Dec 17, 2010

Four Old Disney Movies

I was recently at a dinner party and though I can't remember exactly how it happened, the after-dinner talk somehow turned to old Disney movies. And I was surprised by how many adults, most of whom are my age or just slightly older than me, had neither seen nor, even more surprisingly, ever heard of some of my childhood favorites. In the last couple of weeks since that evening, I've been thinking about movies that I hadn't thought of in decades and since then, courtesy of netflix (what a wonderful invention that is), been systematically devouring them in the evenings after everyone else goes to bed. Here, in no particular order, are my four favorite animal-themed movies from my early childhood. And of course they'd be animal-themed! Did you expect something else?

The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit (1968). Dean Jones plays an ad executive who's about to lose his job when a drug company owner hates the ad campaign designed for him. With a daughter who wants a horse of her own and no money with which to buy one, Jones gets the idea to buy the horse, name it after the stomach pill in question and take it through the show circuit as a living ad campaign. If the horse doesn't win big, Jones loses his job and the horse and makes his daughter miserable. I loved this as a little girl because the horse was a dapple gray, always my favorite, and I found myself last week as giddy as I was at six years old, madly in love with horses once again and thrilled to be watching two hours of the most gorgeous dapple gray ever to grace the screen.

The Ugly Dachshund (1966). Suzanne Pleshette's prize-winning weiner is about to have puppies and when she does, the vet talks her husband, again (the luscious) Dean Jones into bringing home an abandoned Great Dane to be nursed in the litter as well. Hijinks ensue when the poor Dane, who believes himself to also be a little weiner dog, gets blamed for all the chaos the naughty weiners create. When the Dane is entered in a dog show, can he realize what a big beautiful specimen he is before it's too late?

That Darn Cat (1965). When a bank teller is kidnapped during a robbery, she slips her wristwatch around the neck of DC, Hayley Mill's meandering Siamese cat, hoping to lead the police to her kidnappers' hideout. When Mills sees the watch, she gets the FBI involved, including one agent (Dean Jones again, am I sensing a pattern here?) who also happens to be highly allergic to cats and the hunt is on.

The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964). The story of a little girl named Mary whose mother has passed and whose life with her depressed veterinarian father is anything but fun. Only her cat Thomasina brings her joy but when the cat contracts tetanus and her father puts the cat down, Mary becomes enraged. She runs away and brings the cat to a witch, hoping she can heal Thomasina and bring her back to life, possibly reuniting father and daughter in the process. Not exactly the rollicking fare of the previous three films, but still a very sweet little movie that I fondly remember from my childhood (even if it doesn't have Dean Jones in it).

1 comment:

Draco and his Mom said...

I remember Thomasina....that was a sweet little movie....
Thomaseeeeeeena!!! I need to find that movie for my granddaughters.
Merry Christmas Victoria.

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