Treasures from the Disney Vault - 10/15
Once again, we are honored to present an assortment of classics from the Walt Disney library, with TCM friend and Disney expert Leonard Maltin returning as host. This collection includes the TCM premieres of three Disney features and two cartoon shorts:
The Cat from Outer Space (1978) is a sci-fi comedy feature about an intelligent extraterrestrial cat named Jake who crash lands his spaceship on Earth and seeks help in making repairs so he can return to his own planet. The human actors include Ken Berry, Roddy McDowall, Sandy Duncan, Harry Morgan and McLean Stevenson.
The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) is a family-adventure film in which a plane carrying various animals is turned into a boat after crash landing on a desert island. (A full-scale Boeing B-29 bomber was used in the film.) This film stars notable actors Elliott Gould, Geneviève Bujold and Ricky Schroder.
Flight of the Navigator (1986) is a sci-fi adventure about a boy (Joey Cramer) who is abducted by a spaceship and travels into the future. Randal Kleiser directed and the cast includes a young Sarah Jessica Parker.
The premiering cartoons in our night's lineup focus on the Mickey Mouse family of characters. In Magician Mickey (1937), Mickey stages a magic show despite interruptions from heckler Donald Duck. In Pluto's Sweater (1949), Minnie Mouse knits a hideous pink sweater for Pluto, to the amusement of the kitty Figaro.
Two features are given encore screenings in the theme of Halloween. The classic musical fantasy Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), which combines animation and live action, stars the delightful Angela Lansbury as an apprentice witch in WWII England, who takes in three children during the London blitz and plans to use a magic spell to help in the war effort. The film, directed by Robert Stevenson, received four Oscar nominations and won in the category of Best Special Visual Effects.
The Little Whirlwind (1941), an encore cartoon, has Mickey Mouse struggling with a small tornado. This short is of particular interest because it employs a redesigned Mickey that was employed briefly during the World War II period. In this version, Mickey has smaller ears, larger head and hands and buck teeth.
The sci-fi adventure The Black Hole (1979) concerns space travelers who locate a lost spacecraft that is hovering near a black hole and try to solve the mystery of how the ship defies the enormous gravitational pull. An imposing cast includes Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine and Yvette Mimieux. This film was Oscar-nominated in the categories of Best Cinematography and Visual Effects. It was the first "dark-themed" Disney feature and the first to be given a rating of PG.
by Roger Fristoe