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NickAndNora34

NickAndNora34's Disney Movie Journey

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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: 3/10

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. 

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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Edited by NickAndNora34

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#39: TOBY TYLER (1960), OR TWO WEEKS WITH A CIRCUS *Score: 6/10*

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

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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Edited by NickAndNora34

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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: *4/10* 

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: 6/10* 

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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#43: TEN WHO DARED (1960) *Score: 5/10* 

Starring: Brian Keith, Ben Johnson, Stan Jones, John Beal, James Drury, David Stollery, Dan Sheridan, R.G. Armstrong, David Frankham, L.Q. Jones. 

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This tale of exploration was based on a true story, and was inspired by the journal of Major John Wesley Powell, the leader of the journey. The film takes place in the year 1869, and centers around a group of men who are planning on exploring some unknown U.S. territory along the Colorado River. 

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The group is comprised of 9 other men (besides the Major): Jack Sumner, William Dunn, Captain Walter Powell (the Major's younger brother), George Bradley, Andrew Hall, Frank Goodman, Missouri Hawkins,  and brothers Oramel and Seneca Howland. The interactions among all of these men is entertaining. I've realized that I'm quite a fan of ensemble pictures, where different personalities are all thrown together, so to speak. 

I had only heard of James Drury and Brian Keith before seeing this. All the other men seemed to hold their own. I will say that I especially liked Brian Keith's character in this. He was very likable.

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#44: SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960) *Score: 6/10* 

Starring: Dorothy McGuire, John Mills, Kevin Corcoran, Tommy Kirk, James MacArthur, Janet Munro. 

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A family of five finds themselves stranded on an island after their ship sinks somewhere in the ocean, and the entirety of the film focuses on their struggle to survive in their newfound surroundings. The treehouse they end up building is fantastic, and it's a good idea to boot, since it keeps them from becoming tiger food. I also think it's really cool how at Walt Disney World, there is a replica of the treehouse in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom (in CA it's Tarzan's treehouse instead). It's a nice little bit of history, I think. 

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I'd like to say that after having seen this film countless times throughout my childhood, I'd have a chance of surviving a similar situation, but I'm not sure. 

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Watching this has put into perspective just how many of Disney's live action films James, Tommy, and Kevin did. I also really enjoy any time Tommy and Kevin play brothers. I like the two of them together. 

I don't have too much else to say about this one, since I've seen it dozens of times throughout my lifetime. 

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I'm pretty sure that Tarzan's Treehouse at DL used to be Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse.  I think my family saw Swiss Family Robinson in the beginning of 1999 before it was changed to Tarzan.  I've been to DL multiple times since then and haven't returned to the treehouse. We're going back this coming April--before the insanity of the new Star Wars Land! 

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

I'm pretty sure that Tarzan's Treehouse at DL used to be Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse.  I think my family saw Swiss Family Robinson in the beginning of 1999 before it was changed to Tarzan.  I've been to DL multiple times since then and haven't returned to the treehouse. We're going back this coming April--before the insanity of the new Star Wars Land! 

It was--Paul Pressler, during his stint as 90's parks honcho, had an infamous fear and loathing of Walt-era attractions, and thought they should all be "updated" to new-movie attractions.  Disneyland got the SFR Treehouse turned into Tarzan's, while the Florida WDW kept their Treehouse but (briefly) got "Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management"...Don't ask.  😱

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#45: 101 DALMATIANS (1961) *Score: 7/10* 

Starring:Rod Taylor, J. Pat O'Malley, Betty Lou Gerson, Martha Wentworth, Barbara Beaird, Mimi Gibson, Thurl Ravenscroft, Micky Maga, Mary Wickes, Helene Stanley, Barbara Luddy. 

This animated classic was inspired by a book of the same name by Dodie Smith. I've seen this countless times throughout my life, and all the dialogue/scenes came rushing back to me even after not having seen it for several years. 

