Do the names Robert and Richard Sherman sound familiar? Well, how about the songs Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, The Bare Necessities, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or the theme park song It's a Small World? These are just a few of the many, many classic songs written by the songwriting team the Sherman Brothers. Known for their catchy, happy, optimistic, upbeat tunes, many will be surprised to learn that these two brothers were anything but happy and upbeat towards one another.
The new documentary, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story, out now in theaters for a very limited release, tells the story of their professional success making harmonious music despite their discordant relationship.
During the Sherman Brothers long successful careers working together as partners, the two rarely spoke to each other and didn't allow their families to intermingle. Jeff and Gregory Sherman, the sons of Robert and Richard, decided to make the film about their dads after running into each other at an event honoring their fathers.
Despite growing up just a few blocks from each other in Beverly Hills, the two cousins did not get to know each other until their 40s. After exchanging stories, Jeff and Gregory realized what each of their dads had told them about the family was very different.
In the film, Jeff and Gregory interview their dads and get each of them to tell their side of the story. Mixed in are also interviews with Disney legends such as Roy E. Disney, Dick Van Dyke, and Julie Andrews, film historians Robert Osborne and Leonard Maltin, and many other famous individuals who were close to "The Boys."
The documentary is a wonderful film about two amazingly creative men. However, unlike many of the Disney films that Sherman Brothers have written songs for, this film doesn't have a happy Disney ending.
I saw the film at the beautiful El Capitan Theater in Hollywood which is one of the few theaters showing The Boys. Currently, the film is only playing in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. If you live in one of those cities check your local listings for showtimes and then go see this film right away! It probably won't be playing for long.
If you are able to see the documentary at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood you get the added bonus of seeing organist Rob Richards playing the Wurlitzer organ before the show. This is certainly something to be heard if you haven't. Typically, Richards plays tunes that relate to the evenings program, in this case he played several songs by the Sherman Brothers.
After the screening my fiance noticed that Jeff and Gregory Sherman were sitting behind us with their families. I had a moment to thank each of them for making such a fascinating documentary about their dads - something I was hoping would be made by someone. Above is a photo of myself with Jeff, who was kind enough to chat with my fiance and I afterwards.
Again, stop what you are doing and go see if this film is playing near you!
Here's the trailer: