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Three orphaned siblings are forced upon confirmed bachelor Donovan (Bill Bixby) in a nineteenth century boom town of Quake City, California. After an earthquake shakes the area, the children find a large gold nugget worth tens of thousands of dollars. But their newfound wealth is causing more problems than it's solving, so they agree to "give" the gold to two bumbling outlaws (Tim Conway and Don Knott's). But they only way they can get the gold is to steal it from the bank vault where it's being held for safe keeping.Written by
As it goes with most 70's Disney fare, this is an acceptable family movie. Most of their live action flicks of this period are best described as "hit or miss". Where, say, that "Pete's Dragon" is a "MISS", "Apple Dumpling Gang", is a solid "HIT". One wonders where Disney's creative minds were in this period, as some of the films of this period are just a little "off". As in seeming "out of date", and "stale". I guess they were all working on getting Disney World, and EPCOT off the ground in Florida, and gearing up for the much anticipated animated movie "The Black Cauldron". I have a book about Disney, that a relative got for me in 1975, that goes into a good amount of detail on that movie, even though it would be a decade(!) before it was released.
"TADG" has just the right amount of excitement, comedy, cute kids, and bumbling to be watchable by almost anyone. Bill Bixby does a good job as the lead, and Susan Clark is quite watchable. The kids are not as "whiney" as most live action Disney kids, and David Wayne and Harry Morgan are most welcome. And then there's Don Knotts and Tim Conway! I usually get tired of "the bumbling duo" act, but there is just the right amount of screen time for them, to not become annoying.
I'd suggest this to any parent who has to sit and watch along with the wee ones. I usually grab a magazine to read, but I found myself actually enjoying this warm hearted film.
Miss some of the stinkers like "Pete's Dragon"(I hate that kid!), and enjoy this kind hearted little movie from Disney.
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