Posts Tagged ‘Paul J. Smith’

CINDERELLA – Oliver Wallace and Paul J. Smith

November 14, 2022 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Walt Disney and his beloved studio had not achieved a commercial triumph since “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs thirteen years earlier. He was $4 million in debt and tittering on bankruptcy. He threw caution to the wind with a gamble that would either save the company, or end it; he would adapt the story “Cinderella”, a universal transcultural tale told by many throughout time beginning with Strabo in 7 B.C.E. Disney selected the French version of the tale by author Charles Perrault, and personally took charge of production with a $2.2 million budget, which ultimately swelled to $3.0 million. A team of eight animators was assembled, ten writers overseen by Ben Sharpsteen would write the screenplay, and the trio of Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson would direct. The voice cast would consist of Ilene Woods as Cinderella, Eleanor Audley as Lady Tremaine, Verna Felton as the Fairy Godmother, and William Edward Phipps as Prince Charming. Read more…

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, and Paul J. Smith

November 2, 2015 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Walt Disney Productions had been very successful in producing animated short subject films such as Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies. In 1934 CEO Walt Disney believed it was time to move his studio into the realm of producing feature films. To that end he resolved to inaugurate a new era by producing a feature animated film based on the fairytale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by the Brothers Grimm. Disney would produce the film and he tasked screenwriter Richard Creedon and a team of seven writers to come up with the screenplay. David Hand was hired as supervising Director for a team of five directors. For the cast Adriana Caselotti would voice for the titular role. Joining her would be Lucille La Verne as Queen Grimhilde (the witch), Henry Stockwell as the Prince, Stuart Buchanan as the Huntsman, and Moroni Olsen as The Magic Mirror. For the seven dwarfs we have Roy Atwell as Doc, Pinto Colvig as both Grumpy and Sleepy, Otis Harlan as Happy, Scotty Mattraw as Bashful, Billy Gilbert as Sneezy, and Eddie Collins as Dopey. Read more…

PINOCCHIO – Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith

June 22, 2015 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

After reading the novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, Walt Disney felt it could be made into a fine Disney animated feature. When he picked up his honorary Oscar for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937, he advised the Academy of his intent to bring Pinocchio to the big screen. The film became a passion project and its budget ballooned from $500,000 to $2.5 million, with several major rewrites. The voice cast included Dickie Jones as Pinocchio and (Alexander the Donkey, Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket, Evelyn Venable as the Blue Fairy), Christian Rub as Geppetto, Walter Catlett as John Worthington Foulfellow the Red Fox, Charles Judels as Stromboli, Frankie Darro as Lampwick and Thurl Ravenscroft as Monstro the Whale. This film offers the classic tale of Geppetto the woodworker, who makes a wooden marionette, whom he names Pinocchio. He has no son and when he goes to bed he makes a wish that Pinocchio become a real boy. His wish is heard, and the Blue Fairy comes during his sleep, and brings Pinocchio to life, but he is not yet fully human. She advises Pinocchio that if he is brave, truthful and unselfish, he will become a real boy. She assigns Jiminy Cricket to be his conscience. Well, after a long adventure, with many struggles along the way, Pinocchio succeeds, becomes a real boy, and he and Geppetto live happily ever after. The film resonated with the public and was a commercial success. It also received critical acclaim and secured two Academy Awards for best Original Score, and Best Song “When You Wish Upon A Star”. This was the first time a film secured these two wins together. Read more…

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – Paul J. Smith

October 4, 2011 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

This classic Jules Verne’s novel was adapted to the screen by Earl Felton. It tells the story of the adventure of Professor Aronnax (Paul Lukas), Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) and Conseil (Peter Lorre) whom Captain Nemo (James Mason) captures after he sinks their ship. Aboard his submarine the Nautilus, they explore the underwater wonders of the sea and battle amazing sea creatures. But all is not well as Nemo, despite his scientific genius, is quite mad and uses the power of the Nautilus to pursue a course of vengeance upon humanity. Ultimately Nemo is undone by his own demons and arrogance as he and the Nautilus perish into the ocean depths as our three heroes escape. The film was the first to use the new Cinemascope technology and was both a commercial and critical success, earning Oscars for Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects. Read more…