Episode 34: Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Darby cover site

Introduced by Devlin

I admit early and often in this episode to having something of an inability to process whimsy. Despite having previously chosen a family fantasy film of sorts (Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) my childhood had a marked dearth of family-style fantasy films, an even bigger dearth of Disney, and basically none of the live action Disney movies kicked off 9 years before this with Treasure Island and continuing with universally loved films like Mary Poppins.

So, I feared the worst when it was time to delve in to Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The poster looked cheerful. VERY cheerful. There would be accents. Cuteness. Chaste romance. Probably songs.  Long, happy songs, sung by smiling people who look longingly in to an unspecified part of the set in the middle distance and rhyme things possibly while sweeping or something. There is always sweeping.

No spoilers from me! You’ll just have to have a listen to see whether I was won over or whether Gali and myself have a big 90 minute sulk while Patrick laughs maniacally in victory.

One thing we do mention in the podcast, is this episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, in which Walt himself goes on a quest to Ireland to try and recruit King Brian Connors to star in his film. Infuriatingly, this fascinating little time capsule is only available as a bootleg and only for the first 30 minutes. But it’s well worth a watch!

Also, look out for references to Peter Ellenshaw – here is a wonderful TV documentary (in 6 parts) which charts his evolution from matte painter extraordinaire to visual effects pioneer, and someone whose stunning work gained unanimous praise from the gang.

Finally, my apologies to Ewan McGregor, who I mistakenly referred to as an Edinburgher in the episode, when he is actually from Perth. Sorry Ewan McGregor who will definitely read this!

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