The Shaggy Dog 1959

Walt Disney had started his ‘Live Action’ films in 1950 with ‘Treasure Island’ 1950 and the ‘The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men’ 1952 which were very successful – and made in England. Then to ‘The Sword and the Rose’ and ‘Rob Roy The Highland Rogue’ and these two were not anywhere near the previous two at the Box Office. So he then started production in Hollywood with ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ which did really well – However the decade finished with, up to that time, the most successful film he had had with ‘The Shaggy Dog’ – it was a surprise to all because it didn’t have a big budget and the expectations were, at best, normal run of the mill. What a surprise when this one struck gold with Cinema-goers just loving it.

I have read that Fred McMurray was Walt Disney’s favourite actor

In many ways, The Shaggy Dog launched a new style for Walt Disney’s live-action films.

 The Shaggy Dog was the most profitable film at the box office beating out the likes of Some Like It Hot, North by Northwest and even Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Only Ben-Hur ruled over The Shaggy Dog at the box office in 1959. The crazy plot element combinations kept young audience entertained.

What other film at the time could give you talks of the Cold War, plotting Russian spies, a rivalry over two different girls, and a horror fantasy about a teenage boy morphing into a dog from a magical ring

Only Walt Disney could pull this off and keep the insanity going with many more films that shared a similar theme of ” A story that treated the younger generation and it’s problems in a light-hearted manner,” as said by Walt Disney. 

The Shaggy Dog 1959

It may have been a surprise hit but it certainly made Walt Disney and his colleagues look anew at projects – they were always pretty adept at reading their fans and what those fans wanted – but this one took them aback

They were quick learners though.

Another really great Walt Disney film of 1959 was ‘Darby O Gill and The Little People’ but it did not do anywhere near as well – in my view it deserved to

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