For 1982, Disney hit it out of the park with this 3D film, using state-of-the-art technology to develop a film with children's' dreams into a magical viewing experience. As a child, I loved the movie. Now, when Captain EO came out in the late 80s, the movie quickly put Magic Journeys into pixie dust and disappear. That's not surprising--EO was a brilliantly entertaining film which was produced by and staring household name talent (hard to make a bad film when you have one of the world's greatest performers, greatest directors, and a budge which was sky high)...but I digress.
What was most inspiring about Magic Journeys, particularly as a child, was the music. Years after I had last seen the movie at the Magic Kingdom, I could visualize the four kids running through the sunflower field as the eponymous theme song was playing. I still consider the theme song possibly the greatest Sherman Brothers song ever composed. The song is harmonically complex but incredibly listenable. The score of the movie is also underrated-- the alternate versions of the theme sometimes sound almost sad, like an adult wistful of being a child again, but it is a beautiful piece. So much of the Shermans' success focuses on their 60s fame, but they also developed great theme park music in the 80s. This is one of their best.
Like a lot of people, I would love to see the film on DVD, but Disney doesn't seem to recognize the market for selling Disneyana themselves. It's too bad--Magic Journeys will mostly be relegated to people's memories. What a shame.
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