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The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story

4.7 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews
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(Nov 30, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story is an intimate journey through the lives of Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, the astoundingly prolific, Academy Award®-winning songwriting team that defined family musical entertainment for five decades with unforgettable songs like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocous” from Mary Poppins, “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book and the most translated song ever written "It’s a Small World (After All)" from the Disneyland attraction.  The feature-length documentary, conceived, produced and directed by two of the songwriters’ sons, take audiences behind the scenes of the Hollywood magic factory and offers a rate glimpse of a unique creative process at work.  It also explores a deep and longstanding rift that has kept the brothers personally estranged throughout much of their unparalleled professional partnership

What songwriters' tunes have been covered by John Coltrane, Annette Funicello, Ringo Starr, Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Louis Prima, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, among others? Consider yourself an expert if your answer is Robert and Richard Sherman, whose long, fruitful, and often contentious partnership is chronicled in The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story. The fact that this documentary by directors Jeff and Gregory Sherman (sons of Robert and Richard, respectively) was released under the imprimatur of the Walt Disney Company, for whom "the Boys" did their most renowned work, is an indication that this isn't exactly a hard-hitting exposé; although the estrangement between Bob and Dick, as they were known, isn't ignored ("We perpetrated a façade for 50 years," says one), far more attention is given to the music. That's precisely as it should be. Talking heads like Van Dyke, Andrews, Randy Newman, Ben Stiller, and Hayley Mills help tell the tale of lyricist Bob and composer Dick, who were themselves the sons of a successful songwriter, Al Sherman. They began writing together in the early '50s, scored a hit with Funicello's "Tall Paul" late in that decade (Annette is also seen here singing "Monkey's Uncle," backed by none other than the Beach Boys), and soon became staff writers for Walt Disney. Major successes followed, including an Oscar-winning score for Mary Poppins and songs for The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and others; they also wrote pop hits like "You're Sixteen" (a hit for Ringo in the '70s), and can take credit (or blame, depending on one's point of view) for "It's a Small World," one of the planet's most ubiquitous songs. The documentary has its flaws--it's overlong at 102 minutes, and the brothers' eventual estrangement, which continues to this day, is attributed to their opposite personalities (Bob, who served in World War II, is quieter and more dour than his volatile younger brother) but not really explained. Still, the music, and there's lots of it, is very well handled, especially in a terrific bonus feature called "Sherman Brothers Jukebox," which details the creation of several Sherman classics. --Sam Graham

Special features

• Why They're "The Boys"
• Disney Studios in the '60s
• Casting Mary Poppins
• Theme Parks – A look at their theme park music songbook and how they went about composing a song for a ride
• Roy Williams - A Disney Animator and also famous for being on the original Mickey Mouse Club, we learn through his artwork some of the stories of what it was like to work in the Animation Building in the 1960’s
• Bob's Art:  A look at Bob Sherman’s other passion, his artwork
• Celebration:  Testimonials from celebrities and Hollywood legends
• Sherman Brother’s Jukebox:  A collection of Sherman Brothers songs and the stories behind them including: “Tall Paul”, “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, “Feed the Birds”, “There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, and more

Product details

  • Actors: Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman
  • Directors: Jeffrey C. Sherman, Gregory V. Sherman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B003TVTRY2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,271 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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126 customer reviews

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