If you’re a Disney fan, or fanatic, be sure to tune in to Turner Classic Movies on Thursday, when I’ll be hosting another evening of Treasures from the Disney Vault beginning at 8pm EST/5pm PST. As always, we’re offering a mélange of vintage cartoons and features plus a special episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. It’s called Disneyland Around the Seasons and it aired two days after Walt Disney’s death in December of 1966—a shock that was still being felt around the world. (I can vouch for that; I was just 15 and it was a terrible blow.) Today it stands as a time-capsule of what the Anaheim park looked like exactly fifty years ago.
I was fortunate to host all of this year’s TCM programs at the Walt Disney Family Museum at the Presidio in San Francisco. It’s always a treat to walk into that building; I hope that the glimpses we provide will make more people want to visit. (I’ve been remiss in not writing about their current Pinocchio exhibit curated by John Canemaker but promise to do so soon.)
Two of Walt Disney’s milestones from the 1950s form the centerpiece of this latest roundup: first, Treasure Island (1950), Walt’s first full live-action feature and his initial foray into filmmaking in England. Then, Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1955), a rare instance of a Disney sequel—and a good one. Like the first Crockett feature, it originated on his weekly television show and stars Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen.
The TCM lineup also includes one of my favorite latter-day Disney films, Those Calloways (1965), a lovely family drama starring Brian Keith, Vera Miles, Brandon De Wilde, Walter Brennan, Linda Evans, and Ed Wynn. It’s a leisurely-paced movie with a lyrical score by the great Max Steiner. If you’ve never seen it, this is a perfect chance to catch up.
As always, the fun begins with a pair of 1930s cartoons starring Mickey Mouse and friends. To check the full schedule, click HERE.