Tag Archives: Disney movies

Other Disney Animated Movie Voices-

I’m going to tell you about some more famous character voices you may enjoy. There are several actors that Walt Disney used repeatedly in his live-action and animated movies. Last week I told you about my favorite voice; Sterling Holloway. This week I’m going to tell you about two more: Phil Harris and Kathryn Beaumont. Neither of these names sound familiar, but I’m sure the characters they voiced will be familiar to you.

First, Phil Harris, did the voice acting for both Baloo in The Jungle Book, Thomas O’Malley (the alley-cat) in The Aristocats, and Little John in Robin Hood. Harris was also a bandleader in the 1940’s, an actor in radio, television, and films. He was a pretty good singer too; singing keys songs in The Jungle Book like “Bare Necessities“, and joining Louis Prima in “I Wanna Be Like You“. He joined Scatman Crothers in The Aristocats in singing “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat“. In Robin Hood he sang “The Phony King Of England“.  In 1989, Harris returned for a few episodes in the cartoon series TaleSpin as Baloo, before being replaced by Ed Gilbert. His last role was in 1991 in the film Rock-A-Doodle (not a Disney film) as the laid-back basset hound Patou. He died in 1995.Little_John

thomas o'malleyBalooKathryn Beaumont was an English actress, singer and school teacher who also did the voice of Alice for Alice In Wonderland and as Wendy in Peter Pan. Beaumont reprised her roles as Alice and Wendy in subsequent reappearances until 2005 when her roles were taken over by Hynden Walch. Beaumont is still living and is 76-years-old.wendy-darling-peter-pan-14526422-576-416

alice in wonderlandKathryn-beaumont-profile-pictureMost people aren’t aware of the talent behind the voice actors. Their faces aren’t seen, but they are certainly a huge part of making the films so enjoyable and memorable.

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Disney ‘s Aristocats Movie Review

Roly(son)

Hello.  I recently watched one of my favorite Disney movies, the ‘Aristocats.’ This movie follows four cats, who are stolen from their rich owner by her evil butler, Edgar. The first cat is the mother, named Duchess. The kittens go as follows, Marie, Toulouse, and Berlioz. The butler stole them and ditched them on a farm. He did this after finding out that the rich old woman who owned the cats was leaving all her possessions to them, not him. The cats seek to find their way home.  On the way they meet an alley cat, whose name is very long; so I will call him Thomas O’Malley. The man who voices O’malley also voiced Little John from Robin Hood (see previous articles about movie), and Baloo from Jungle Book.

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Roquefort(voiced by Sterling Holloway)
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The evil Edgar.

It seems strange to me that the only one of the cats at WDW meet and greets is  Marie. It also seems strange that for a movie as popular as Aristocats, Edgar is not recognized as a Disney villain. Edgar is up there in evilness with Cruella Deville for trying to kill kittens. First, to get the cats out of the picture, he puts sleeping powder in their food. A mouse friend of theirs, Roquefort (who is voiced by Sterling Holloway, whom we posted on this week) also eats some.  The cats all go to sleep, and then Edgar dumps them in a field. In the field Edgar has a run-in with two dogs. Later in the film, when Edgar sees the cats again, he tries to kill them.

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The two hilarious hounds!

The dogs offer great comic relief and are to me, the best part of the movie. They are voiced with the thick Southern accents of Pat Buttram and George Lindsey (Goober Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show). Lines like, “Where’s my beddy-by basket!?” and “That’s just a little ‘ol cricket bug” never fail to make me laugh. I am sure that they don’t sound very funny out of context, but in the movie they are hilarious.

The music for this movie is fun and memorable.  It has one of my favorite songs, “O’Malley the Alley Cat.”  It is  sung by my favorite Disney singer, Phil Harris (the voice of Thomas O’Malley). Another great song is “Scales and Arpeggios,” sung by all the kitties. The other main song in this movie is “Everybody Wants to be a Cat” sung by famous jazz musician Scatman Crothers.

Aristocats is from my favorite era of Disney movies. The era from 101 Dalmations to The Fox and the Hound.  Over all, this movie is a great Disney movie. It is for sure a classic!

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Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie the kittens.

**A bit of trivia about this movie:  It  was the first movie to be made after Walt Disney‘s death. I personally can’t tell any difference.

