Today Mickey turned 80!
1. Song of the South. For those of you younger than me, this movie was amazing back in the day. Released in 1946, this feature allowed animation and “real life characters” to coexist on the same screen. That was a full 42 years before the release of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This classic gave us such great songs as “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da”. The tagline when it was released was, “Only the magic of Walt Disney could bring you the tales of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit . . . live actors with cartoon background!” However, some of the content may be considered racist. As a kid growing up, I never looked at it through the eyes of “racism”, I loved the music and the thought that real people and cartoons could coexist in the same world…
2. Old Yeller. Released in 1957, this was the tale of a boy and an old yellow mutt who changed his life. Per IMDB: Young Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860’s. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly adopts the dog. After a series of scrapes involving raccoons, snakes, bears and all manner of animals, Travis grows to love and respect Old Yeller, who comes to have a profound effect on the boy’s life.
3. The Jungle Book. Released in 1967, this classic not only was one of my favorites, it was one of my kids’ favorites as well. The music is phenomenal (The Bear Necessities). When my kids discovered this movie some twenty odd years later, I knew all of the words and delighted in their learning them as well.
4. The Apple Dumpling Gang. This movie was released in 1975 and although I cannot recall if we saw it in the movies, I can remember watching it with my Pawpaw. Great cast of characters. I loved any movie that had both Tim Conway and Don Knotts. What a great comedic duo!
5. Pete’s Dragon. Released in 1977, this movie (like Song of the South) delighted children with the thought of animated characters and live actors living together in harmony. Well, almost harmony. This is a tale of an orphan boy and his magical dragon come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit. With the likes of Mickey Rooney, Shelly Winters and Red Buttons – how could you go wrong?
6. The Three Musketeers. It is campy, it has Oliver Platt and I love it. No apologies!
7. Fantasia. Proof that in 1940 old Walt was dropping some acid…
8. Alice in Wonderland. Proof that in 1951 old Walt realized that he was not the ONLY one dropping acid…
9. Tron. The summer before my freshman year of high school. Sigh, that was a great summer. This movie is one of those memories. Leaving Catholic School and heading to Public School. FREEDOOOOOOMMMM! lol
10. The Three Caballeros. Phoenix was not the first Joaquin on the scene! Joaquin Garay was the voice of Panchito. Per IMDB: “A large box arrives for Donald on his birthday, three gifts inside. He unwraps one at a time, and each takes him on an adventure. The first is a movie projector with a film about the birds of South American: Donald watches two cartoons, one tells of a penguin who longs to live on a tropical isle and the other about a gaucho boy who hunts the wild ostrich. The second gift is a pop-up book about Brazil. Inside is Zé Carioca, who takes Donald to Brazil’s Bahia for a mix of animation and live action: the two cartoon birds sing and dance with natives. The third gift is a piñata, accompanied by Panchito. A ride on a magic serape takes the three amigos singing and dancing across Mexico.”