Frank And Ollie

-

Frank And Ollie

Looking for proof that Disney will try to sell anything—as long as its not the long-suppressed Song Of The South—if it can market it in one of those puffy video boxes? Here's Frank And Ollie, a mind-numbingly padded, if sweet-spirited, 1995 documentary about Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, the now-elderly animators responsible for many classic moments in Disney animation. At its best, Theodore Thomas' narration-free film delivers moments of honest-to-goodness Disney-sanctioned magic, with sketches becoming scenes and drawings becoming characters, complete with pathos and a stunning range of expression. At its worst, it's duller than unsweetened oatmeal, with scene after scene of Johnston riding his model train, Thomas playing the piano, and one or the other filing, gardening, typing, playing with dogs, and so on. The two men are lifelong inseparable best friends who live next door to each other, and while it all feeds into Frank And Ollie's relentlessly pleasant tone, it's not hugely interesting to hear these pleasant old men, their pleasant wives, and some pleasant current Disney animators talk about how pleasant everyone is. It's nice to see these two relentlessly amiable, charming men pick up some due credit, but at 90 minutes, Frank And Ollie is twice as long as it probably should have been.