Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pop Focus: Disney Live-action Films of the 1960s Pt. 2

Here's the second installment of posters for Disney's 1960s live-action films. Some fun stuff here. 

I particularly like the Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello "Monkey's Uncle," a sequel to the also enjoyable "Misadventures of Merlin Jones." "Monkey's" has a great opening sequence with Annette singing the title tune while backed the Beach Boys.

Both Merlin Jones films, interestingly, are set at Midvale College, while Fred McMurray's "Absent-Minded Professor" created Flubber at Medfield College. 

The "Dexter," films starring the young Kurt Russell -- "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969), "Now You See Him, Now You Don't" (1972), and "The Strongest Man in the World" (1975) -- also all take place at Medfield. 

The "World's Greatest Athlete" (1973), meanwhile, takes place at Merrivale College.

Goofy but benign hi-jinks in small-town colleges were very much part of Disney's live-action formula during this era.

Other films I like below include "Follow Me, Boy," a very funny Fred McMurray as Boy Scout leader vehicle. 

I also like "That Darn Cat," the first of a whole bunch of Disney films with Dean Jones. Looking back at these films, it's obvious Jones was meant as a younger replacement for McMurray. His approach to roles and on-screen personality are very similar. Where kids of the 50s and early 60s grew up on Fred, those of us in the following generation grew up with Dean.

Interestingly, while I've always loved Dick Van Dyke, he never really worked for Disney -- apart from in "Mary Poppins." "Lt. Robinson Crusoe" and "Never a Dull Moment" really don't hold up, in my opinion.

As with our previous 60s entry and the one on the 1950s, there are a number of these films I have yet to see. "The Fighting Prince of Donegal," for example.

But I have seen "The Gnommobile," and I implore you to steer clear of it. One of the absolute films I've ever seen. My kids still bring it up when I suggest checking out an old film: "This won't be as bad as 'The Gnome Mobile,' will it?!!"

We'll get to the 1970s Disney films in a week or two.




























































 

















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