Anyway, Craig’s introduction mentioned that “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray. That made me think about the fact that I still haven’t had a chance to see “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story,” about which I’ve blogged here several times before.
If you missed those earlier posts, Richard and Robert Sherman were staff songwriters for Disney during the era of “Mary Poppins,” “Jungle Book,” and so on. They wrote dozens of songs that you know by heart, including “It’s A Small World After All,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim-Chim Cheree,” “Winnie The Pooh,” “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers,” and on and on and on. After leaving Disney, they wrote songs for “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” and “Charlotte’s Web” and “Snoopy Come Home,” among many others. At some point, they wrote the pop song “You’re Sixteen” (You’re Beautiful, and You’re Mine).
Very early in their songwriting careers, the brothers had a falling-out, and they’ve worked for decades as professional collaborators — and nothing else, having no other contact and raising their families separate from each other. A few years ago, at the premiere of a stage version of “Mary Poppins,” one of Richard’s adult sons and one of Robert’s adult sons, first cousins who at the time were virtual strangers, began to talk about doing a documentary to explore their fathers’ unique achievements and their somewhat-mysterious feud. They got Ben Stiller to sign on as executive producer.
The documentary came out in very limited release last year, but I’m waiting for it to show up on TV, or somewhere where I can see it. I checked Amazon just now and discovered that the movie is, at long last, going to be released on DVD later this month; that’s something.
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Somewhere, Walt is smiling.
It’s the law of averages; one of these days, the folks at Pixar Animation Studios are going to fire a dud. Maybe it will be a first-class stinker; maybe it will just cause people to shrug and say “that’s not up to their usual standard.”
Whenever that may happen, it did not happen in 2008.
It didn’t happen in 2009, either. “Up” is a wonderful, funny, sad, life-affirming movie that you need to see whatever your age or situation. Even though I am a guy, I have to tell you tears were running down my cheeks about five or 10 minutes into the movie, and again at the end (but for far different reasons!). In between, I laughed heartily, I was on the edge of my seat, and I was dazzled by a sense of place and wonder which would have been remarkable in a live-action movie but which is completely inexplicable in a computer-animated one.
I watched it at our local movie house (only $6), and so I didn’t get it in 3D. I’m sort of glad; I’m not sure the 3D would have added anything.
See this one on the big screen, though. Make the time.
Mark Evanier linked to this, a trailer for what looks like a fascinating documentary:
I recognize that the TV networks and their affiliated production houses or studios are not exclusively vertical. A show produced by Universal might find its way onto CBS, for example, even though NBC and Universal are part of the same conglomerate. There was even a case some years back where a show on NBC carried “CBS Productions” as one of its production company logos.
But Disney is much more of a “brand” than the other studios, and ever since Disney bought ABC I’ve thought of ABC as the broadcast home of Disney-branded product (less so for the other Disney-owned imprints, like Touchstone).
So I was startled to see that on Thanksgiving night, the broadcast premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles” will be on … NBC.
It’s a great movie, no matter what network airs it.