Lately, I’ve been trying to watch more documentary films (it’s pretty much a late-in-life, misguided attempt to make myself feel smarter), and I’ve come to the realization that most documentaries are made with the sole intention of pissing people off. Really, they’re a call to action, but in a lazy person like myself, they mainly serve to make me feel angry and disgusted with humanity.
Not all documentaries are like that, of course. The other day I watched one whose result was to leave me singing. It’s called The Boys, and it’s streaming on Netflix right now (see the trailer here).
The Boys is actually kind of a sad story about Richard and Robert Sherman, two estranged brothers who wrote songs for Disney starting in the 60s. Name a song you love from a Disney movie, and these guys probably wrote it; they’re responsible for many of the songs in Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Parent Trap, The Aristocats, The Many Adventures of Winnie Pooh and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. They also wrote the theme songs for Disneyland attractions the Enchanted Tiki Room and It’s a Small World, and the music for non-Disney movies Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Charlotte’s Web.
The first time I’d heard of the Sherman Brothers was when they received a window on Main Street at Disneyland — a pretty high honor in the park, and one that is clearly much-deserved.
The Boys shows how prolific the collaboration is between these two brothers who otherwise don’t get along, and who choose not to spend time with each other to the point that their respective children haven’t seen each other in 40 years.
If you’re a fan of Disney musicals, you have to see The Boys. It made me want to go through my video library to re-watch the classic films again.