Walt Disney Treasures / Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh : 3 of 5
I've finally finished watching all the DVD sets that I got for Christmas, and it's only June! This is the third set of the Walt Disney Treasures 2008 releases, and truthfully, I had never heard of this story before (even though apparently it was highly requested!). The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh was first presented as a three part series on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in 1964, and then later it was re-cut into a feature film, and this set includes both versions (which is kind of a bummer since it's the same thing twice). After watching it (along with Walt's introductions, which are always fun), I can easily see why this was a popular story, because it's exciting, mysterious and creepy all at once! Dr. Syn is the vicar of a small English town, who becomes a kind of Robin Hood smuggler at night, dressed in a mask and using a horrifying voice! He distributes his smuggling profits to the poor to help them pay their taxes to the king (just prior to the American Revolution), as well as rescuing prisoners and other daring acts! The character of Dr. Syn, played by Patrick McGoohan before he became famous as The Prisoner, is fascinating, since he is cool and calculating like Sherlock Holmes, but almost terrifying as the Scarecrow, riding on his horse with his wicked laugh. Of course, the show has a great theme song (in the same storytelling style of Davy Crockett), and all of the costumes and sets are top-notch (the show was actually filmed on-location in England in authentic churches and castles). There are a couple short but nice documentaries on the DVD, and it was really interesting to learn why Walt made so many live action films in England (after the war, profits made in England were frozen, so he had to spend the money within the country). Besides the fact that the second DVD is kind of a repeat of the first, this is a fantastic set, and I really enjoyed getting into an awesome Disney adventure that was completely new to me!