Good morning! This day in Disney History, July 12th, 1961: "Nikki, Wild Dog of the North" directed by Jack Couffer and Don Haldane is released. A live-action adventure family film, based on the book "Nomads of the North" by James Oliver Curwood. It's about a half-dog, half-wolf, an orphaned bear cub and a French-Canadian hunter in the gold rush era in the Yukon. The film was a joint effort between Canada's Cangary productions and Disney. An all Canadian crew and cast were used and it was filmed near Banff, Alberta.
Nikki, Wild Dog of the North has absolutely breathtaking animal and nature photography and tons of actions scenes. Especially forward-thinking for its time, are its declaration that Indians don't deserve to be treated as slaves, but as equals in the quest to trap animals, and its assertion that dog fights are "cruel, savage, not human, and bloodthirsty."
Some may say that "Benji the Hunted" (1987) has a similar storyline, but in my honest opinion, "Nikki" is much better. I wasn't able to find any info about how this film did in the theaters, so I'm going to take a wild guess and say not very well? It did however win the 1962 Eddie from the American Cinema Editors for Best Edited Special (Documentary).
*Also on this day in 1972:"Now You See Him, Now You Don't" directed by Robert Butler is released.
A sequel to the 1969 film "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes". "Now You see Him, Now you Don't" is a live-action comedy starting a young Kurt Russell, Jim Backus, Ceasar Romero, and Joe Flynn. When Dexter Riley (Kurt Russel) accidentally creates a mysterious spray that makes objects disappear, he becomes the target for a gang of bad guys who want to use it to help in their criminal activities.
A follow-up third installment of the Dexters Riley comedies was also released in in 1975, "The Strongest Man in the World".
Now You See Him, Now You Don't was eventually released on DVD in May of 2004.
Along with its predecessor, Now You See Him, in my opinion, is one of Disney's finest supernatural comedies. It always makes me LOL! Unfortunately, I couldn't find any box office information for this film either. So maybe I'm the only one who actually liked it. HA!
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