I had a record player when I was a kid. It was blue. And it played real records, not the plastic things that the other “record player” we had played; that was really a music box that could play a number of different songs. To go with the record player, we had a small collection of kids records, usually abbreviated versions of Disney movies with a picture book. I suppose it was a kind of read-along experience, kind of like Caitlyn listening to a Skippyjon Jones disc while looking at the book. I think we had one for the Aristocats and Cinderella.
But my favorite was Robin Hood. I don’t remember why – was the record longer? More songs? I do remember that the record contained almost the entire movie soundtrack – songs and dialogue – so that when I finally saw the movie one Sunday night, I could almost recite it. (I still sometimes say “I’ma gittin, I’ma gittin!”, quoting Trigger, one of the prison-guarding vultures.) As we’ve started watch some of these older animated Disney movies with Caitlyn, I keep recognizing voices, all in context of the characters of Robin Hood. Thomas O’Malley from the Aristocats and Baloo from the Jungle Book were voiced by Phil Harris, the voice of Little John. The voice of the Sheriff is also the voice of the old dog in The Fox and the Hound.
This evening, we watched Robin Hood with Caitlyn. I still remember lots of the dialogue. Caitlyn, of course, announced that she “wanted to see it again, right away,” but she says that for all the movies she sees, even the ones she doesn’t seem to like much. I know she won’t have the same relationship with it that I do, seeing as I gave that blue record player to some neighbor kids when I was a teenager instead of keeping it in a box against the day I had my own kids (I wonder if I regret that?). But it’s fun to have seen it with her. And when I sang a little bit of The Phony King of England at bedtime, she said, “Sing it again.”
Too late to be known as John the first,
he’s sure to be known as John the worst –
A pox on that phony king of England!