Roly, teen son

My Favorite Disney Voice-Sterling Holloway-

You may be thinking, “Who is that?” I think you would recognize his voice if you watch or have watched Disney classic movies. He has been a voice in such classics as, “The Many Adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh”, ” The Jungle Book“, “Alice In Wonderland“, and in uncredited performances in Bambi, Dumbo and many others.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U8pAM4VXvI

Holloway began his acting career in 1926 in a silent short film. His last role was as a narrator in one episode of Moonlighting in 1986. He was born in 1905 and died in 1992 at age 87. His acting career was varied; acting in live action movies and television shows (such classics as The Andy Griffith Show (Burt in one episode), The Life of Riley, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Adventures of Superman and others). He also lent his vocal talents to many shows and movies; Disney and other ventures.

Since I am a huge Disney fanatic, I will tell you a little about his Disney roles. His most famous voice is my favorite Disney character; Winnie-the-Pooh. He played Pooh bear in the three films: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. These were all compiled into The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie-the-Pooh
Winnie-the-Pooh
The crazy Cheshire Cat
The crazy Cheshire Cat
Kaa, the snake
Kaa, the snake

Holloway also voiced such Disney classics as Kaa in The Jungle Book, The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, and uncredited roles as Mr. Stork in Dumbo, and Flower (adult) in Bambi.

Mr. Storm delivers Dumbo to Mr.s Jumbo.
Mr. Stork delivers Dumbo to Mrs. Jumbo.
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Flower, Bambi, and Thumper.

He appeared in many Disney shorts; many of which are obscure except for the most ardent Disney fans. You might have heard him as the narrator in Mickey and the Beanstalk. He also provided the vocal talents for Professor Holloway in The Three Caballeros, narrator in The Cold-Blooded Penguin (a Disney short), narrator in Peter and the Wolf (segment of Make Mine Music), narrator for The Pelican and the Snipe (Disney short), narrator for Lambert the Sheepish Lion (Disney short), and many others.

You might consider trying to watch all of these if possible. They are all great for Disney fans. We have watched almost all of them; any we could find that is.

 Walt Disney used many of the same actors in both his animated and live-action films. Sterling Holloway was just one of these, but he is my favorite. Listen up the next time you watch the above-mentioned movies and you will hear a beloved voice in each of them.

(I forgot to mention, he also played Roquefort the mouse in The Aristocats!)

Into The Woods Movie Review

Roly (son)

(Spoiler Warning)

“Into the Woods” is a live-action Disney musical starring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and Johnny Depp based on the Grimm fairytales.  If you love musicals, then “Into the Woods” is the movie for you. If you’re like my family, then don’t bother. I however, am different from the rest of my family, I have read the fairytales that this movie is based on. This is a fair movie, and that is at it’s best. “Into the Woods” has near constant Disney/ theater style singing. There is actualy one rap song in this, which I will talk about later. This movie is 3/4 singing with the whole first 15 minutes hardly penetrated by a single non-crooned word.Preview

I will elaborate on what I previously said about liking it because of the fairytales. “Roly, aren’t the cartoons much better than this? Why wouldn’t you just watch the cartoons instead?” Well, the cartoons have very different stories. The cartoons are much better, but they diverge drastically from the Grimm fairytales, from which most of them get their origins. “Into the Woods” sticks very close to the fairytales in the tellings of their origins. First, Cinderella was not originally from Grimm. Grimm is the most famous of the storytellers. So I will judge it on that. There is no Fairy Godmother. There is only a tree, planted over Cinderella’s mother’s grave, which magically gives her a dress and slippers. They don’t go with the fairy godmother story. They stick to the tree, which is much better.

Rapunzel is different as well. In the fairytale, she is locked in a tower because her father stole something out of the witch’s garden. The evil witch pretends to be her mother until she finds out that a prince has been visiting (and more) Rapunzel. She then cuts off Rapunzel’s hair, and pretends to be Rapunzel. When the prince climbs up, the witch pushes him out of the window. He then lands in thorns, which cushion his fall and cut his eyes out. Rapunzel, who was banished by the witch, then finds him and heals his eyes with her tears. The cartoon has not a prince, but a rogue coming to Rapunzel. He gets stabbed, not pushed out a window. “Into the Woods” sticks to the story (minus him getting pushed out a window and making Rapunzel pregnant.) The witch merely makes thorns magically appear in front of the prince, which then cut his eyes out.

Jack, from ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ and Little Red Riding Hood are also in the film. I will not take the time to go into them. Jack, as far as I know, is not a Grimm character anyway.  The story of Little Red Riding Hood is consistent with the Grimm version.

