DVD REVIEW: The Boys - The Sherman Brothers' Story
An intimate portrayal of the renown Disney songwriters...
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Even if you have never heard of their names, you've most certainly heard their music. From the repetitive lyrics of "It's a Small World" to the Oscar winning music of Mary Poppins, the Sherman Brothers have written one thousand classic songs for fifty films and numerous theme park attractions. The Boys, now on Disney DVD, is an intimate portrait of Robert (goes by Bob) and Richard (goes by Dick) Sherman who became the official songwriters for the Walt Disney Studio under Walt Disney.
While the two brothers have contributed so much music to the world, including The Parent Trap, Charlotte's Web, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and many many more, most folks never knew the tension that existed between the two. Born only a few years apart under Russian-Jewish immigrants, they couldn't have been more different. The older brother Robert went off to the war while the younger stayed behind. By the time Robert returned from battle, they both started the same college at the same time. Even though they attended the same school, they kept things separate and did their own things. Robert wanted to be a writer. Richard studied music. As fate would have it and under their father's urging (who was also a song writer), he encouraged the two to write a song together. That little push started it all.
This stunning documentary is directed by the son of Robert and the son of Richard; both having lived the majority of their lives seeing their fathers not speak with one another and hoping that doing this film would somehow reunite them. We see the history of these American songwriters through old footage, photographs, and interviews with many key talent and musicians including Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Ben Stiller, Julie Andrews, and John Williams. New interviews of Richard and Robert Sherman can also be found in this touching film.
* Why They're "The Boys" - Actors, musicians, industry professionals all share their story on why the Sherman Brothers are simply known as "The Boys".
* Disney Studios in the '60s - Using interviews and home movies, stories are shared about the Walt Disney Studios and how it was to work there.
* Casting Mary Poppins - Richard Sherman, Robert Sherman, Julie Andrews, and Dick Van Dyke share their stories on how they were cast for Mary Poppins.
* The Process - This short featurette explores the songwriter's process.
* Theme Parks - The Sherman Brothers have written countless songs for Disneyland and abroad, from The Tiki Room to It's a Small World to Adventures Thru Inner Space and Carousel of Progress. This featurette offers even more insight into how these were shaped and created.
* Roy Williams - A talented artist on the Mickey Mouse Club, Roy Williams had the office right next door to the Sherman Brothers. He would often draw what he heard and slip it under their door. All were saved and can be seen in this humorous feature.
* Bob's Art - Robert Sherman was a painter before he started writing and even in his advanced age, continues to do so.
* Celebration - The Sherman Brothers are underrated and should be celebrated. Hollywood insiders tell us why.
* Sherman Brothers' Jukebox - A selection of songs from the Sherman Brothers repertoire can be explored in further detail with even more bonus material.
* Bonus Collectible - Included along with the DVD is a original song reproduction of "Feed the Birds," one of Walt Disney's favorite songs. In the early '60s, it was known as "Tuppence a Bag".
The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story really is required viewing for fans of music, fans of film, and of course, fans of Disney. With a nice selection of bonus features, you might just want to own this one too.
The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story
- 102 minutes
- Rated PG
- Walt Disney Pictures