Hello, hello, hello, my friend!
It’s time for round three of Disney!
I’ll bet you thought you knew the bulk of Disney films out there – WELL, CHUM, PREPARE TO BE CHALLENGED. ?
We’ve been told that we’ll have access to this crammed vault of goodies this November, since Disney claims that “all” Disney movies will be available on their streaming service. But, frankly, I find the statement “all” highly suspect.
There are dozens of old Disney TV shows and movies that have faded into almost total obscurity with no indication that they’ll ever be resurrected in the way they deserve. For some of them, Disney is even actively removing every trace of their existence (pulling them off Youtube, etc).
It makes me sad to look at the old classics and see how far Disney has moved away from these original films. There used to be a time in Disney’s history where they made quality live-action films that could be enjoyed by THE WHOLE FAMILY (Walt’s original dream). Not animated movies that are so silly adults are going to groan their way through it or adult films full of demented-looking CGI sure to give kids (or any sensitive being) the horrors. Sprinkle both adult and kids movies with a dose of liberal propaganda and we have modern Disney.
But, enough lamenting. I only included this intro to raise awareness of Disney’s shifting motivations and to emphasis the special quality of the films I am about to share with you. This is supposed to be a Disney post, which means fun and happy! So, by all means, let us proceed to the fun and happy.
Emil and the Detectives (1964)
When Emil travels to Berlin to visit his grandmother, his money is stolen, causing the 10-year-old to employ a group of street-wise youngsters to help him track down a thief, but, in the process, the children uncover much more than they bargained for.
This is a quirky, sassy little movie with a tongue-in-cheek humor and a ponderously self-aware German atmosphere that is intriguing as well as funny.
It doesn’t take long for a pack of boy detectives (as well as one annoyingly funny girl reporter) to get up to their eyebrows in trouble, culminating in an explosive (literally) finale – the perfect ending to a film that is full of thrills, laughs, and street smarts.
I grew up watching this movie so many times (our family still uses the term “scrink” to describe a disputable, revolting person). This film also features one of my favorite child actors, the ridiculously talented and delightfully cocky Roger Mobley is brilliant as Gustav, the leader of the gang. The main boy is a little flat but with a piece of dynamite like Roger – it isn’t necessary for anyone else to do anything but feed him lines. One smirk from Gustav keeps the scene going and the minute he struts onto the camera, he takes over.
You can watch the first few minutes HERE. You can also rent it on Amazon.
For The Love Of WillaDean (1964)
A nostalgic tale of two brothers and their new neighbor who all fight over the attentions of the pretty girl in the farmhouse down the road.
This movie is largely built around the endlessly amusing scenario of seeing little boys kill themselves to win the not-so-worthy affections of a pretty girl. The snappy dialogue between the three boys is absolutely hilarious as they strut around like mini men in displays of he-man machismo and competitiveness that is sure to have you rolling with laughter. This film also stars Roger Mobley, as well as other Disney child actors such as Michael McGreevey and Billy Mumy. I’m not usually a fan of Billy Mumy, but he is adorable in this movie, and suitably disgusted with his older brothers “love-lornity.” Thrown in a little mystery, a haunted house, and a peculiar traveler into the mix – and we have a delightful childhood film that harks back to an older, simpler time.
You can watch the movie RIGHT HERE.
The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (1963)
Dr. Syn, a country priest, leads a rebel band against the King’s naval press gangs. Syn conceals his secret identity by disguising himself to look like a scarecrow and carries on activities ala the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro from his parish base.
OH. MY. GOODNESS. THIS SHOW IS THE BEST. It’s a straight-up adventure in it’s purest form. It’s a swashbuckling costume drama. It is full of thrills, twists, humor, and it even has a dash of romance to lure in that particular crowd who likes romance.
Patrick McGoohan’s acting skills never fail to captivate me. He is a subtle but altogether brilliant actor with a mesmerizing charisma that is felt whether he’s playing the devilish scarecrow, the fuddly vicar, or the scheming mastermind.
Don’t worry, it’s not all about that ugly scarecrow – the guy behind the mask is much better looking. See?
I am sick to death of pastors or any “man of the cloth” being portrayed as wishy-washy ineffectual fools. Here, at last, we have a pastor who is not hiding piously behind a pulpit but is actively pushing back against a corrupt government by smuggling goods to provide – Robin Hood fashion – for the parish under his care. A pillar of justice, the Scarecrow also rescues men who are brutally recruited by Navy press-gangs and sends them on their way to freedom. HE IS SUCH A COOL HERO.
