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NickAndNora34

NickAndNora34's Disney Movie Journey

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13 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

#67: MARY POPPINS (1964) *Score: 4/5* 

This is one of my most favorite Disney films. Director Robert Stevenson finally directed a live-action Disney movie I actually love. 

"Finally"?  Even if you didn't like Darby O'Gill or Johnny Tremain, the Bill Walsh-produced Robert Stevenson movies are some of the most fun and production-classiest "true" LA Disneys of the post-Walt era!

(Although most of those came out after Poppins, like The Love Bug, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Blackbeard's Ghost, Herbie Rides Again, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, and yeah, I'll even throw Island at the Top of the World in there, just because I used to have the View-Master of it.)

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22 hours ago, EricJ said:

"Finally"?  Even if you didn't like Darby O'Gill or Johnny Tremain, the Bill Walsh-produced Robert Stevenson movies are some of the most fun and production-classiest "true" LA Disneys of the post-Walt era!

(Although most of those came out after Poppins, like The Love Bug, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Blackbeard's Ghost, Herbie Rides Again, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, and yeah, I'll even throw Island at the Top of the World in there, just because I used to have the View-Master of it.)

I liked some of the "Poppins" predecessors. Just none that I've absolutely loved. 

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#68: EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES (1964) *Score: 3.5/5* 

Starring: Bryan Russell, Walter Slezak, Roger Mobley, Heinz Schubert, Peter Ehrlich, Cindy Cassell. 

This movie opens on a young boy named Emil, dragging a large suitcase behind him as he follows his mother to the bus station. Emil is going to go visit his grandmother in Berlin, but after he gets robbed by a low-life on the bus, he makes finding the criminal and turning him over to the police his new mission. He meets Gustav and his young group of detectives, who all lend a hand in helping Emil find the criminal who stole his money. 

Image result for emil and the detectives 1964

The overall atmosphere of this reminded me of "The Goonies" or another kid-driven vehicle from the 1980s. I didn't find any of the child actors annoying, which was definitely a plus. I appreciated the story, as it was very easy to follow and was enjoyable enough. 

Image result for emil and the detectives 1964

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#69: THOSE CALLOWAYS (1965) *Score: 2/5* 

Starring: Brian Keith, Vera Miles, Brandon De Wilde, Walter Brennan, Ed Wynn, Linda Evans. 

It's a pity that I didn't enjoy this one more, seeing as how it has a pretty solid cast. The story surrounds the Calloway family, who are kind of looked down on a bit by the rest of the townsfolk, due to their eccentricities and beliefs about nature/animals. The main conflict in this is whether or not the local flocks of geese should be shot and eaten, or allowed to live in peace. The Calloway patriarch (due to his time spent with local Native American tribes during his younger years) believes that the geese are a sacred animal, and should not be harmed or disturbed. Naturally, he runs into some issues with the other townsmen in this regard. 

Image result for those calloways

When I tell you that the whole geese issue comprises the main plot-line, I mean it. This could have been so much more interesting if there were other things going on besides this. Both Walter Brennan and Ed Wynn had some somewhat humorous lines, but even they weren't enough to make this more entertaining. 

Image result for those calloways

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#70: THE MONKEY'S UNCLE (1965) *Score: 2/5* 

Starring: Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Leon Ames, Frank Faylen, Norm Grabowski, Arthur O'Connell, Connie Gilchrist. 

The title doesn't actually have all that much to do with the overall plot. Merlin (Kirk) obtains legal guardianship of a chimpanzee named Stanley for an experiment (raising chimps as one would raise a human child). The plot then shifts to more "wacky, madcap" college adventures. Mr. Astorbilt (O'Connell) informs the Midvale College board that he will make a generous donation to the school, but only if the students can produce a man-powered airplane of sorts. That's a strange request, but luckily for everyone, Merlin is on the job. Merlin and his girlfriend Jennifer (Annette), and the football players all work together to make the airplane, but unfortunately, all their efforts are in vain (due to some unforeseen circumstances). 

Image result for the monkey's uncle 1965

I wasn't a fan of this film's predecessor, Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and I'm not a fan of this one. I don't know what it is, but I find Tommy Kirk's whining to be rather grating. A high point of this is Annette singing the title song with The Beach Boys. 

