Tommy Kirk Looks Back

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 394 - Tommy Kirk Looks Back

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Show run time 0:30:24

On today's show, Tommy Kirk talks with Steven about his career as a child star at the Walt Disney Studios.

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Feature: Tommy Kirk Looks Back

Tommy Kirk talks with Steven about his career as a child star at the Walt Disney Studios.

Tommy Kirk appeared in a dozen Disney movies plus TV shows, from The Hardy Boys serials on the Mickey Mouse Club to The Shaggy Dog to Babes in Toyland to Swiss Family Robinson to the Absent-Minded Professor and Merlin Jones movies. He fell into a dark spiral for a while, but pulled out of it and turned his life around. He's been through some tough times, but he's come out of it in good shape, and he offers a great look at some of those great old films.

Tommy talked to Steven about the the Hardy Boys serials on the original Mickey Mouse Club, then took a close look at Old Yeller, put it into context and talked a bit about how Robert Stevenson was able to get a great performance out of him. Tommy also talked about The Shaggy Dog, including what they did to film his transformation into the dog.

Tommy discussed what he did after he left Disney, from beach movies to experimental films and so forth. Steven asked Tommy about working for Disney while Walt was alive, and Tommy talked about the atmosphere at the studio and what it was like with Walt around.

Tommy got his start acting at the Pasadena Playhouse, like many other famous actors. From his first play at age 12, it was a sudden leap into getting an agent, a part on TV, then never stopped working. (The Pasadena Playhouse has run into some financial problems and has temporarily, at least, closed down.)

Tommy was very impressed with the D23 Expo, and hoped that they would do it every year. (Unfortunately, it seems that it may not be the case.)

What do you think? You can let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Twitter/Facebook poll questions

Here are the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook in the last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

If you were going to pick one Disney quote that was your favorite, which would it be and why?

via Facebook:

  • It's kind of fun to to the impossible.
  • John stole mine. Ive been trying to implement it as our team motto.
  • To all who come to this happy place; welcome. It make me feel like I'm a child every time I hear it.
  • Oh yeah, and enjoy your flight! - Soarin'
  • "Please stand clear of the doors; por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas."
  • We're going in.
  • "And seaweed...kelp...seaweed is a great source of energy..." although closely following is: "Can they imagine too?" Both quotes because I miss vintage EPCOT and the BEST rides.
  • To all who come to this happy place; welcome.
  • I don't make pictures just to make money. I make money to make more pictures
  • Favorite Walt quote: "We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things..." Favorite Disney film quote: "Just keep swimming."
  • Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse.
  • "I want more" -Ariel from The little Mermaid
  • "You're the man . . . well, sort of." - Mushu to Mulan
  • We've gathered here tonight, around the fire, as people of all lands have gathered for thousands and thousands of years before us; to share the light and to share a story. An amazing story, as old as time itself but still being written. And though each of us has our own individual stories to tell, a true adventure emerges when we bring them all together as one. We hope you enjoy our story tonight; Reflections of Earth.
  • Is this supposed to be a Favorite Walt Disney quote or a favorite Disney quote, movie, attrction ot something along those lines.. If its a non Wlt Disney quote mine would be either... "Remember how easy it was to learn your ABC's thank the phoenicans" or " por favor? manténgase alejado de las puertas
  • "Think of all the joy you'll find when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye" - You can fly! You can fly! You can fly! from Peter Pan
  • "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful." - Annette Funicello
  • "Hakuna Matata" what a wonderful phrase!
  • "The following Animators are Communists."- Walt Disney to HUAC. Joking joking.Mine is " por favor? manténgase alejado de las puertas"
  • "Welcome home."

via Twitter:

  • a favorite Disney quote: "Quasi, take it from an old spectator, life is not a spectator sport." -- Laverne the gargoyle.
  • Almost all of Walt Disney's quotes are amazing. Might get a tattoo of one of his on me.
  • Can't quote it exactly, but something like "Show me a man with a neat desk, and I'll show you a man that sits on his (bum) all day!"
  • "It's kinda fun to do the impossible." -Walt Disney cause it is. :D
  • "The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing" -Walt Disney 'Cause it is.
  • From a ride? Maybe "Will you stop this foolishness?" "What foolishness would you like to see?"
  • my fav quote by Walt Disney "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing"

via Email:

  • There are so many great Disney quotes that it's hard to choose an absolute favorite but, I did pick one I find myself using from time to time. It's a quote from the late great Walt himself, "if you can dream it you can do it." To me it means your ideas and goals can be accomplished if you have the determination to see things through. Never give in and never give up.
  • "A place where the whole family can have fun at once" - When I try to explain my love of Disney World- this is it in a nutshell- vacationing with children can be work to keep everyone amused and happy, but Disney makes it easy for everyone to kick back and enjoy the time, and so also enjoy each other.  Or as my Dad said "Disneyland made it easy to be a good Dad"

Mike gave lots of favorite quotes:

  1. Favorite The Lion King quote:
    • Zasu: One day, you two are going to get married.
    • Young Simba: Yuck!
    • Young Nala: Ew!
    • Young Simba: I can't marry her, she's my friend.
    • Young Nala: Yeah, it'd be so weird.
  2. Favorite Walt Disney quote: "To all who come to this happy place, welcome!"
  3. Favorite attraction quote
    • Sam Eagle: Stop this foolishness!
    • Gonzo: What kind of foolishness would you like to see?
  4. Favorite all-time Disney universe quote: Walt: It takes people to make the dream a reality.

Mark's favorite overall quote is Walt's "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" because he likes to make people rethink what they thought that they knew. He has many other famous quotes. His favorite park quote:

  • Sam Eagle: It's a glorious three-hour finale!
  • Kermit: You've got a minute and a half!
  • Sam Eagle: [gasp!]

The movie quotes that he keeps telling himself most often recently are "Just keep swimming" from Finding Nemo, and "Keep moving forward" from Meet the Robinsons because he seems to have too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Next week's question:

  • It appears that the D23 Expo will not be held again until 2011. What are your thoughts on how that affects the value of D23 membership?

What do you think?

March of Dimes

For the second year in a row, Mark has been named top walker for the March of Dimes in New York's Capital Region, and second overall in Northeastern New York (above the counties of Westchester and Rockland). MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners have helped Mark to raise over $15,000 for the worthy charity over the last four years. This year, his goal is to raise $5,000 again. But that's not all! This year, you can walk with Mark, either in person or virtually, by joining Team MousePlanet! Mike has already signed on to walk as well. You can go to Mark's fundraising page to sponsor him, Mike's fundraising page to sponsor him, or the Team MousePlanet page to join in and walk yourself! Help us to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely!

Wrapping up

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

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