Disney’s British Live-Action Films | Dyer’s Daily

The new episode of Dyer’s Daily is now available to stream and download on most podcast directories.

In this episode of Dyer’s Daily, Jamie Dyer discusses live-action Disney films that were made by Walt Disney in Britain in the early 1950s.

This episode forms part of the Dyer’s Daily Disney100 series, celebrating 100 years of The Walt Disney Company. In each three minute slot, Jamie speaks off the cuff about a subject related to Disney that interests him.

Stream this episode below:


When discussing Disney‘s foray into live action, it can be very easy just to talk about the big hitters. Things like Mary Poppins (1964) and stop there. What people may not be aware though, is that there probably wouldn’t be live action quite as we knew it without those films that he made in the early fifties.

Sure, Walt Disney had made hybrid films. In, um, the 40s, including Song of the South (1946) and So Dear to My Heart (1948) with some, uh, some sequences in Melody Time (1948). But to have a pure live-action film was not something he’d really done at that point. So, in 1950, he released Treasure Island, which was filmed in the UK.

And it was part of this deal where, back then, if you sold tickets in the UK and you made money from it, the money had to stay in the UK. So that was one side of it, and what Walt decided to do was use that money to make live-action films. Because there was no point shipping off animators to the UK to do that.

Might as well film something and sell it all over the world. He paired up with RKO Pictures at that time because he wasn’t the massive conglomerate that Disney is today. And made Treasure Island. Followed that up with an adaptation of the Robin Hood stories called The Story of Robin Hood (1952). It’s very good. I really like it. Some of these British productions are what you might call guilty pleasures. I think they are amazing. If you want to see James Robertson Justice as Little John, that’s the one. Plus The Sword and the Rose (1953) they also made. Rob Roy, The Highland Rogue (1953. Um, was the last one that they made there.

It’s quite sad, really, that this end of Disney‘s history kind of gets forgotten, but it managed to start off this whole live-action revolution and without them, you probably wouldn’t have things like Mary Poppins and the later movies that are now held with such high regard. And it’s all because our government decided to keep the money for themselves.

Well, there we are. What’s your favourite early Disney live-action movie? Like I said, I love the Robin Hood adaptation. It’s available to stream on Disney It’s much underrated. And according to them, it wasn’t made in Britain. Um, yeah. It definitely was. And it’s great.

ABOUT THE PODCAST: Jamie Dyer presents Dyer’s Daily, an off-the-cuff daily talk show podcast that discusses a number of media-related topics including television, film and music. Occasionally, Jamie gives his thoughts on topical events.

ABOUT THE HOST: Jamie Dyer started presenting on Radio in 2008, via Boston’s Stump Radio (Now Endeavour FM). His Radio credits include Teen FM, Spitfire Radio, Totally 80s FM, Angel Radio, 1Radio, One Radio, SouthWaves Radio and 1Focus Radio. He has also hosted syndicated shows including The Millennium Years, The Pop Show and The Jamie Dyer Show.

Jamie’s podcasts have included Nineties ‘n’ Noughties UK, Watching the Wireless, The Quo-Cast, The Week Before, SouthWaves Theatre and The Jamie Dyer Show.

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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