Syn has an entire network of scarecrows (spies) that assist him in his epic smuggling and rescues, but only two top lieutenants know his true identity. A wealthy teenage socialite and Syn’s loyal sexton.
And these are the amazing scoundrels that make it all happen.
You can watch the opening theme song (goodness, I love that old fashioned musical intro and narrator!) and you can watch parts of the mini series HERE and HERE.
Almost Angels (1962)
Supported avidly by his mother (and more reluctantly by his father) a working-class Austrian boy joins the Vienna Choirboys, where he proves to be unusually talented.
I am a big fan of the adorable child actor, Vincent Winters. This is a charming and heartfelt movie built around the power and beauty of singing and about a little boy who loves music so much, it bubbles out of him. His father doesn’t understand it at first but, fortunately, his mother recognizes his talent and pushes to let him audition for the Vienna Choir Boys. Sometimes painful, often hilarious, it’s an adorable coming of age story full of rivalry, boyish friendships, and the love of family.
One of my favorite moments in the movie features the worship song Omnes de Saba Venient. The English translation of one of the refrains is: All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. Alleluia. The song stirs me, inspires me, and gives me cold chills.
You can watch the movie HERE.
The Brat Patrol (1986)
A group of military brats uncover a plot to steal base equipment.
An irrepressible group of 5 military kids who were (B)orn (R)aised (A)nd (T)rapped in the military life style and shuffled from one base to another. Their goal? “To stick together through thick and thin and to alleviate boredom no matter what the consequences.”
This film also features a very young and utterly adorable Sean Astin (picture above). He and the young Joe Wright who plays a junior marine and Sean Astin’s arch rival eat up the screen with their attitude. Possessing more moxie than common sense, spies and traitors don’t stand a chance when they come toe-to-toe with the Brat Patrol.
You can watch the movie HERE.
Diamonds on Wheels (1973)
Three kids get mixed up with jewel thieves and stolen diamonds in a 24-hour road rally across England.
Do not let the horrible 70s styles turn you off from this delightful film. This movie is exciting, funny, and full of atmosphere. Disney really had a flair for doing end finales that were both hilarious and tense. The end sequence had me alternately biting my nails and laughing till I cried.
This movie also features a VERY young Peter Firth. I’ve usually only seen him as villains (for those who have seen Risen – he played Pontius Pilate) and to see him here as the teenage hero was surprising.
You can watch it right HERE.
The Horse Without A Head (1963)
A group of French slum children who share only one toy – a headless wooden horse on wheels – foil a robbery when a thief stashes the key to his hiding place inside the horse.
This movie also features Vincent Winter (a little older in this film than in Almost Angels) as well as a very young Pamela Franklin (Flipper’s New Adventure).
Based on a French children’s novel, this delightful romp of a movie is a true gem. Despite having a mostly English cast, this film feels like French film – full of the 60s clothing, grubby stone streets, and a certain continental flair that is as indescribable as it is undeniable.
This film also features the marvelous and charming Jean-Pierre Aumont as the kindly police officer with a soft spot for children and a yearning for big-city challenges – a yearning that is satisfied by the movie’s exciting conclusion!
You can watch the trailer for this adorable movie HERE.
Escapade in Florence (1962)
U.S. art students (Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello) find forgets have an interest in their work.
Tommy Kirk is a footloose and fancy-free student studying architecture in Florence who nearly runs down Annette Funicello on his moped and promptly falls for her. With typical American chutzpah, he puts his head down and begins a headlong pursuit of the lady fair, not realizing that their chance encounter was the deciding tap to a tower of dominoes that inadvertently affected a ring of criminals.
The teens soon find themselves in fear of their lives as they become involved with the art thieves. Top off all this chaos with a handsome Italian rival for Annette Funicello’s affections and Tommy Kirk’s ordinary life as an exchange student is turned topsy-turvy.
Dripping with atmosphere, loaded with panache, and seasoned with a generous amount of humor (and, of course, a few Annette Funicello songs),
You can watch a hilarious scene from the movie HERE.
The Secret of Boyne Castle (1969)
Spies chase a U.S. exchange student (Kurt Russell) and his buddy across Ireland to the learn the secret of Boyne Castle.
