Walt Disney

The Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview: Dec. 20

Posted on 12/20/2013 by | Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentThree blasts from the past and one wry look at our not-too-distant-future make this a particularly rich grownup movie weekend.    The New Stuff:   American Hustle You won’t have more fun at the movies than you’ll find here with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Louis C.K. and Jennifer Lawrence as assorted con artists and Feds conspiring to bring down crooked politicians in the 1980s Abscam scandal. “Some of this actually happened,” the title card reads, but we have …

The Day Walt Disney Warned Ray Bradbury: “We’d kill each other!”

Posted on 06/7/2012 by | Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentFor writers, the value of a compliment lies not in the effusion of words, but in the source of them. Even the most modest statement of encouragement for the most minor effort, from the right person, can make your day and sometimes your decade. And that explains why I still treasure a letter I received on September 5, 2001, from Ray Bradbury. “Dear Bill Newcott,”  it begins, “Thank you for your good letter.” Good letter. Good letter! One of the …

How Many Times Has “It’s a Small World” Been Performed? Do the Math!

Posted on 03/7/2012 by | Movies & TV | Comments

EntertainmentIn the last years of his life, Walt Disney had a Friday evening ritual: His studio songwriters, Robert and Richard Sherman, would slip into his office to chat awhile. Soon Walt would walk to the north window, gaze out, and say simply, “Play it.” The brothers knew what he meant. Richard would sit at Walt’s piano and begin to play “Feed the Birds,” the lovely melody they wrote for Mary Poppins. Walt would stare out the window, hands behind his …