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
I had been hoping that Kidnapped was a movie along the lines of Treasure Island – you know something involving a guy with one leg and a murderous little kid who didn’t fret over stabbing some scurvy sea dog in the face when the chips were down.
What I got was Oscar-winner (not for this movie obviously) Peter Finch hamming it up as Alan Breck Stewart and Hawaii Five-0‘s James MacArthur as David acting all despondent after having to plug some scallywag while he and Stewart were trying to take over a ship. Continue reading
Dean Jones, who appeared in every single movie the Walt Disney Company made from 1965-1975, stars as a scientist who is trying to teach animals stuff. For reasons never adequately explained, he is fixated on trying to teach an obviously dull-witted duck how to do something. His boss ridicules him for this, but once you get a gander at Dean’s home life, you begin to understand why he feels a duty to try and help the brain damaged of the animal kingdom. Continue reading
The poet/philosopher Tupac once opined “a coward dies a thousand deaths… a soldier dies but once.” You know who else only dies but once in The Ghost Of Cypress Swamp? Lonny’s brave dog who got eaten by the evil panther named Weakfoot while the wimpy Lonny stood around doing nothing to save him! Continue reading
The movies culled from re-editing multi-part episodes of the old Disneyland TV series are a mixed bag. Some of them like Dr. Syn, Alias The Scarecrow stand with any of Walt’s theatrical projects in terms of story, production values, and execution. Others, such as Mystery In Dracula’s Castle suffer from weak scripts and a decidedly workmanlike effort both in front of and behind the camera. Escapade In Florence falls somewhere in between these two extremes as it’s hampered by a lousy script, but is made bearable by the location shooting in Italy and the winning performances of stars Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello. Continue reading
Since the novel this movie is based on won a Newbery Medal, I have to assume that it’s the God’s honest truth and that the colonists were such great guys that after they stormed the ships in Boston Harbor and dumped all the tea overboard, that they then took time to swab the decks and generally cleaned up the boat when they finished with their consumer protest. Continue reading