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Toon Talk: Parent Trap Vault Disney 2-Disc DVD
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Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt
Vault Disney Collection
The Parent Trap
Deluxe 2-Disc DVD Set
Lets Get Together
"To set the bait,
Recreate the date,
The first time Cupid shot em.
Put em under the moon,
Play their favorite tune
You got em!"
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I was a child the first time The Parent Trap got me, on The Wonderful World of Disney. I vividly remember watching it, as it was longer then most episodes of the series and my parents let me stay up late to watch the end. It was probably the first Disney live action movie that I saw, outside of the nature films, and I recall being enthralled by the precocious antics of Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills as Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick. Here was a child, just a few years older then me at the time, running the show, and I loved it.
Such iconic images from the film as the site of the back of Susans dress cut out; the moment when the reluctant tent-mates realize that they are, indeed, sisters; the groovy twosome serenading their folks with Lets Get to Together; the lizard on the canteen scaring ice queen Vicky (the oft-overlooked Disney villainess, played to perfection by Joanna Barnes); and the final kitchen scene where mom Maggie (the luminous Maureen OHara) and dad Mitch (the lovable Brian Keith) finally realize what their daughters knew all along, that they belong together.
It did indeed all come together, for now, for always, to paraphrase two of the songs from the film, as it holds up to this day (forty-one years after its initial release in 1961), as a charming and thoroughly entertaining family comedy, a Disney classic in every sense of the phrase.
I was especially pleased to see the inclusion of The Parent Trap in the first wave of Vault Disney titles. As this four-part series on these new titles comes to a close with this installment, one can only hope for the fast release of phase two.
Disc 1 Bonus Features
Dig the groovy, retro-styled paper doll cutouts in the animated menus.
Animated Short: Mirroring the doppelganger theme of the main feature, Donald Duck stars with himself in Donalds Double Trouble (1946). After yet another argument with Daisy, Donald hires a suave look-alike lothario to help him win her back.
Audio Commentary: As on the Pollyanna disc, director/screenwriter David Swift and star Hayley Mills provide the commentary. But unlike Pollyannas, the Parent Trap discussion is not quite as informative or engaging, leaving most of the juicier bits about the filming to be found on the second discs supplements.
The Top Ten Things We Learn From This Commentary:
- On Location, Part 1: Camp Inch was filmed at Lake Arrowhead, just outside of Los Angeles.
- Ruth McDevitt (Miss Inch) played Mr. Peepers mother on Swifts TV show.
- Frank DeVol (Scoutmaster Eaglewood) was a composer who scored several of Swifts later films, and also wrote the classic theme to Brian Keiths television series, Family Affair.
- Hayley was deeply embarrassed when she had to have the back of her dress cut out. She wore ten pairs of underpants during that scene.
- Swift wanted to cut the bit where Miss Inch gets the cake in her face, but Walt insisted on leaving it in, correctly predicting that it would get the biggest laugh in the picture.
- The Parent Trap Legacy: Swift comments that in later years, every female studio executive that he talked to was a big Parent Trap fan.
- Not On Location: Swift now regrets using blue screens in the Susan and Maggie in the Park and Sharon and Mitch in the Car scenes.
- On Location, Part 2: The exteriors of Mitchs house were filmed on the Golden Oak Ranch, with the interiors shot on the Disney lot.
- Adult Situations?: The Parent Trap was the first time a brassiere was seen in a Disney film. Swift feared that Walt would cut that bit out, but it survived.
- What a Pro: When Brian Keiths Mitch tumbled over the chair upon first seeing Maggie, he broke two ribs. But he didnt tell anyone until after filming was finished that day.