In all my time watching Disney films, I had never seen So Dear To My Heart before. For that and other reasons I sat down to watch it with great interest. After all, here was a film that was produced in 1948, the very early days of live action at the Disney studio. It had some animated pieces as well as live action, but for such an early film in the Disney live action canon, I had heard very little about it.
That’s a real shame, because So Dear To My Heart is not only an important film in Disney history, it’s a great one as well. This is a movie that tugs at your heartstrings; it makes you cry, laugh and smile – sometimes all in the same sequence. Sure, it’s not original or very inventive, but watching this movie will show you where all the fun Disney sentimentality of future films came from.
Posted in Disney Reviews, Movies Also tagged Beulah Bondi, Bobby Driscoll, Burl Ives, Danny, Disneyland, Granny, It's A Wonderful Life, Jeremiah, Luana Patten, Rudolph, So Dear To My Heart, Uncle Hiram, Walt Disney
In 1941, the Walt Disney Studios were not the juggernaut they are today. With a series of troubles hitting the studio – including the box office failure of Fantasia, an animator’s strike and the European box office drying up because of World War II – Walt and his crew needed to figure out a new way of making films. They had to make things cheaper and more profitable.
It was from those circumstances that Dumbo sprang to life. If Snow White and Pinocchio were high art films, with incredible realism and lifelike characters, then Dumbo was a cartoon in the best possible way. Using watercolor backgrounds, caricatured animals and a sweet, simple story, Dumbo managed to build an emotional roller coaster like no Disney film to that point had.
When you enter the Magic Kingdom in any of the hallowed Walt Disney parks worldwide, the very first thing you will see is the “Main St. Station,” the starting point for the Walt Disney World Railroad. This beautiful and detailed train is strictly American and is the anchor of Main Street, USA. Nothing quite says “small town America” like a huffing, puffing, whistle-blowing steam train pulling into the station! Here, you can get on and travel back to a time when train travel was more romantic and soul-soothing, and, yes, more civilized than any high-speed metro liner of today. There is something about the chuffing and clanging of that engine and the whistling blowing its mournful cry that cannot be duplicated today in any form of modern travel. But how did Walt Disney decide to use this treasure of transportation nostalgia in his theme parks? For the answer, we must travel back to Walt’s childhood, in Marceline, Missouri, circa 1906.
Posted in History Also tagged Anaheim, C.K. Holiday, Carolwood Pacific Railroad, Chicago, Disney Bros., Disneyland, E.P. Ripley, Elias Disney, Ernest S. Marsh, Flora Disney, Fred Gurley, Frontierland, Lillian Disney, Lily Belle, Main Street USA, Marceline, Mexico, Mickey Mouse, Mickey's Toontown, Mickey's Toontown Fair, Missouri, Ollie Johnston, Roger Broggie, Roy O. Disney, Tomorrowland, train, United Railways of Yucatan, Walt Disney, Walt Disney World Railroad