Oddly, “Into the Woods” is a much better mashup of fairytales than the movie, “The Brothers Grimm.” The first two thirds are straight from the fairytales . The part after that, which I will talk about later, is about what happens after the fairytales.Preview-1

The singing is my big complaint with the movie. It is what kept this movie from being great, to being a mediocre at best movie. The witch sings a song near the beginning which sounds very much like an attempt to rap. Leave the rhymes to Snoop Dogg, Meryl. She rhymes at a slow pace to music that plods along. It sounds much less like a fairytale chant, and more like rap. I can’t cover all the songs, because that would take as long as the movie. The girl playing little Red Riding Hood’s singing, plainly put, sucks harder than a man whose friend was just bit by a rattlesnake. Anna Kendrick (Cinderella) and the boy who played Jack were the best voices in the whole movie. Any time that the evil stepmother or sisters are in the movie, and sing, it becomes unbearable. Johnny Depp’s voice cracked like a 12 year old’s while singing.Into the woods

The people who tie them all together are the baker and his wife; who are not from the Grimm fairytales. They all go into the woods, coincidentally. The witch put a curse on the baker’s family, that they would have no children. To lift the curse, they must bring back several items; all of which one of the other characters has. They get them, and get their “happily ever after;” and so do the other characters. This is a satisfying ending; A classic Grimm style ending. They all live happily ever after.

Then the writers royally screw things up. A giant comes and causes an earthquake, and they must go into the woods to find the giant. The giant somehow made the woods a jumble, so the paths are no longer there. That means, they can’t get out. They turn on each other. The baker’s wife goes away, and meets Cinderella’s prince on the way. The prince is a two-timing cad and seduces the baker’s wife. By the way, the baker’s wife has a little baby. They smooch and tongue, and we find out that the baker’s wife has as many morals as the before mentioned Snoop Dogg. I won’t give any more away, as I believe I have told enough.

If you want to watch a cinematic version of the Grimm fairytales and can tolerate constant crooning, then give this movie a try.Preview-4

Song of the South movie review

For all of you who are as big a Disney fan as me, you know Song of the South is banned. I had the luck of finding it on YouTube, and put it on Apple TV. This movie was banned for racism, as it is set on a plantation in the post-Civil War period of America. (This movie is the basis for the Splash Mountain attraction.) First of sotsall, if you are expecting a cartoon about Brer Rabbit and all the other Brer critters (which are seen in Splash Mountain), you’ll be disappointed. Know before watching this movie that it is in fact, about a young boy visiting his rich Grandmothers plantation. On the way, his dad (who grew up there) tells him about Uncle Remus and his tales of Brer Rabbit. Once they arrive, the father immediately leaves for Atlanta (it is implied the mother and father are having marital problems.) Later that night the boy runs away and meets Uncle Remus. That night Uncle Remus then tells him the first tale of Brer Rabbit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bWyhj7siEY#t=99 He goes on to tell him two more tales throughout the movie, and they all help the boy out in some way or another. The mother eventually gets mad at Uncle Remus and tells him to stop telling the boy stories. (There is no coherent explanation for this, but Uncle Remus says he won’t tell any more stories.) Later, he tells one last story, which yet again helps the boy out, and also stops a little girl from crying. The mom goes gets very upset and tells Uncle Remus to leave the boy alone. Uncle Remus leaves the plantation and it seems the movie will end on a sad note. (I won’t give the ending away completely in case you decide to watch it.) The movie ends up with a great ending and Uncle Remus ends up being the hero. It’s a good story; it’s a shame that the setting makes it offensive to some people. Roly

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April 17, 2014: Weekly Disney News Roundup

*  Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes will give away daily prizes, including a Disney Diamond and a Cinderella glass slipper.  Check out Disneyland.com/DiamondDays on May 22 for full details.

*  Reservations can now be made for the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for June 17 through September 7 for a “nominal” fee.

*  Disney will have allergy-friendly menus at around 120 restaurants at WDW and at Disneyland.

*  Epcot Starbucks “You are Here” mugs are on sale again.  The monorail is now gray, not the purple which was associated with prior tragedy.

*  The Walt Disney World Marathon registration opens on 4/28/15.  The race is on 1/10/16.

*  Disney’s Exotic Driving Experience at the WDW Speedway will be closed until May 1 after instructor Gary Terry was tragically killed at the track this past week.

*  The Boathouse at WDW Disney Springs is now open.  It is a (very expensive) restaurant and an actual boathouse where can find the Amphicar launch as well as other vintage watercraft to ride around the lake.

*  Dockside Margaritas will open later this month at the Florida Downtown Disney (Disney Springs) Marketplace.

