The Island at the Top of the World cannot be faulted for misleading the viewer about what awesome stuff might be stashed away on this island hidden in a cloud. All hopes of some fantastical treasure or creatures are immediately dashed when one character breathlessly advises that it contains the mythical graveyard of the whales. Surely there is something mythical that will take your breath away about it, but I’m guessing it’s just the overpowering stench of acres of dead whales. Continue reading
What is the mysterious and undoubtedly quite shocking secret of Boyne Castle? Is it that its dark and creepy parapets are haunted by a vindictive banshee intent on screeching at visitors so they can’t get a good night’s sleep? Continue reading
This DVD is a lot like that Tiny Tim sob story at the end of it – lame and propped up by only one good leg. It is ironic then that Tiny Tim’s segment in this, another gimpy attempt by Disney to trick you into making a holiday donation to their coffers, is the best part of this lump of video coal. Continue reading
The idea of a Walt Disney Christmas movie seems to be a win-win proposition. The legions of Disney zombies out there would gladly eat up a cartoon that featured classic characters such as Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Chip and Dale, and Pluto in a Christmas setting. More importantly of course is that for the Walt Disney Company, it would surely be a gold mine for them, guaranteeing sales every Christmas for years to come. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas would be the ideal result of such a concept except that it sucks Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey‘s balls. Continue reading
This particular version of the Robin Hood story is a rather lacking one. I’m not one to go around blaming one particular person when it involves such a collaborative craft as filmmaking, but it’s clear that this is all star Richard Todd’s fault. Todd’s problem as Robin Hood is mainly that he doesn’t look or act like a convincing rogue, but like a guy playing dress up in the school play. Continue reading
Child Of Glass, a forgettably innocuous TV movie about pre-teens and ghosts shown on The Wonderful World Of Disney TV program back in 1978, is fondly remembered by a number of adults who saw it as kids when it first aired as a spooky tale worthy of repeated viewings. Modern kids whose nostalgia-blinded parents force them to watch what amounts to a horror movie with training wheels will surely wonder what all the fuss is about.
But don’t judge your lame out-of-touch parents too harshly, modern kids! When Child of Glass aired, the only other TV options were The Hardy Boys Mysteries, which was basically the same program, but for teenagers and 60 Minutes which continues to air in zombie-like fashion to this very day! (In retrospect, Dan Rather investigating the “disco craze” is surely more frightening than anything Child of Glass can serve up.) Continue reading
Country music legend Roger Miller provides the voice (or “pipes” as we say in the Nashville music biz) for the narrator, Alan-A-Dale, the wandering minstrel who torments everyone with really obnoxious hit songs like “Oo-de-lally” when he isn’t giving us the “on the other side of Hazzard County” interludes that explain absolutely nothing. Continue reading
The problem with The Mooncussers is that it manages to steal copiously from Treasure Island which isn’t really an awful thing to do since that was a great Disney movie and I’ve always said that if you’re going to steal, you should steal from pirates because it isn’t their crap to begin with.
It’s just that if you’re going to re-use the entire “pirate pretending to be good guy actually deep down has a soft spot for the kid” gimmick, your pirate should be convincing in being a pal to this kid and the kid probably shouldn’t be wearing a red silk shirt for a good portion of the movie. Continue reading
This being a Walt Disney movie, I was let down a tad by this one. I mean, there wasn’t an asinine song and dance number to be had, not one crappy comic relief sidekick, and no bloodless, goofy violence to give the kids in the crowd the idea that pirates were lovable scamps who talked funny and needed a bath. That’s not to say that Long John Silver wasn’t someone to be admired for the way he played both ends against the middle and eventually won the respect of the kid whose throat he periodically threatened to slit. Continue reading
So Dear to My Heart is a combination of live action and animation that Disney released after their first such effort, Song Of The South. While that film was ingratiating chiefly due to the entertaining stories Uncle Remus tells, both the live action and the sparse animated sequences in this one fall flat. The live action stuff just isn’t terribly interesting (What? Danny the black sheep ran away again? Yawn. I’ll go right out and look for him in the swamp. Again.) and the animated stuff is forgettable pap that doesn’t satisfactorily advance the farm boy/sheep love story we are all here to see. Continue reading