“ Genre: Children's DVDs - Disney / Theatrical Release: 1957 / Universal, suitable for all / Director: Robert Stevenson / Actors: Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, Jeff York ... / DVD released 2006-04-03 at Walt Disney Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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This is a film which I have been meaning to get around to watching for several months now. I finally manage it when hubby very kindly took all my boys to the park, unfortunately they did not stay there long enough for me to get all the way through the film is peace!
The film is set in Texas way back in the 1860's and is set around a family who live and run a farm. The father leaves to go and work for 3 month and leaves Travis, the eldest boy in charge of the farm and looking after his Mother and younger brother Arlis. Things don't go well for Travis when on the first day he is in charge a stray dog who is chasing a hare comes onto the farm and upsets the horse and causes him to run wild and pull down all the fences. Travis chases the dog away and says that the dog will never come back onto their land.
The following morning the dog has returned and the youngest brother decides that he wants to keep him, the Mother agrees and Travis is very angry with this and tries to not like him and get him into trouble. The dog gets the name of Old Yeller and soon he is saving the life of young Arlis and after doing so Travis warms to him and they become inseparable. Old Yeller soon becomes a great asset to Travis and is helping with the farm and saving everyone's life!
What will become of Old Yeller when a rabbis type disease starts to spread, will he manage to stay away form it and how many more lives can one dog save??????
This is such an old film which was made back in 1950's in believe so there are no special effects which I feel added to this film as it was so much more realistic. The characters were all very good and the children actors did a great job in their roles and made their characters very believable. I have to say that the star of this film is definitely Old Yeller as he was amazing and extremely well trained. He was able to tug at my heart strings with just one slight turn of the head or funny look!
The story was good and was made quite believable. I did not find it got boring at any point and found the whole film very enjoyable. I liked how it did not take a lot of brain power to watch or follow and was very light and fun and designed with children in mind. I did start to feel that it was a little far fetched when Old Yeller saved everyone's lives as he was just a normal stray dog and does not have any special powers but again this can be forgiven as it is a Disney film.
The film was set in Texas so we are treated to some lovely scenery and shots over the countryside which added to the film for me and made it more watch able. The music through out the film was great and I will give a lot of credit to the director of the music for it all. The opening song was fun and was telling us all about Old Yeller and how he came to be where he was. I though this was a great idea, the end song was also good as it ended the film in a great way with more narration.
The DVD which we have does have some bonus material which includes:-
Making of Documentary
Musical Montage of Disney Dogs
Disney Studio Album
Behind the Scenes
Foley artist demonstration
I have not managed to watch any of these features and they actually do not appeal to me as I think watching the behind the scenes feature spoil some of the magic of the film.
The running time of this film is only 80 minutes which I feel is a great length as the film did not get boring at any point and it is also a great length for children. The film has a certificate of U which means that it is suitable for all. I will personally say that very sensitive children should not watch this film as there is a very sad part towards the end which may upset them.
Over all I did enjoy this as I was not expecting too much as it is a very old Disney film. My boys had no interest in any of this film so they went off playing instead of watching it but then again I think they are just slightly too young to understand what was happening. I do recommend this as a good family film for elder children as it great easy viewing.