*  Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members will have new perks when visiting Disneyland:  1) “Fitness in the Park,” an early morning Pilates workout at Paradise Pier at Disney’s California Adventure.  Capacity is 10 persons.  Participants will receive a complimentary towel and jamba juice.  2)  “DVC Neighborhood Power Walk” through Disney California Adventure with complimentary jamba juice and chair massages on Thursdays from 7-8 a.m.  3)  “DVC Member Movies” will be held weekly with free refreshments. Check out member services for registration.

*  Adventures by Disney will now offer a Danube River cruise.

*  Disney XD will begin to air “Doctor Who” episodes from 2006 – 2008 beginning on May 9.

*  “Monkey Kingdom” opens in theaters today.

*  Steven Spielberg will direct his first Disney movie, “The BFG,” based on a book by Roald Dahl, the author of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

*  Gandalf will play Cogsworth in the upcoming live-action “Beauty and the Beast.”

Robin Hood Movie Review

The other day I talked about the book, “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood,” and today I will give my thoughts on Disney’s cartoon adaptation. I love this movie, and it has to be my fourth favorite of all 54 Disney cartoons. It is funny, has my second favorite Disney song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGzyDnIocug , “Oo De Lally” and has, in my opinion, the second best disney voice: Phil Harris (Baloo, Thomas O’Malley, Little John.)

First, about the time setting. There are two main time settings: before the Crusades, and robin2after the Crusades. (Not during, because Robin Hood historically went to the crusades.) The book is set

http://www.familytravelescapades.com/robin-hood-movie-review/

Disney doing Live-Action movies of former animated classics-

lar3Recently there has been a plethora of announcements about Disney doing live- action movies based on many animated classics like Dumbo, Bambi, and even Winnie-the-Pooh! These are three of my favorites and I love Disney, but I am perplexed by these choices for movie making. I fail to see how you can make a live-action movie based on a previous animated movie with animals. Are they going to do CGI, or people in animal costumes?

Disney has announced that Tim Burton is going to do Dumbo. This is a tenuous choice at best. My imagination is going wild with what this could yield. For someone who loves the tender scene in Dumbo where Mrs. Jumbo is cradling and swinging Dumbo in her trunk while “Baby of Mine” plays (after the two have been separated with Mrs. Jumbo in quarantine) I don’t see anyone doing this justice in a remake.

lar2larBambi with people? How do they do that? Winnie-the-Pooh? Reports are that the movie will be a depiction as Christopher Robin as a grown man. Obviously Christopher Robin could easily be played by a person, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how they do Pooh bear and friends.

I love Disney and always have. A big reason is from great memories of all of their wonderful movies. (This was before I even went to Walt Disney World.) My hope is that they continue to create other great movies and memories; not bad ones. I hope my pre-judgement proves me wrong.

Is Disney literally a year-round activity?

March Madness is here. Our College basketball team, the University of Louisville men’s basketball team played in the Elite Eight cardyesterday for a chance to go into the final four and it occurred to me that basketball for us is mostly year-round with the actual season, recruiting and the like. Then it occurred to me that while basketball is nearly a year-round activity, Disney has truly become a year-round activity.

Some events are pay only, like the Very Merry Christmas Party, and the Not So Scary Christmas Party...
Some events are pay only, like the Very Merry Christmas Party, and the Not So Scary Christmas Party…

Our Disney obsession is really gaining ground. Due in part to DVC (Disney Vacation Club) ownership, we are going to Disney World more and more. We started with Christmas, then Flower and Garden, then Food and Wine, and now other times of the year. When we are home we are thinking of our next trip and even while we are at WDW we are planning our next trip! We read websites, twitter feeds, blogs about Disney. I shop for Disney items (both at the parks and at home)! Our collection of Disney pictures and knick-knacks keeps growing exponentially. This has really become a year-round sport/activity.

There are far worse things to have as hobbies/obsessions. Everyone needs something to think about and plan for and do. Ours happens to be Disney and it involves the whole family which is a good thing that we can share this as a family. We go to the parks together, watch Disney movies together, went on a cruise together, went to Aulani together, now write the blog together. Disney has actually brought us closer as a family so that is a good thing as well.

Other events are all day events, and free, like the the International Food and Wine Festival, and the Flower and Garden Festival.
Other events are all day events, and free, like the the International Food and Wine Festival, and the Flower and Garden Festival.

We have even incorporated a little bit of Disney in our yard. ( I will write future blog posts about Disney in the home and outside.)

So to summarize, Disney has become a year-long activity in one form or another.