Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Annette Funicello 1942-2013

I'm a couple days late in this post, but I honestly think I needed to collect my thoughts before getting a blog together. When I was a kid, my dad raised my sister and I on older movies and TV Shows. One of my favorite movies was Babes in Toyland, Starring Annette Funicello as Mary Quite Contrary and Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) as Mr. Barnaby, her antagonist. I loved the story, the music, the dancing. Everything. The following video is Mary (Funicello) and her fiance, Tom-Tom The Piper's Son (Tommy Sands). Wonderful.

More than anyone, she was Walt Disney's Sweetheart. He discovered her, cast her in his new children's show, and she would have done anything for him. She loved him like an Uncle (and he insisted the Mousketeers call him that), and even kept up her Disney reputation by being sweet and modest (where are THOSE Disney kids? Seriously?!).

One of my favorite Beach movies that she was also famous for was Beach Blanket Bingo. I hadn't seen it in a long time, but a few years back, my friend, Sam, and I decided to have a Gidget marathon, and we wanted more beach movies after we finished Gidget Goes Hawaiian, so I broke out the BBB laser disc. BBB is as trippy a movie as I've ever seen. It's just so random! Apparently, there are several different storylines because most people don't pay attention to the whole move at the Drive In (wink wink). I'm not a surfer, but these guys made it look like fun. It also co-starred Deborah Whalley, who also worked with Disney in Summer Magic. She tried to steal Frankie from Annette, to catch the eye of her boss. Or something to that effect.

This next song, from the same movie, is just catchy.

And here's a video from her wedding. She's interviewed around 2:00.

Truth be told, I was already bummed on Monday due to the death of Margaret Thatcher, but the passing of Annette makes Monday all the more sad. I loved her. She was America's Sweetheart.

As a final tribute, I challenge my readers to check out her Biopic, based on her Autobiography, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (1995). As my gift to you, I found part one on YouTube. I'm sure the rest is there, too. I adore this movie.

Frankly, aside from the Multiple Sclerosis thing, she had the life I wanted. Discovered by THE Walt Disney at 12, and became a worldwide sensation. I love Disney. Would've loved to have been a Mouseketeer.

Annette, for dreamers everywhere, I just wanted to say, Thank You.


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