diego decides to go home and overthrow the Captain and his cronies by becoming his alterego, Zorro, the famous masked bandit. 

Fun fact: "Zorro" in Spanish, means "Fox." How fitting. 

I was entertained more than some of the earlier live action films. Definitely more than "Johnny Tremain," etc. It was a nice change of pace to see one in black and white, rather than color. Most, if not all, of the previous live action films were in color. 

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Score: 2.75-3/5 

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