I’m not usually a fan of Kurt Russell, but he gives a solid (and less goofy) performance in this film. A great film for “bro” relationships, as the film focuses tightly on Kurt Russel, his older brother (who happens to be an American spy) and Kurt Russell’s best friend, a wily young Irishman. The three of them make a tenacious team as they take on a cold-blooded enemy and dive headlong into a quest for the truth and a race against time. It’s a spy thriller full of suspense as the boys are chased across Ireland and stumble from one scrap to another until a thrilling finale involving glider planes and cannonballs (yes, you read that correctly – watch it yourself if you don’t believe me!)
You can watch the movie HERE.
The Blue Yonder (1985)
Jonathan Knicks, travels back in time to 1927 using his elderly neighbor’s time machine to try to stop his young-at-the-time grandfather, Max Knickerbocker, a pilot who is planning to fly across the Atlantic in an adventure that will cost him his life.
This is a poignant coming-of-age story that is vaguely reminiscent of Secondhand Lions, as a boy has to come to grips with what he knows about his grandfather and what he wants to believe. Can he really change the past? And if he can, will that really change his present? There is a wonderful vintage flair to this whole movie along with an almost Jules Verne vibe in regards to the time machine. The child lead is also unbearably adorable and is precious in every single scene. Be warned, his sweetness is so great, it makes all the terrible things that happen to him even more stressful. Fortunately, he has a young and awesome grandfather to keep him out of danger, played by the charismatic Peter Coyote.
The whole movie really rests on this fabulous relationship. One scene in particular between this remarkable duo reduces to me to warm fuzzies every time. It is a truly beautiful moment. Their chemistry is amazing – you can feel their deep affection and respect for each other in their unique interaction.
You can watch the movie HERE.
HANDS UP ALL YOU WHO HAVE SEEN EVEN ONE OF THESE MOVIES? EVEN ONE OF THEM??
What are some of your favorite, older, less-widely known Disney movies? If you don’t have one, you should. ?
Tell me everything, Disney fans. Are you going to watch the movies listed above? IF YOU DON’T, I’M GOING TO CHASE YOU DOWN.
You’ve been warned. Just saying.
GUYS, turn off those NEVER-ENDING REMAKES OF ANIMATED DISNEY MOVIES AND WATCH SOME ORIGINAL CLASSICS, I BEG YOU.
The list above doesn’t isn’t even include some of my other Disney favorites like The Third Man On The Mountain, The Moon-Spinners, The Darn Cat!, The Sword and the Rose, The Fighting Prince of Donegal, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Never A Dull Moment, The Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes, No Deposit No Return, The North Avenue Irregulars, The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, Newsies, Shipwrecked, White Fang, Iron Will, The Treasure of Matacumbe, or The Sword and the Rose. Have you seen ANY of these???
OR ANY OF THESE? (Please remove your hats for this one, this video is basically MY ENTIRE CHILDHOOD).
ME RIGHT NOW –
Come on, people, restore my faith in humanity and tell me you recognize at least one of these films.
And if nothing else, give one of these amazing films a try and tell me what you think of it. You won’t be disappointed!
24 thoughts on “10 Disney Movies That Time Forgot (but shouldn’t have).”
Almost Angels! Ah, that was one of the things that made me fall in love with choir. The “Omnes de Saba Venient” is my favorite sequence in the movie too. Gorgeous music, and so beautifully filmed.
I’ve seen That Darn Cat! and No Deposit, No Return, and heard of a bunch of the others, though I have to admit some of the titles on your main list are entirely new to me. (The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh—which I had heard of, in fact—sounds particularly fun!)
Now, I’ve got to ask if you’ve seen some of my favorite lesser-known-Disney-live-action! How about Kidnapped and Greyfriars Bobby? Or Miracle of the White Stallions (worth it for the horses alone!)?
AHHH – YES!!! I remember chatting with you on Facebook about Almost Angels!! I was delighted that you knew the film and fascinated that you are involved with choral music! YES, the cinematography was amazing! *sighs with tenderness for old film making*
*SQUEALS* Those are such fun films! *high fives* I think you would REALLY enjoy The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh – I think it particularly appeal to you! I feel like another one you might enjoy is The Treasure of Matacumbe – have you seen that one?
YESSSS. I’ve seen Kidnapped (I LOVED Peter Finch’s take on Alan Breck!). Did the scene with the old lady in the beginning and the creepish castle give you the absolute horrors? It did for me when I was little! *laughs* And I’ve seen The Greyfriars Bobby, more recently! So many recognizable faces in that film, including the adorable Vincent Winters! Such a sweet film. I’ve also seen the Miracle of the White Stallions!! I didn’t feel that film was as good as other Disney films, but beautiful shots of the Lipizzaners!