The beginning of the film deals with Pongo trying to find his "pet" Roger, a mate. I enjoy the idea that dogs comprehend much more than we give them credit for. Pongo was ultimately successful, and Roger meets Anita, who, coincidentally, owns a female dalmatian named Perdita. After Roger and Anita get married, Anita's friend from school, Cruella De Vil, learns that Perdita is going to have puppies, and she is very eager to buy them once they're born. She wants to make a fur coat for herself out of the puppies' skin.

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Naturally, both Roger and Anita are adamant that the puppies are not for sale, which results in enraging Cruella so much, that she hires a pair of criminal brothers to be her henchmen and steal the puppies, since she didn't get what she wanted the first time. Why do villains hire bumbling idiots to do their own work for them? 

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Above: Horace and Jasper, a.k.a. The Henchmen 

While we're on the topic of Cruella, her character was inspired by Tallulah Bankhead (personality wise), while her live action model was none other than Mary Wickes. Cruella is always seen wearing the same fur coat, skimpy dress, & heels, regardless of the weather. For someone who is supposed to be wealthy, it's odd that she literally wears the same exact thing all the time. The only time the audience sees her in a different outfit, is when she receives a phone call from her henchmen, Horace and Jasper, in the middle of the night, and she's wearing a nightgown with her hair in curlers. This alone, is one of the scariest moments of the entire movie, no lie. Also, Cruella smokes constantly. If she doesn't die from her dangerous and erratic driving, she'll most certainly die from the loss of both lungs at the same time. 

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To further discuss the happenings of this film, the puppies are definitely one of the highlights. The scene where they watch television is quite cute. Although, the Kanine Krunchies advertisement jingle is the bane of my existence. If I had to choose between hearing the Kanine Krunchies song and the "It's a Small World" theme for the rest of my life, I honestly don't know which I would pick, because both are equally as grating on the nerves (I was initially going to pick "Small World" over "Kanine," but upon further thought, came to the conclusion that I don't like that hypothetical, and don't want to think about it anymore). 

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I enjoy the "Twilight Bark" scene in which Pongo and Perdita alert a few dogs about their missing puppies, and the message continues to be passed along throughout London. There are several different types of dogs that are shown throughout this sequence, and something I found interesting, was that several of the dogs from Lady and the Tramp (1955) were in it (including both Lady & Tramp). 

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Above: Lisa Davis (Anita) and "Perdita" doing some live action reference work for the animators. 

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Above: Mary Wickes doing some live action modeling as Cruella De Vil 

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#46: THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR (1961) *Score: 4.25/10* 

Starring: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Tommy Kirk, Belle Montrose, Leon Ames, Elliott Reid, Jack Mullaney, Wally Boag, Ed Wynn. 

This film was based on "A Situation of Gravity" (a short story) by Samuel W. Taylor, and was partially inspired by the antics of an actual bona fide college professor. The music was done by George Bruns, with the exception of the "College Fight Song (done by the Sherman Brothers)." 

MacMurray stars as the titular "Absent Minded" Professor Ned Brainard, who is so absent-minded, he forgets to show up to the altar three times, and his fiance, Betsy Carlisle (Nancy Olson), is, quite frankly, fed up. On the third and final eve he neglects to make an appearance at his very own wedding, he suddenly makes an interesting (and somewhat fantastical) discovery: he has managed to create a flying, bouncy rubber substance that he decides to deem, "Flubber." Ned attends a college basketball game, and decides to test out his substance on the athletes. The Medfield team subsequently ends up winning their game against the rival school, and spirits are high. Ned tries to tell his ex-fiance about his invention, but she shuts him down (most likely has something to do with the fact that he stood her up at their wedding 3 times, but I'm no expert). Between Ned's desire to show his invention to the American government, rival English professor Shelby attempting to put the moves on Betsy, and Tommy Kirk's father (K Wynn) scheming to get his hands on the flubber to make an extra profit, there is conflict in abundance. 

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I was doing some reading, and apparently, this was Disney's first live-action to get the whole colorization treatment for the 1986 VHS tape release. On the DVD, there is the option to view the movie in either its original black-and-white format, or the updated color format. I thought the special effects were pretty good considering the time period. It all looked pretty well edited, in my opinion. I also wanted to make note that I enjoy Fred MacMurray in almost everything I've seen him in (with the exception of "The Apartment;" 1960). Nancy Olson is acceptable in this; I think I much prefer her in 'Sunset Boulevard (1950)' trading barbs with William Holden. I am also amazed at just how many Disney projects Tommy Kirk did throughout his juvenile years. 