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#71: THAT DARN CAT! (1965) *Score: 3/5* 

Starring: Hayley Mills, Dean Jones, Dorothy Provine, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester, Frank Gorshin, William Demarest, 

Patti's (Mills) Siamese cat, DC, is known to roam about the town and beg for food from the neighbors, but one night, he comes home wearing a woman's wristwatch instead of his collar, and the letters "H, E, and L" are scratched into the back. Patti concludes that someone (potentially a local woman who has gone missing) was trying to write the word "Help" on the back of the watch, but was interrupted, so she takes her "case" to the local FBI department. She meets Agent Zeke Kelso (Jones) and shares with him her suspicions. Kelso is put on the case, and he and his men endeavor  to follow DC around town in an attempt to crack the case wide open, and hopefully find the missing woman. Elsa Lanchester as the busybody neighbor and Roddy McDowall as Dorothy Provine's eccentric gentleman friend add to the fun. 

Image result for that darn cat 1965

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#72: THE UGLY DACHSHUND (1966) *Score: 4/5* 

Starring: Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, Charlie Ruggles, Parley Baer, Robert Kino, Mako Iwamatsu 

Mark and Fran Garrison are the proud parents of a champion dachshund named Danke, and they find themselves the new parents of three puppies as well. Mark also then does a favor for the town vet, Doc Pruitt, by taking in a Great Dane puppy who isn't getting enough milk. Mark doesn't tell Fran that the male puppy is a completely different breed of dog, but she eventually figures it out. She is against the idea of owning a Great Dane, but for Mark's birthday, she surprises him with "Brutus." The rest of the story is pretty straightforward; Brutus struggles to fit in with his dachshund "mom" and "sisters," and he causes some minor issues for both Mark and Fran. 

Image result for the ugly dachshund (1966)

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#73: LT. ROBIN CRUSOE, U.S.N. (1966) *Score: 3/5*

Starring: Dick Van Dyke, Nancy Kwan, Akim Tamiroff, Arthur Malet, Tyler McVey. 

This was a zany and ridiculous tale about a Naval man who was shipwrecked on an island, and his interactions with the natives of the island. 

Dick Van Dyke is always quite funny, and he definitely made me chuckle while watching this. Along for the ride is Nancy Kwan, as an island girl who meets DVD, and falls for him, thus incurring the wrath of her father, the leader of the group of Islanders. 

I would say more about this, but I don't have a lot of time, so enjoy the two sentences I did manage to write. 

Image result for lt robin crusoe usn

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This is still happening, although I have decided not to go in order anymore lol

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THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967) *Score: 3/5/5* 

I grew up watching this movie, and have enjoyed it ever since. I really dig the hand-drawn animation style, and the music. I like how the main theme is used throughout the film; I tend to be a pretty big thematic person. The voice actors for the characters are all pretty rad too. I especially enjoy George Sanders as the voice of the tiger, Shere Khan. Although the elephants are probably my favorites of the entire movie. "Colonel Hathi's March" is my favorite song in this. 

Just a little update: I haven't been watching these in order, so I decided to stop watching chronologically, and just watch whatever I'm in the mood for (so, brace yourselves, because I have about 15 of these to catch up on). 

The Jungle Book / The Dissolve

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THE HAUNTED MANSION (2003) *Score: 1/5* 

Disneyland's "Haunted Mansion" attraction is one of my all-time favorites, and I assumed that some of the magic would be carried over to this movie, but, boy, was I wrong. Eddie Murphy is very funny (in my opinion), but I don't think being in a Disney movie allowed him to be his true self (they have to keep a PG rating, after all). I just found his character annoying, and all the other characters annoying. There was not a single likable character in the entire cast. 

I appreciated the inclusion of Madame Leota, the fortune teller, but other than that, I have no idea why I thought this would be an enjoyable way to spend my time. 

RETROSPECTIVE: The Haunted Mansion (2003)

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BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (1971) *Score: 3.5/5* 

Starring: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson 

Sometimes I get the feeling that if Julie Andrews hadn't been available, the role of Mary Poppins would have gone to Angela Lansbury. I feel like this movie was Angela's "Poppins" in a way. It's difficult not to compare the two; they're both brilliant British "Grand Dames" (if you will). The urge to compare the two may also stem from the fact that the music for both Mary Poppins and this one was written by Disney's token songwriting team "The Sherman Brothers." 

Lansbury plays an English witch-in-training who is saddled with 3 children during WW2, all while attempting to learn more about magic so she can do her part for the war effort (she wants to come up with some sort of plan to help defend her country). Lansbury is great as always, and Tomlinson is a welcome addition to the film as well. I appreciated the mixture of 2D animation and live action. 

