In my mind, Julie Andrews can do no wrong. Absolutely none.
This year, I’ve had a blast digging into her earlier work — including Rodger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella — so when I came across a few YouTube clips during my Muppet research a few weeks ago, I knew I had to go back and check out her Disney-themed hour of television.
There’s actually a small Muppet connector in the story of how Julie came to have her own show in 1972. Lew Grade, who famously launched the Muppet Show & supported so much of Jim Henson’s work, was also behind Julie getting her own television hour. Two months into the show, The Julie Andrews Hour premiered an entire Disney hour on Thanksgiving Eve of that year.
The special features an enchanting Julie Andrews who tap dances, sings, and even embodies Pinocchio at one point as several different pieces from the Disney vault are spotlighted. Mickey and pals even join the fun, and so does a very very curious gossip columnist named Fanny Fantasia has the scoop on many of your favorite movie stars. (Played by the lovely Alice Ghostley, who starred alongside Julie in the original R&H Cinderella.) If you are a fan of Singin’ in the Rain, Donald O’Conner also guest stars during this episode as a very spirited Donald Duck at one point.Possibly my favorite moment in the show is when Andriana Caselotti joins Julie on stage to introduce her to her darling dwarf friends and to sing a tune or two. She is so incredibly sweet and enthusiastic, and their two voices together were so magnificent to hear.
With back up from the Young Americans choir, this special features many animated spots (some included Julie herself) and also a string of cleverly integrated fun facts about Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse, and how some of the classic we love came to be. I was so charmed by the whole episode, and constantly wishing we had something equivalent on television these days. How nice to kick back and just be entertained by some familar tunes.
Honestly? It should not be missed and it’s a total shame that it’s not available on streaming or DVD. Thanks to an angel on YouTube though you can click HERE for the entire episode! You won’t regret it, I promise.
Hope you enjoyed this trip down a musical memory lane!