Program Alert: More Treasures from the Disney Vault on TCM

This Sunday, March 15, brings the second wave of Disney programming on Turner Classic Movies, or TCM as we usually call it, in their “Treasures from the Disney Vault” series.

This time around, the schedule includes “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” which of course is very fitting, since St. Patrick’s Day is two days later. Also included is the episode of the Disney television series “I Captured the King of the Leprechauns,” which features Walt Disney and Pat O’Brien giving a bit of backstory to Darby O’Gill. I have always enjoyed that show every bit as much as the movie that it is promoting – an effective way of using television to drum up business for a movie, something that Disney excelled at with their television shows.

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Also included this time around are the short “Babes in the Woods,” the television episode “The Story of the Animated Drawing,” and the swashbuckling “The Fighting Prince of Donegul.”

But one of the other highlights of the evening is the recent documentary “Walt and El Grupo,” which examines the trip that Walt Disney and several of his artists made to South America, resulting in the movies “Saludos Amigos” and “The Three Caballeros.” And even better, “Walt and El Grupo” is preceded in the evening by “The Three Caballeros,” too.

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Be sure to watch or set your DVR! For more information, check out the Treasures from the Disney Vault page on the TCM website.

Disney on Turner Classic Movies

Last night, December 21, 2014, saw the premier of the Disney programming block on Turner Classic Movies (also known as TCM). Included in last night’s programming were some short cartoons; two episodes of the Disney television show; The Reluctant Dragon; Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier; The Vanishing Prairie; and Third Man on the Mountain. There was also a good bit of discussion about each of the shows with host Ben Mankiewicz and Disney film historian Leonard Maltin.

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Due to the programming starting while we were at a church activity and running well into the night, I didn’t see the start or the end of it all. But that’s okay, because that is why DVRs were created. Actually, I didn’t set the DVR to record The Reluctant Dragon, because I have that on Blu-Ray now. But after watching what I did watch, I almost wished that I had recorded that one, too, just to make sure I didn’t miss any of Leonard Maltin’s comments about it.

The main thing that I did watch live last night was the end of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier and the beginning of The Vanishing Prairie. Davy Crockett has always been a favorite of mine, and I like to tell people sometimes that the area where we live in Tennesseewas once represented by Davy Crockett in congress. Although obviously I wasn’t around to vote for him at the time. It was great to see his adventures in high definition. It is amazing how those old movies can still look so good all these years later.

I didn’t stick with The Vanishing Prairie all that long, because it started just before midnight for our local time, but I had forgotten how interesting those old nature documentaries actually were. I’ll have to watch the full show sometime in the near future.

Also, I thought it was interesting that The Disneyland Story, the first of the television episodes shown last night, included the Laughing Place scene from Song of the South. Later on after Davy Crockett, Ben and Leonard explained the context for some of the Native American stereotypes found in that movie. Could this new programming, complete with contextual explanations, mean that Song of the South could be shown in one of the future blocks? That is probably just a dream, but it would certainly be nice.

I am glad that they included Leonard Maltin in this, too. He is obviously a Disney fan as well as a historian, and his comments help the understanding of the casual viewer who may not be as familiar with Disney as some of us are.

TCM hasn’t yet said when the next Disney movies and shows will air or what they will be, but I am already looking forward to seeing what else they have in store for us. It is great to be able to see some of this classic Disney content once again!