WALT BEFORE MICKEY (2015 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Stars ìììì

Walt Before Mickey—a documentary almost as good as Saving Mr. Banks, a documentary about Disney’s making of the Mary Poppins film. While some critics have complained that this movie does not portray Disney’s personality well and have rated it low, Ben Meyers International gives it a solid 4-star rating for its complete entertainment and educational value. The film provides a wide range view of Disney’s life from his youth to his final success. The movie can be appreciated for the frankness of detailing the difficulties of his climb through the ranks to become one of the best animators in the business. The documentary spares none of the brutal reality of not being able to pay bills, meet payroll, eating from garbage cans, sleeping on the floor of his animation room after breaking in because the front door has been barred to prevent his entry. It is a story of courage and daring and family and disappointment and hardship that lends all the credence in the world to the song, “If You Wish Upon A Star.” Today the Disney legacy continues with Disney’s ABC Television Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, acquisition of Lucas Films, and with its distribution of Japan’s Studio Ghibli films. Disney’s continual dedication to advances in computer animation and its persistent courageous voyages into live action film with movies like Tron: Legacy, John Carter, The Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Star Wars' sequels continue to build the Disney dream. If Walt Disney were here today, he would be proud of the advancements that his company continues to make. Thank you, Walt, for making the world a better place to live, for reminding us that dreams really do come true, and that the world belongs to the dreamer. In this documentary, Thomas Ian Nicholas acts the part of Disney and does an outstanding job. The movie takes the audience from Disney’s youth, when he could not stop drawing on anything and everything he could find; his young manhood when he works as a studio artist; and then, with newly found friend, Ub Iwerks (Armando Gutierrez), starts his own business with a barn as a studio. This film documents his failures; his recruitment of his older brother, Roy Disney (Jon Heder), to join him as a financing manager; to his ‘new’ story of Mortimer Mouse who becomes Mickey Mouse—and the rest is, of course, Disney history.

Additional Thanks

Great work for Director Khoa Le. Thank you to Executive Producer Arthur L. Bernstein, Christopher Dosen, Armando Gutierrez, Ben McConley, Jim Nichols, Michele Alexanne Packer, Jeff Rice, Peter K. Scaturro, and Robert Spiegel for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Charlotte Disney (Jodie Sweetin), Rudy Ising (David Henrie), Lillian Disney (Kate Katzman), Bridgit (Ayla Kell), Friz Freleng (Taylor Gray), Frank L. Newman (Arthur L. Bernstein), Hugh Harman (Hunter Gomez), and Young Walt (Owen Teague).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes.

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Ben Meyers

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