I think we’ve talked about how my family has watched The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh every Halloween for as long as I can remember, so you know I know that one. I haven’t seen but have heard of The Horse Without a Head… I *think* Disney Movie Rewards used to have it available on DVD as a reward, but I just checked and don’t see it anymore. The rest I haven’t heard of but would definitely watch if I could find them. 🙂
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. *TACKLE HUGS* You have officially received the fabulous sticker. *grins* The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is such a great show, and if you enjoyed that one – I think you’d love a lot of the other films listed here!!
Quite a few of the ones in the commercial are available for rent on Amazon now!
Woah…gonna be honest here; when you said “rare” I was like “suuuure” but I haven’t seen any of these movies. *facepalm* I am so sorry I doubted you!!! In my defense, I HAVE seen The Moon Spinners and That Darn Cat, but generally speaking there are still enough Haley Mills fans out there that I’m not sure that I’d classify those as truly obscure, so that doesn’t count as much in my favor, haha.
Some of these sound fantastic, and I will definitely be searching for them!
Have you ever seen the Disney Zorro series? My sisters used to watch them on TV when they were kids and LOVED them (it also has a great theme song :D) but it seems Disney no longer wants the world to have them, so I don’t know of anyone who has seen them. Now I’d like to see Disney put those on their streaming service!
Haha!! Nonsense, I’m just glad I could surprise you. *grins* AHHH – The Moonspinners and That Darn Cat are such fun! That Darn Cat, especially, never fails to make me laugh.
Comparatively speaking, they’re more well known – but they’re still unknown, because you’re one of the few people I’ve talked to that has seen them!!
I highly recommend ALL of these!
YES, I HAVE SEEN DISNEY’S ZORRO!!! *high fives* Zorro is one of my favorite heroes of all time, and although I liked Tyrone Power’s version best, the Disney show was still a solid and fun show, from what I remember!! Yes!!! Disney always had the BEST theme songs for their old TV shows!
ARGH – what a shame! I just checked and I found a few on Dailymotion and Youtube and you can buy the first season from Amazon. But, unfortunately, it does indeed look like Zorro is yet another gem Disney is trying to sweep under the rug. *glares*
*correction* Apparently at least some of the Disney Zorro is on YouTube, so it’s not as hard to find as I thought! Hallelujah.
I’m not one for movies much, but I do admit that The Blue Yonder, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, and Emil and the Detectives sound interesting.
As for the others you mention– I believe I watched White Fang a long time ago, and I’ve certainly seen Newsies. Love Newsies.
Well, good for you, Blue!! I probably spend waaay too much time watching movies.
They are very interesting – and they are wholesome and fun films that I highly recommend!
White Fang was such a good film! But then, I’m a sap for anything with puppies. *grins* AHHHHH – NEWSIES – YOU’VE SEEN NEWSIES!! *tackle hugs* That is one of the quintessential tough guy, male-camaraderie movies I’ve ever seen! I love it!
So far I haven’t seen ANY of these you’ve reviewed, sadly…*sniff*…I will try to in the future…but I have seen Pollyanna, the Absent-minded Proffessor, Swiss Family Robinson and the-one-that’s-name-is-hidden-behind-the-blog-post-title-about-the-Swedish-boy-looking-for-treasure-that-I’ve-forgotten!! Must be cause I’m a homeschooler; my friends are always weirded out by some of the stuff I watch. ? But seriously, so many good oldies are totally not heard about. Another great post, Allison, thank you so much! Your blog always makes me smile. Like this: ????
Ps. Love the quote from Tintin. I find it even more funny cause I’m Scottish!!
OOO – I would love to hear your opinions when you do watch them, Abbie! I always respond to messages and email!
POLLYANNA! Goodness, I watched that one a lot when I was younger! And the Absent-Minded Professor! I watched that one again recently and laughed so hard I cried. The kid floating around the football field made me lose all control. ???
AHHHH – SHIPWRECKED. I LOVE that movie!! It is such a good, old-fashioned ADVENTURE. Though, there’s one scene that used to scare the pants off of me when I was little. *grins*
I’m not weirded out – you sound like you have good tastes! 😀
AWWWWWWW. *WRIGGLES WITH PLEASURE* THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY! THANK YOU, ABBIE!! ? I always hope to do that with my blog. *BEAMS*
*GASPS* YOU’RE A TINTIN FAN??? *TACKLE HUGS* You are my kind of person!! I grew up on Tintin – I even wrote a blog post about him! https://allisonswell.com/2018/08/18/for-the-love-of-tintin/
That’s so cool!! DO YOU LIVE IN SCOTLAND, ABBIE? ?
