Zorro Gets a Helping Hand

My wife is getting used to my tendency to pause movies at odd times as I yell out “Did you see that?!” It’s a good thing she’s a patient woman. But I don’t only see Disney in the backgrounds, I also delight in spotting filming mistakes or outright gaffs in production.

Have you ever noticed lapses in continuity in your favorite shows? You know, one minute the glass your favorite character is drinking from is half full and the next, after drinking for several minutes, it’s miraculously full again?

Well this happens all the time and even in vintage Disney programs. Case in point:

Media Zorro Complete First Season 1 +

The Complete First Season of Disney’s Zorro

This fantastic television series ended way too soon but did still manage to rocket Guy Williams to super stardom in the 1950’s. If you couldn’t be Davy Crockett, you were Zorro!

Media Zorro Complete First Season 2 +

Guy Williams as Don Diego de la Vega

Media Zorro Complete Second Season 1 +

The Complete Second Season of Disney’s Zorro

Media Zorro Complete Second Season 2 +

Guy Williams as Zorro

And now to the gaff in question. Let’s look at this from the point of view of a horse. You’re standing under a second-story window and you know that any second the nut who owns you is going to leap out of a window and come slamming down onto your back and then start whipping you into a gallop. You:

A: Stand there and dutifully wait for the pain.

B: Try to escape and run away before he lands on you.

C: Back up and bite him on the butt as he falls past you.

D: Contact Walt Disney to renegotiate your contract.

The correct answer, if you are Zorro’s horse, is ‘B’, but there is only one problem. Check out this picture and note what would stop Toronado from doing this:

Media Zorro Gaff +

Yup. Disney had a stagehand holding onto Toronado so that he had to do A, but couldn’t do either B or C. But I’m sure that after this scene was over, Toronado did ‘D’ for sure! Wouldn’t you?

Hope you enjoyed this vintage look into TV Land of the 1950’s!

Walt Disney in Technicolor

Disney-influences-Television

I love all-things fanciful, and so my tastes often wander from Disney to other great movie and animation franchises. Robin Hood is one of my favorite literary characters (who has been brought to life by Disney in both live-action and animation) and so with a little time to kill I started watching the extras on my two disc special edition DVD copy of The Adventures of Robin Hood. This version stars Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland and is undoubtedly one of the finest adaptations!

But as always, I caught a Disney moment:

Young Walt

Actually… Walt Disney himself! One of the documentaries on the DVD was entitled Glorious Technicolor narrated by none other than Angela Lansbury (Ms. Price/Mrs. Potts, so that was another Disney ‘sighting’). It contained a chapter entitled Independent Spirits and the title card featured Walt, as seen above.

The chapter highlighted how Walt saw the value of Technicolor early on and used it in his animated cartoons. Most notably in the Academy Award-winning Short Flowers and Trees. But I also found this iconic item featured in the archival footage used to show the Disney Studio:

WDS Water Tower

Although I’ve seen this tower in pictures like the one above before, it was cool to see it on film with the trees waving in the breeze! Yes, I’m that much of a geek.

But I know this series of articles is supposed to feature Disney as found in non-Disney places, so to keep with that theme, I give you:

Technicolor Newspaper Article

This issue of The Hollywood Reporter was pictured to show that the Technicolor process was going to move forward in technology and scope, but I noticed our Disney friend adult Simba in the upper left corner. I believe the words of the article read: “When ‘The Lion King’ roars he will do so in 26 languages. As… Internationally this summer, Walt Disney Pictures intends to dub its theatrical animated blockbuster into languages ranging from Icelandic to Zulu. That… domestically in limited release today. As staggering as the number of foreign languages… is… believed… that… in theaters…” Sorry, but that’s the best I can do!

But anyway, it just goes to show that you just can’t tell when a Disney star will appear!

Donald Duck Meets the Partridge Family

Disney-influences-Television

Actually, he really only meets Danny (Danny Bonaduce) from the family, and two hoods set on putting the fear of a mob boss into our little protagonist. This week’s entry comes from the first season of the Partridge Family in episode 7 entitled Danny and the Mob (1970 airdate).

And here comes Danny now:

Patridge Duck

This is a great old Donald Duck inflatable that Danny wears during the scene. As you can see, Danny seems pretty care free at the moment, but Donald… not so much!

Donald gets biffed

And now I guess we can see why. While trying to intimidate Danny, the two hoods end up elbowing Donald in the face! Ouch.

Upon closer inspection of the inflatable, you can see that other Disney characters are depicted on the ring:

Patridge Duck 005

You can just make out Mickey and Donald, but I can’t quite tell who the others are. Maybe Eeyore in the front right corner? I also spotted a copyright name on Donald’s neck, as you can see below:

Copyrighted Duck

Again, it’s hard to make out, but I’m pretty sure it says ‘Walt Disney Productions’ under his name, which makes this a pre-1987 product. As the production company probably would have picked up props like this as new items, then it is probably from 1970, the date of the episode.

Quack!

Sterling Holloway Visits the Twilight Zone

Disney-influences-Television

Many Disney celebs have starred or been featured in a Twilight Zone episode. But when Sterling Holloway showed up, I was a bit surprised he was playing a not-so nice character! Here is the title card:

SH in TZ 006

Originally aired on March 13, 1964 it tells the tale of a man (played by William Demarest who also played Uncle Charlie on My Three Sons with Disney alumna Fred MacMurray) who sees his secrets revealed on a newly repaired television set. Apparently he wants to murder his wife but tries hard not to once he sees it on the screen. But if you know the Twilight Zone, things don’t end well for him!

For it appears the television repairman has other ideas:

SH in TZ 001

Things may have gone better if our protagonist hadn’t accused Mr. Holloway of being a cheat!

SH in TZ 003

But he did, so Mr. Holloway returns after the wife is dead to do a little gloating! And not only does he pull our protagonist’s chain, but he gives us a knowing look to end the episode:

SH in TZ 005

Not the Sterling Holloway we know, eh? Although he only appears in about 2 minutes of the episode, I think he makes a lasting impression!

Do you think we will see more Sterling Holloway tie ins on different shows?  First Andy Griffith, and now the Twilight Zone.  Let me know what you think in the comments, and thanks!

Ed Wynn Visits The Twilight Zone

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Submitted for your approval, or at least your consideration, a very funny man in a not-so funny dramatic role. Long-time star of stage and screen, including many Disney live-action and animated programs, is one Ed Wynn. Mr. Wynn is about to step over from whimsy into… The Twilight Zone!

Twilight Zone Ed Wynn 1

Season Five (also the final season)

Twilight Zone Ed Wynn 3

How can you not smile at this dear older gentleman?

Whether you enjoyed him as Mary Poppins’ floating uncle or his madcap antics as The Mad Hatter, Ed Wynn has certainly left an impression upon every Disney fan! Mr. Wynn appeared in at least one other episode of The Twilight Zone (Season One’s One for the Angels).

Twilight Zone Ed Wynn 2

Sorry, I just had to include this priceless expression!

I noticed how frail Mr. Wynn was looking in this episode, and with a little research, learned that he was 77 at the time this was filmed in 1963. This was just three years before his death on June 19th, 1966. And don’t forget that you’ve seen his son, Keenan Wynn in many Disney live-action films as well, and the Season One episode of the Twilight Zone called A World of His Own.

Let’s put it to a vote as to which role was most memorable:

  • Uncle Albert from Mary Poppins
  • The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
  • The Toy Maker from Babes in Toyland
  • Rufus from the Gnome-Mobile
  • or something else?

Cast your vote with your reason in the comments below and share your thoughts about this Disney Legend (inducted August 10th, 2013).