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4 out of 5
At first glance, a low budget movie based on the early life of Walt Disney may not appeal to many… but this film sounded perfect for me. Upon turning the DVD case over and observing the pictures on the back… I could not wait to watch the movie. Because after viewing the pictures I immediately noticed that each of them were modeled after actual pictures featuring the man himself… Walt Disney.
The first fifteen to twenty minutes were a little rough. The number one thing I feared was coming true – that the acting from these unknown (unknown to me at least) actors would critically wound a promising movie. I’m not saying that they were unwatchable, but it is tough to find children actors that can hold a film. Luckily this did not last long. Once Olan Rogers appeared on the screen it immediately perked my attention and attitude towards this movie. His charismatic performance as Walt Disney saved the film. Is it weird that I preferred Olan’s portrayal as Walt over Tom Hanks’ from Saving Mr. Banks? Playing along side of Olan is William Haynes – (portraying Ub Iwerks)… and although it may be slightly overacted – I found it somewhat enjoyable. They needed some comedic relief, and William gives us that as an over the top Ub. Sure, I would have preferred a more serious take, but he did make me laugh a few times. Country legend Travis Tritt contributes his vocals as the narrator of the film. Travis Tritt’s twang added a special down to earth … family-friendly feature to the film.
I know a lot about Walt’s past and the story here really stays true to what was known about his past. Sure – there are a few things that are exaggerated to add a little bit of a dramatic element, but nothing crazy or appalling. The film shows us what it was like in the beginning stages of Walt’s pursuit at becoming the lead animator in the world. It shows us the struggles he faced when it came to starting his own business – the struggles and the failures that made him what he was. One of Walt’s best features was his willingness to hit the bottom and his capability to continually pursue his dreams no matter how crazy they were. As Dreamers Do is a great tribute to Walt. Thumbs up.