Lost in the Movies: The Connection

The Connection

So, this is the connection. Left to right, top then bottom, we have: Eddie Bracken, Roddy McDowell, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Jose Ferrer. Still confused? Let me backtrack. Last week, while watching Miracle on Morgan's Creek, I was delighted to realize that the cowardly teenager hooking up with a pregnant WWII-era bobbysoxer was the voice behind Moley in an 80s animated version of one of my all-time favorite books, The Wind in the Willows. So even as I watched him traverse the world of wartime 40s America, filling the recognizable role of small-town boy suffering from comic unrequited love, I kept connecting the sound of his voice with mystical visions of Pan in the woodland (hence the last video in my You Tube quiz), automobile escapades on dusty Edwardian highways, and rowboats lazily floating down a bubbling country brook in the springtime.

This phenomenon fascinated me: the different paths a career takes, the way a connection from our childhood can overpower anything else, the varied worlds an actor inhabits, often casually, without realizing the impact or impression they will create on people (think of the cast of The Wizard of Oz, engaged in just another project for MGM, unaware of how this run-of-the-mill kiddie musical would define their legacies for posterity). I found some peculiar clips of the other actors who participated - McDowell as Ratty, Reilly as Toad, and Ferrer as Badger - in various TV escapades, hardly their most shining moments, which adds another wrinkle to the the idea here. And - presto! - the quiz which no one seemed able to get (not a single e-mail!). Sorry for the obscurity, but I hope you were entertained. Now that I'm on this track, I may write up the cartoon which spurred this whole thought-process in the first place. (That will be forthcoming.)


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was gonna say that but I thought it was kind of obvious..

Joel Bocko said...

Then you, manwithoutastar, are the de facto winner (sarcasm aside). I wonder if anyone else has even seen this cartoon? It was an ABC Saturday morning movie back in '87, we taped on VHS and watched it for years afterward. I still have the tape, claymation commercials and all.

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