Saturday, July 2, 2016
Tremain by Ryman
As mentioned in this post, Johnny Tremain was featured in Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club Magazine. The Fall 1956 issue include a brief adaptation of certain events in the original book by Esther Forbes. What is perhaps of greatest interest to Disney fans are the illustrations, drawn by the legendary Herb Ryman. Interestingly the introduction states that the Johnny Tremain book ("although first published in 1943, [it] has already achieved high acclaim as a junior classic") is currently being filmed for television, and that's true. The Disney version was still intended for the Disneyland TV show on October 19, 1956, the day that production ended, and it wasn't until October 24 that it was decided to release the Revolutionary War-set story to theaters. Since we can assume that this magazine story was prepared well in advance of the cover date of the magazine (it was probably published in summer), perhaps Herb's excellent art was drawn before filming began (on September 5, 1956) or even before casting was completed. (Disney purchased the screen rights to the book in March 1955.) It's one thing that Johnny and Cilia look so different than their screen counterparts, but it's another matter entirely that Mr. Johnathan Lyte looks completely different from the portly Sebastian Cabot, who portrayed him on screen. Johnny Tremain was released on July 10, 1957. Hope these classic illustrations by a classic Disney artist enhance your Independence Day celebration.