Walt Before Mickey Reviews

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Terence Gavish


  • Paul Allaer 2 years ago
    19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    A Disney-vetted and approved look at the early life of Walt Disney, October 19, 2015
    Paul Allaer (Cincinnati) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Walt Before Mickey (DVD)
    “Walt Before Mickey” (2015 release; 110 min.) is a look at Walt Disney’s early years, in particular the decade between 1919 and 1929. As the movie opens, we see a 7 yr. old Walt in rural Missouri, with a stern father. As a 13 yr. old, Walt officially becomes interested in animation, and we swiftly move on to 1919, when Walt moves to Kansas City and starts his first company “Laugh-O-Gram”. At this point we are 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you’ll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

    Couple of comments: first, this is the movie adaptation of the book of the same name by Timothy Susanin (and with a foreword by Diane Disney Miller, Walt’s biological daughter). I have not read the book and so cannot comment how closely the movie sticks to the book (I’m guessing, very closely). I don’t want to overstate this, but at the same time don’t want to gloss over it, namely that this movie comes with the official Disney stamp of approval. That could be a good thing, although the downside of this is that there isn’t the slightest critical look or negative thing about Walt Disney in this movie, NONE. I mean, to accept this movie as 100% true, Walt Disney had to have been a living saint. It even goes so far that at the end of the movie, when we are informed what would become of many of the characters featured in this, the makers of this movie somehow feel obligated to point out that “Walt never held a grudge against Charles Mintz”. (You need to see the movie to fully understand how badly Mintz treated Disney…) As to the acting performances, I felt many of them were quite ‘wooden’, you can tell they are literally ‘acting’. Thomas Ian Nicholas (best known from the American Pie franchise) as the young Disney tries to make the most of it, but even he cannot save the movie. Bottom line, I was disappointed with the second rate quality and overall feel of the movie, like this was a TV Movie of the Week, directed by a first time feature-length director (in this case: Khoa Le). Is there a great story to be told? Absolutely! But it won’t be found in this movie, unfortunately.

    The movie opened in theaters in early September and the matinée screening where I saw this at (in Naples, FL) was attended very nicely, somewhat to my surprise, since this movie has not gotten much of an advertising push or anything. Seems that people really do want to find out more about the early life of the American icon that is Walt Disney. Surely Walt deserved a better movie than this. “Walt Before Mickey” is strictly for Disney fans, and even then, viewer beware!

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  • gll2000 2 years ago
    18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    … Disney fan and have read a couple of the better biographies. That being said, December 20, 2015

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Walt Before Mickey (Amazon Video)
    I’m a Disney fan and have read a couple of the better biographies. That being said, this movie was just sub standard. It felt like one of those old low budget public TV things they used to make 25 years ago. Since it was something you had to pay and had 5 stars displayed, I assume it would be better. The script was weak and the acting was uninspired. Might be ok if it was free, but don’t bother paying for it.
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