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) Halloween Movie Night at FringeArts

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1 hour ago, NickAndNora34 said:

BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (1971) *Score: 3.5/5* 

Sometimes I get the feeling that if Julie Andrews hadn't been available, the role of Mary Poppins would have gone to Angela Lansbury. I feel like this movie was Angela's "Poppins" in a way. It's difficult not to compare the two; they're both brilliant British "Grand Dames" (if you will). The urge to compare the two may also stem from the fact that the music for both Mary Poppins and this one was written by Disney's token songwriting team "The Sherman Brothers." 

Actually, that's not too far off:
Story was, Walt was still struggling with P.L. Travers over the rights to save Mr. Banks, and wanted another whimsical Mary Norton English fantasy as backup, in case Travers' negotiations fell through.   He had the Shermans write a few songs for Norton's book just in case, and as story goes, Walt liked what he heard, but was so busy, he fell asleep during the song session.

The idea of this movie being a "replacement Poppins" was not lost on Ron Miller, when they had to dig up old memos during the 70's "What would Walt do?" phase--Originally, according to Richard Sherman, when the group is on the animal island, they were supposed to trick "King Leonidas" out of his amulet by putting on a music-hall show (with Tomlinson doing bad magic, the kids doing bad comedy, and Lansbury stealing the show with a music-hall song).  But, "Jungle Book" was coin-of-the-realm at the Miller studio, and we got a wacky jungle-animal soccer game, instead.

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THE LOVE BUG (1968) *Score: high 2.5, low 3* 

Starring: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, Buddy Hackett, David Tomlinson. 

This is one I had  seen countless times as a child, and though I never loved it, I always remember it being fun. I like Dean Jones a lot; he did several films for Disney that I enjoy (my favorite of his being "The Ugly Dachshund"). Re-watching this as an adult, I feel like the original charm is still there, but this seems like an odd choice of a movie for my parents to show me. I honestly don't know how it managed to keep my attention when I was younger... Overall, though, I don't dislike this movie, but there really isn't all that much substance to it. 

The Love Bug (1968) - Ripper Car Movies

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THE RESCUERS (1977) *Score: 3.5 

I grew up with this one as well, and I must say it still hits the spot for me. Miss Bianca's and Bernard's mission to save young Penny from the claws of the evil Madame Medusa is filled with adventure, comedy, and drama. I have come to realize that I am an avid supporter of hand-drawn/2D animated movies, so that's probably a large factor into why I continue to enjoy this one so much (yes, I know it's currently at a 3.5; I am not one to give out 4's and 5's willy-nilly). 

Wool and Wheel: The Rescuers {1977}

I think both Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor are very vocally well-suited to their respective characters, as is the fabulous Geraldine Page as the villainous Madame Medusa. I appreciate the casting choices for sure. 

Madame Medusa | The Scar Chronicles Wiki | Fandom

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5 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE RESCUERS (1977) *Score: 3.5 

Wool and Wheel: The Rescuers {1977}

I think both Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor are very vocally well-suited to their respective characters, as is the fabulous Geraldine Page as the villainous Madame Medusa. I appreciate the casting choices for sure. 

And it was years before my Old-Radio passion discovered that was Jim "Fibber McGee" Jordan, just coming out of retirement in the 70's, as Orville the pilot...Had to straighten up his hall closet, one of these days.

(Albatross Airlines, absolutely the A-one adventurous avian acrobats ever to ace the aerial airways above the American amalgamation from Alaska to Acapulco; an acme of artistry in action, as we all agree, with an accent on agile aerodynamics, and adding no affectations against ambitious amateurs, as advertised, to their admirable accumulation of accolades, aficionados of air-conditioned admiralty ahead of the mean, and how the heck did Jim only get one dad-dratted scene?)  😆

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BLACKBEARD'S GHOST (1968) *Score: 3.5/5* 

Starring: Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, Peter Ustinov, Elsa Lanchester, Stefanie Powers (apparently; I don't remember seeing her) 

One thing I have discovered about myself just recently, is that movies that take place in a seaside town are more likely to receive a somewhat higher score from me. I am a fan of seaside and circus locales in movies for some reason... I don't really know why, but here we are. 

This one centers around Steve Walker (Jones), who moves to this historical seaside town after receiving a job as the new track/cross country coach for the town's high school. The town is having issues with greedy land developers; the local inn that is run by one of the infamous Blackbeard's descendants (Elsa Lanchester) is one of the prime properties that the developers want to take hold of. One night, Steve finds a piece of parchment paper with strange words on it, and he speaks them aloud. Unbeknownst to him, these strange words are a sort of resurrection spell, and Blackbeard the pirate appears seemingly out of thin air, and begins to work with Steve to help both the town and the losing track team. 

