Disney and Dali, 'GCB' explained

Sunday , May 13, 2012 - 7:51 AM

Rich Heldenfels

Q: A few years ago on a cruise, I saw a film short done maybe in the 1940s or early 1950s as a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. It was animated. The name of it is "Destino." At the time, information said it would soon be released for sale. I would love to have it but, so far, I know it has been delayed and I don't see it for sale anywhere. Do you know if and when it will be for sale? I would also like to know who sang the song that is this short film's soundtrack.

A: In the 1940s, the animation legend Disney and the artist Dali began collaborating on "Destino." The men enjoyed working together but, for reasons that are still not clear, the project was shelved before completion. Decades later, while working on "Fantasia 2000," Roy Disney -- Walt's nephew and a key Disney executive -- came across the materials for "Destino" and spearheaded an effort to complete the production; Disney artist John Hench, who had worked on "Destino" in the '40s, also provided insight and guidance. The result is an impressive bit of weirdness, and was nominated for the short-animated-film Oscar in 2003 -- although it did not win.

As for acquiring the film, which runs about six minutes, 2010 four-disc Blu-ray "special edition" of "Fantasia" and "Fantasia 2000" included both "Destino" and an 82-minute documentary about its making. About a year ago, Disney took that set -- along with editions of "Pinocchio" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" -- out of distribution, but some retailers still have copies available.

The singer, by the way, was Dora Luz, who was also featured in Disney's "Three Caballeros."

Q: On the show "GCB," what do the letters stand for?

A: Apparently whatever is least offensive to the audience. The series was originally announced as "Good Christian Bitches," the title of the book on which the show is based. Not surprisingly, some viewers took issue with that. There was a period when it appeared the show was going to be renamed "Good Christian Belles," which does not have the same, uh, resonance as the original title. It finally aired as "GCB," leaving the explanation in viewers' minds. This is just one of several cases of networks trying to be edgy in titles but not too edgy. Consider also, ABC's "Don't Trust the B-- In Apt. 23" and CBS' short-lived "$*! My Dad Says," for which CBS said the first set of characters was pronounced "bleep." Q: When will "Royal Pains" begin again?

A: New episodes begin airing on June 6,

Q: I saw the movie "Capturing Mary" with Maggie Smith was on HBO. I am always looking to see if it is shown at any cable channels with no luck. I bought the movie through Amazon but it is in the "British Format" and my DVD player cannot play it. Would you please tell me, if it is possible, when it is going to be shown again (it is a wonderful movie).

A: The production, written by the excellent Stephen Poliakoff, first aired on HBO in 2007. I did not find an upcoming showing or an HBO On Demand listing. It is listed on HBO Go, which makes programming available to HBO subscribers via computers, mobile devices and other gear. For more info, see www.hbogo.com.

Q: William Reynolds was on a favorite show of mine, "The F.B.I." He was the partner of Lewis Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.). Is he still living? I sure hope so. Although I don't have cable TV or a DVD player, I sure would like to see the show again.

A: From what I can find, as of April 30, Reynolds is still with us at the age of 90. Even though you do not have a DVD player, maybe a friend does -- and you can order the first two seasons from Warner Bros.' DVD-on-demand line at www.wbshop.com. When searching, make sure to type in FBI instead of F.B.I. And note that each season is split into two DVD boxes. Reynolds had guest roles in a couple of those early episodes, but did not begin playing Special Agent Tom Colby until the third season, succeeding Stephen Brooks' Special Agent Jim Rhodes.

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