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#47: THE PARENT TRAP (1961) *Score: 6.75/10*

Starring: Hayley Mills, Hayley Mills, Brian Keith, Maureen O'Hara, Charlie Ruggles, Una Merkel, Nancy Kulp, Joanna Barnes, Leo G. Carroll. 

The opening title sequence always tickles me. The song is very catchy (sung by Tommy Sands & Annette), and the puppets are very unique looking. Apparently, this was based on a German book entitled, "Das doppelte Lottchen," by Erich Kastner, a fact I never paid attention to until now. 

The film opens on a girls summer camp. Several girls are arriving and being assigned to their respective cabins. A few minutes in, Hayley sees Hayley and can't believe her eyes: this girl looks exactly like her, and they've never met before. The girls start pulling pranks on each other, which results in the camp head ordering them to be exiled together in an attempt to help them get closer. The girls make the discovery that their parents divorced, and each took one of the girls to raise, vowing never to discuss the whole situation. As an adult, I realize just how damaging this could turn out to be. The girls want to meet the parent they've never met, and they figure this could be their chance. They switch places, and agree to tell their parents what they've done at the same time, so they'll be forced to see each other again in order to switch the girls back. 

I like this movie more and more with each time I watch it. I can see why Hayley did so many Disney films; she's very charming. I couldn't help thinking about how different this movie is compared to another of Keith's and O'Hara's films, in which he shoots and kills her young son within the first 10 minutes. Image result for the parent trap 1961

 

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#48: NIKKI, WILD DOG OF THE NORTH (1961) *Score: 3.5/10*

Starring: Jean Coutu, Emile Genest, Uriel Luft, Robert Rivard, narrated primarily by Jacques Fauteux, with additional narration by Dwight Hauser. 

This was based on a book by James Oliver Curwood, and is centered around an Alaskan Malamute puppy and his experiences with humans, nature, and other animals. Nikki belongs to a French fur trapper, and the film begins with the two canoeing down a river. One thing I noticed, was how gorgeous the scenery was. It was filmed in Canada, which is fitting, as the story takes place in Northwest Canada. 

Approximately 5 minutes in I realized how this film was set up differently than some of the other live action films. One major difference being that Luana Patten was, once again, sadly not in this one. All jesting aside, this felt more like a nature documentary than a Disney movie. Although, as I progressed, it changed its tone at times. The narrator takes a break from discussing Nikki and his owner to talk about a baby bear and its mother. This is somewhat important to the plot, I guess. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the baby bear is left alone, so the Frenchman adopts the bear into his already-unorthodox family. As the plot progresses, Nikki and the bear become separated from the man, and are left on an island to fend for themselves. Although, it seemed to me like the man only "searched" for them for about 2 minutes before shoving off and leaving for town. 

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As Nikki and the bear grow older on the island, they learn more about other animals and survival, but eventually also become quite feral due to not being in the company of humans regularly. Basically, the entirety of the movie chronicles the two friends' journey in survival and reunion. 

I enjoyed seeing all the scenery, and witnessing the story as seen through the eyes of the bear and the dog. Would recommend this one for anyone wanting to see something a little more entertaining from Disney's live action repertoire. 

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#49: GREYFRIARS BOBBY (1961) *Score: 3.5/10*

Starring: Donald Crisp, Laurence Naismith, Duncan Macrae, Alex Mackenzie. 

This movie about "the people's dog" was based on a story by Eleanor Atkinson. The story is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in the year 1865, and is focused on a small terrier named Bobby, and the impact he makes on the lives of the people in the small town of Greyfriars. Bobby belongs to an old drifter named Jock. The two of them have an inseparable bond, and spend their lives together until fate deals a heavy blow on the pair. Jock gets ill, but refuses to go to a hospital, because he is under the impression that once you go in, you never come out again. Jock ends up dying, which leaves Bobby without his master. 

