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Previous instances of Walt being portrayed by actors (or...Sweeney Todd as Walt!?)

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  • [Chat] Previous instances of Walt being portrayed by actors (or...Sweeney Todd as Walt!?)

    All the talk about “Saving Mr. Banks” got me thinking – what other movies have I seen in which Walt was portrayed by an actor? And the only one I could think of was the 1995 TV movie “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story”. But I couldn't remember who the actor was. Turns out it was Len Cariou, who originated the role of Sweeney Todd on Broadway! Yes – Sweeney Todd as Walt Disney! My mind is totally blown. (Disney and Sondheim musicals are two of my biggest obsessions). Cariou's co-star in that production was Angela Lansbury, who (of course) had starred in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and would later play the voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. Furthermore, Cariou had previously starred in Sondheim's “A Little Night Music” opposite Glynis Johns, who played Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins.

    Anyhow, Cariou's portrayal seems more like my idea of Walt's voice and demeanor than Tom Hanks does in the trailer of “Saving Mr. Banks”, but I'll reserve final judgment until I actually see the movie later this year.

    Cariou is not to be confused with George Hearn, who played Sweeney Todd in the 1982 video production, also opposite Lansbury (both are great though). Here are a couple clips of Cariou as Sweeney:

    Sweeney Todd Original 1979 Broadway Musical Commercial - YouTube

    3 Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street A Musical Thriller Act One clip0 clip0 1 clip0 - YouTube
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel:

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:

    Visit my site:

    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

  • #2
    Re: Previous instances of Walt being portrayed by actors (or...Sweeney Todd as Walt!?

    I remember watching this a long time ago, and when I saw this guy with a moustache and all, in my young mind was thinking, 'who is this guy?'

    Though with the talk of SMB coming up these days, my mind did switch back to this special, though it did sound at times in the SMB trailer, that Hanks did try to get down some of Walt's little asides in the speech department.
    The list of Disney people I've encountered in my life: John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Lee Unkrich, Darla K Anderson, Eric Goldberg, Don Hahn, Peter Schneider, Burney Mattinson, John Musker, Ron Clements, Nik Ranieri, John Kahrs, Jeff Turley, Patrick Osbourne, Dave Bossert, Roy P Disney.

    People I would love to meet in person: Glen Keane, Andreas Deja.


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