1 The Mickey Mindset: As Dreamers Do Film Review

Monday, May 26, 2014

As Dreamers Do Film Review

Jason Schlierman- Before he was a corporate icon, a Hollywood studio head, an American celebrity, Walt Disney was a simple man. The independent film As Dreamers Do focuses squarely on the early years of Walt Disney’s life, and chronicles his days growing up on a farm in Marceline, MO all the way to his days as an unsuccessful animator/business man at Laugh-O-Gram Studios. Despite being handicap at using images (like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit or Mickey Mouse) that the Walt Disney Company holds trademarks or copyrights on, the film is able to throw in a few subtle bits of classic Disney sights and sounds that should make any hard core Disney fan happy. Writer Wendy Ott clearly does her homework here to get as many of the facts depicted in the film right, a feat that is mostly accomplished.

While a lot of the acting and sound editing are a mixed bag throughout the film, lead actor Olan Rogers is spot on as a young Walt and does a fine job of carrying the film on his talent and charm. Also in fine form is narration by country music legend, Travis Tritt. However, Mr. Tritt’s inclusion as narrator often times may confuse the audience as to what kind of film they are watching: biopic or documentary? Despite that issue, Mr. Tritt does a great job of moving the story along. Families will be happy to note that the film is very family friendly as the film makers tried very hard to follow the classic Walt Disney form of storytelling. The film also is very clear in not skipping over issues that some today may or may not find controversial about Walt Disney’s early life.  Issues like Walt’s raising in a very Conservative Christian environment (to the point some may see the film as a sort of Christian film) and Walt’s discovery and application of smoking in his life. For the latter, the film is honest (unlike the Disney made ‘Mr. Banks’) is its depiction of Walt’s nasty habit; a habit that ultimately lead to his death in 1966. It almost makes one wonder why the Disney Studios doesn’t run with this reality more of what killed their founder?  It could be used in an appropriate way to show the dangers of smoking, and that no one, not even Walt Disney, can escape the nasty consequences.

Ultimately, the film is a sort of tribute and valentine to the man millions of children in the 1950’s and 60’s knew as “Uncle Walt,” and leaves the audience with a very optimistic message that hard work and determination pays off in the end. A creed that Walt himself lived by. The film also shows that it’s ok to fail. It is what you do afterwards that defines who you are. As Walt Disney himself once said, “All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Wise words we can all learn from still. 

Final Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 Stars 

Pick up the film on DVD or Blu-ray from the official As Dreamers Do website today!

No comments:

Post a Comment