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The local innkeeper, Mr. Traill, starts to feed and look after Bobby. Bobby has made a habit of eating at the inn and then sneaking into the cemetery at night to sleep atop his master's grave. Very depressing. The cemetery groundskeeper gets upset with this one-sided arrangement, as dogs are not allowed on the grounds, as a rule. Eventually, the groundskeeper comes around and wants to keep Bobby as a pet. Traill tries to tell him how Bobby is a roamer, and refuses to be owned, but the groundskeeper persists and brings Traill to court after his refusal to get a license for Bobby (doesn't make a lot of sense, but okay). The street urchins end up rallying and raising enough money to pay for the license and let Bobby roam free. 

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I was interested enough in this, but then the bagpipes started playing, and I almost lost it. I appreciate Disney's efforts to show stories of different countries and cultures, but I was not all that entertained by this. I liked the dog, and I liked Donald Crisp, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. 

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#50: BABES IN TOYLAND (1961) *Score: 5/10*

Starring: Annette, Tommy Sands, Ray Bolger, Ed Wynn, Kevin Corcoran, Tommy Kirk, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, Ann Jilliann. 

The film opens with Mother Goose and her "pet goose," Sylvester (spoiler alert, he's a puppet). They introduce the "show" (as it were) and the curtain opens, revealing a colorful and fairly elaborate set. Of course, the curtain opens and a song & dance number is then executed by the ensemble members. Several nursery rhyme characters are introduced within this song; among them being Jack (Be Nimble & Quick) and Little Bo Peep. The protagonists are then revealed to be Mary (Quite Contrary) and some guy named Tom. They are engaged, and their wedding day soon approaches.

While everyone is singing and dancing, and celebrating the couple's impending nuptials, the villain of this piece, Barnaby (Ray Bolger) is quietly scheming in his decrepit house on the hill. Side note: doesn't the name "Barnaby" strike fear into your heart? I know I've always felt that way. Barnaby reveals his plans to his 2 bumbling henchmen: he apparently realizes that Mary is behind on her rent and he is going to offer her the choice of marrying him and coming to live with him. The entirety of the movie rests on this incredibly simple, and sometimes pointless, plot. 

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In order to have the plan succeed, Barnaby needs Tom out of the picture. That's where the henchmen come in. Their job is to kill Tom, but as you can well imagine, that ends up backfiring. While the henchmen are working on their dark assignment, Mary and her 5 children (ok, they aren't actually hers; she takes care of them bc I guess they're all orphans or something and no one else wants them) discover that their lambs, AKA their "livelihood" (or lamb-lihood)  are missing. 

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The kids run off into the scary forest (in the middle of the night, no less) to find their lost sheep. They end up getting captured by anthropomorphic Wizard of Oz trees, and taken to Toyland. They meet a toymaker (Ed Wynn) and his inventive assistant (Kirk). Kirk's mass-production machine gets broken because Wynn wanted too much too fast, so the toymaker enlists the services of the 5 kids so he can make his quota. Who's he's delivering these toys to, I have no idea. Tom and Mary have followed the kids and are hanging out as well.

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Barnaby and Co. show up, and steal the toy assistant's shrink ray. They shrink the toymaker and Tom (the assistant is unaffected and virtually unseen for this entire scene, bc the toymaker put him in time-out for not inventing something that was able to keep up with his insane demands). The nursery rhyme characters are able to defeat Barnaby, and Tom and Mary are then married. 

Overall, I thought the sets/costumes were very well done, and the ensemble was well rounded. The entire cast did fine, but I think Ray Bolger steals the show, followed closely by Henry Calvin and Gene Sheldon. Of course, it certainly helps that they're not one-dimensional like every single other inhabitant of Mother Goose Land. I wasn't all that impressed by the music in this. It was kind of forgettable, in my opinion. There was a really nice energy throughout the film though, I must admit. Kevin Corcoran's younger brother, Brian, is in this as well, and it continues to surprise me at how much all those Corcoran siblings resemble each other. 

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