Aye?? my dad sounds just like captain Haddock!!
Oh my gosh, that is awewome!! ??
And here I thought I was a true Disney fan. But but but…I’ve never seen ANY of these.
*hides in shame*
I don’t think I’ve even HEARD of these. Except maybe Almost Angels? That one rings a bell. Maybe I saw it back in the day? I’m not sure. But GAH. Apparently I need to turn in my Disney card until I’ve seen some of these. They all sound fun though! Your description of Emil and the Detectives, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, and The Brat Patrol especially grabbed me. The latter mainly because you can NEVER go wrong with a baby Sean Astin. Hehe.
But seriously, these all look great! Thank you for sharing all this goodness! 😀
*IS HERE TO SAVE THE WORLD AND SPREAD THE DISNEY*
Hehe! Well, that can be easily amended by some studious binge-watching! *LAUGHS* Every one of these is a GEM, and are so wholesome and fun! I think you would LOVE those, and I do so agree. You can’t go wrong with Baby Sean Astin! He is COMPLETELY ADORABLE. 😀
Aww – thanks! I had fun spreading the love! Thanks for reading, Christine!! <3
Nope! Haven’t seen any of these! But, given that it’s me we’re talking about, who basically hasn’t seen ANY MOVIES, PERIOD–this is not surprising 😉
You’ve got me extremely interested in The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, however. An actual Catholic priest as the hero? Yes, please! *grins*
Adding these to my apparently never-ending TBW listed. I grew up with “So Dear to My Heart” (which I haven’t seen in, oh, over 15 years), and I recently discovered that was Disney.
*RUBS HANDS TOGETHER* Success! Spread the Disney! 🙂
WELP – you got me there, though! That is one movie that I have never seen!! *tips hat in respect*
How have I not heard of any of these. I need to watch them.
*SCATTERS PIXIE DUST ON YOU* YES, YOU DO, SKYE!!! *nods and nods*
Irene speaking here:
Although I have seen many of the movies featured in your second list and the video, I am (was) ashamed to say that I had not seen any of the main ten… But I soon remedied that. I have now seen ‘The Secret of Boyne Castle’, ‘Almost Angels’, ‘The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh,’ and ‘The Brat Patrol’. I liked the latter three the best. The Brat Patrol was hilarious (SO much attitude!) and The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh was amazing. The scenery and the costumes and everything made up a wonderful atmosphere. Very exciting! I just finished watching Almost Angels, and let me say, I loved it! It’s so sweet and the singing is wonderful. I especially liked their rendition of Greensleeves. One of my favorite versions so far. And if I’m not mistaken (correct me if I’m wrong), the kid who plays Peter in Almost Angels also plays John in The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. I love them both. Thanks for giving me some great suggestions for when I can’t think of a movie to watch! 😀
I can’t tell you how happy your comment made me! You should have seen the grin on my face! I was absolutely delighted that someone watched my recommendations and devoted some time to these wonderful classics! Of those four you mentioned, I liked the latter three best too!
The Brat Patrol – HAHA! I know! Talk about STRUT and attitude! Those kids were fabulous. ? EEEP – yessss, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh was sooo exciting! *flails with glee that someone understands its awesomeness*
AWWW, Almost Angels is such a classic in our house, it IS so, so sweet! And the singing is marvelous, as you said! You are absolutely correct! Peter is the same boy from the Scarecrow – good catch!!
*BEAMS* My pleasure. Irene!! I was happy to recommend them and so excited you looked them up and enjoyed them! 😀
Haha, I’m glad!
I had actually never seen Sean Astin in anything when he was little, so that was quite the joyous surprise! I mainly know him as Sam from The Lord of the Rings, so it was pretty hilarious seeing him as that delightful little punk ;D
I’m gonna show my sister (Anna) the mini-series as soon as I can. Too good not to show someone!
Yeah, I gotta go write a review about it. Splurge the feelsies, ya know? ;D Okay, thanks for affirming my suspicions! He was a really good child actor.
He’s a really good actor, and retained his cuteness as an adult – but he’s almost too cute to handle as a kid! HAHAHA – “delightfully little punk” – perfectly phrased, Irene! ??
*claps hands and jumps up and down* Showing a good series to a sibling only makes it more fantastic! I hope she enjoys it!
A REVIEW? I would love to see that! I will be haunting your blog! *initiates stalker mode*
Thank YOU, Irene! Your comments made my day! <3