I liked the chemistry between Ustinov and Jones, and of course between Jones and Pleshette. The three of them were really solid in this. 

Blackbeard's Ghost (film) - D23

Watch Blackbeard's Ghost | Full Movie | Disney+

Blackbeard's Ghost Promo (BYUtv) - YouTube

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Thanks for doing this N&N. I'm enjoying your personal insights, especially since the later Disney stuff can be such a mixed bag.

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THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK (1971) *Score: 3/5* 

Starring: Dean Jones, Sandy Duncan,  Joe Flynn, Tony Roberts. 

Another Dean Jones vehicle wherein he stars as a scientist whose research department is struggling, until he discovers one of the research ducks has the ability to lay golden eggs when it's barked at. Dooley (Jones) brings the duck home, and his young son christens the duck "Charlie" and wants to keep it as a pet. Dooley and his lawyer friend cook up this scheme to have the duck continue laying golden eggs so they can exchange them for actual cash and become rich. Eventually, the IRS catches on to their little plot, and things start to get complicated. 

The Million Dollar Duck (1971)

The Million Dollar Duck – Rakuten TV

This is the first thing I've ever seen Sandy Duncan in, and she was extremely likable; I will definitely check out more of her work. I am intrigued. 

Pictures of Sandy Duncan, Picture #157000 - Pictures Of Celebrities

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THE BISCUIT EATER (1972) *Score: 1/5* 

Starring: Johnny Whitaker, Earl Holliman, Pat Crowley, Lew Ayres. 

Young friends Lonnie and Text trade the local gas station manager for his funny looking dog, and they begin to train him to become a bird dog. Long story short, this movie was boring, and the acting was terrible, except from the two boys. I didn't really care for it... Watch at your own risk. 

The Biscuit Eater

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31 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE BISCUIT EATER (1972) *Score: 1/5* 

Starring: Johnny Whitaker, Earl Holliman, Pat Crowley, Lew Ayres. 

Young friends Lonnie and Text trade the local gas station manager for his funny looking dog, and they begin to train him to become a bird dog. Long story short, this movie was boring, and the acting was terrible, except from the two boys. I didn't really care for it... Watch at your own risk. 

 

I remember that this was actually a remake of a 1940s film of the same title from Paramount. That version was much admired, but it has not been seen for decades or so it seems.

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1 hour ago, NickAndNora34 said:

 

This is the first thing I've ever seen Sandy Duncan in, and she was extremely likable; I will definitely check out more of her work. I am intrigued. 

Pictures of Sandy Duncan, Picture #157000 - Pictures Of Celebrities

Ms. Duncan was a fairly popular personality in the 1970s; there were a couple of TV projects created for her.  She was also popular on the stage, with her most notable role on Broadway being Peter Pan (which Mary Martin originated).  

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FREAKY FRIDAY (1976) *Score: 3.5/5* 

Starring: Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris, John Astin, Patsy Kelly, Ruth Buzzi, Alan Oppenheimer. 

The original movie based on Mary Rodgers' children's book; slovenly and unruly Annabel and her neat and organized mother are polar opposites, and are constantly up in arms with each other. One day, they both make a wish to be like the other, and presto chango, they end up swapping bodies. It's quite entertaining to see both of them try to navigate the other's life; both Foster and Harris were quite good in this. I definitely had fun. 

Freaky Friday (1976)

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THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (1986) *Score: 3.5/5* 

This is like Sherlock Holmes, but with rodents, cats, and bats. Young Olivia Flaversham's father gets taken by a peg-legged bat, and she sets out to find Basil of Baker Street to assist her in locating her father (a toymaker). Along the way, she meets Dr. Dawson, and he accompanies her to Basil's address. They meet the eccentric sleuth, and he agrees to help Olivia find her father, as he believes his archnemesis, Professor Ratigan, is at the heart of the abduction. 

I used to watch this one all the time growing up; I always really enjoyed it. It still remains one of Disney's forgotten gems, in my opinion. I don't know of any kids in this day and age who have seen this. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

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1 hour ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I used to watch this one all the time growing up; I always really enjoyed it. It still remains one of Disney's forgotten gems, in my opinion.

It also has a great musical score by Henri Mancini, Larry Grossman and Ellen Fitzhugh! 

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