Once again I’m happy to be hosting an evening of vintage Disney features, shorts, and television episodes on Turner Classic Movies this Wednesday (Oct. 28) beginning at 8pm EST/5pm PST. Any opportunity to see goodies from the Disney vault is cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned. With Halloween in mind, the TCM lineup includes The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad(1949), the two-part animated feature comprised of the witty “The Wind in the Willows” and the spooky “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which used to scare the bejeezus out of me when I was a kid. One look at the Headless Horseman and you’ll understand. Then you’ll meet the original ghostbusters—Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy—in the 1937 short Lonesome Ghosts and encounter a creation that could only have come from the imagination of Tim Burton: Frankenweenie. This is the original 1984 live-action short subject, not the recent animated remake. (Burton was a recent graduate of the animation program at Cal Arts when he got the opportunity to make two short subjects at the studio, but after a change of regime, the people in charge didn’t know what to do with them!)
I was no longer a kid when the Disney studio made Escape to Witch Mountain in 1975, but youngsters of that generation have great fondness for this adaptation of Alexander Key’s novel, which stars Hollywood veterans Ray Milland and Eddie Albert as well as Kim Richards and Ike Eisenman.
From October of 1956 comes an episode of the Disneyland TV series calledThe Plausible Impossible, in which Walt Disney shows us some of the tricks of animation and explains its history as well. It’s one of my all-time favorite installments of the television program and the kind of show that inspired my lifelong interest in animated cartoons.
There’s lots more, including three different cartoons featuring the Three Little Pigs, the groundbreaking mood piece The Old Mill (1937), and in the wee hours, some Disney product from the 1970s and ‘80s. There will be more Disney evenings to come, including a Christmas show in late December… so stay tuned.