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.)


(Courtesy of TCM / Disney)

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.

Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast: Maltin on Movies. — [Artwork by Drew Friedman]

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May 2024