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The Restless Sea (1964)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary | Family  -  24 January 1964 (USA)
8.8
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Part of the Bell system Science Series programs.

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Title: The Restless Sea (TV Movie 1964)

The Restless Sea (TV Movie 1964) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Mr. H2O (voice)
Lawrence Dobkin ...
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Part of the Bell system Science Series programs.

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24 January 1964 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Sterling Holloway is just a drop in the ocean.
10 September 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

The Walt Disney studio have made some wonderful films, but nature documentaries are not their strong suit. The Disney folk are notorious for inserting fakery into their live-action films in order to amuse the schoolchildren who are forced to watch them. Thus, we get the notorious 'square dance' of the scorpions in 'The Living Desert'. The well-known 'fact' that lemmings periodically commit mass suicide is actually a complete fabrication that was invented for a Disney documentary, 'White Wilderness', featuring faked footage of lemmings being pushed off a cliff!

I saw 'The Restless Sea' in Australia, decades ago. I was visiting a school on assembly day; all the children were marched into the auditorium and forced to watch an 'educational' movie that was 'good' for them. The day I visited, this movie was the chosen fare. I found it dead boring, and I paid very little attention.

What is it with the Disney studio and Sterling Holloway? The film historian William K Everson once agreed with me that Sterling Holloway was one of the most annoying performers in the entire history of movies. For some reason, Holloway was steadily employed by the Disney studio for voice-work, even though he only ever had a single voice for all his different characters. Holloway provided the voice for Winnie the Pooh, and that was actually good casting. But he used the exact same voice for the Cheshire Cat in 'Alice in Wonderland', and that was bad casting. Then he used the exact same voice yet again to play Kaa the predatory python in 'The Jungle Book', and that was absolutely wretched casting. Here, Sterling Holloway uses the exact same Brillo-on-sandpaper voice that he used in all his other Disney movies, in order to depict a drop of sea water. An animated drop of water pops out of a live-action ocean, while Holloway's whinnying voice tells us 'Hi! I'm a drop of water from the Restless Sea.' You're all wet, Holloway.

The animation here is up to Disney's usual high standard from this period, but there isn't enough of it. In the first half of the film, there are a few nice bits of animation (to keep the kiddiewinks awake); in the film's second half, there are only a few seconds of animation. I did like, in the first half, a sprightly animated sequence in which the letters H and O turn into a bicycle, while voices on the soundtrack sing a bouncy jingle about "H-2-O, H-2-O. Two atoms of hydrogen, and one atom of oxygen spell H-2-O. What do you get? Terribly wet!' That's about as entertaining as this movie will ever be.

I normally take notes during my screenings. (Many of my IMDb reviews are for movies or TV programmes that I viewed thirty or even forty *years* ago; I took notes during those screenings, and I've saved those notes to the present day.) I fell asleep during 'The Restless Sea', and I'm positive I didn't miss anything. Nor do I want to see this movie again. If I never hear Sterling Holloway's whinnying voice one more time, I could die a happy man. Seriously, did Sterling Holloway have photos of Walt Disney wearing Minnie Mouse's dress? That's the only possible explanation for why the Disney studio kept hiring this annoying actor.


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