Today’s episode of the new animated series It’s a Small World takes its young adventurers to Scotland. First, watch the video and then we’ll give you some cool behind-the-scenes info about the making of this particular episode. It might even reveal a side of songwriter Richard Sherman that you’ve never seen before:
Here’s a fun story the producer of the series sent us to share with you:
Scotland opens with Ling, our musician, playing the last few notes of “On Our Merry Way” on a flute. I knew from the book “Walt’s Time” that Richard Sherman was a flutist, and that he played it on screen by Fred MacMurray in “The Happiest Millionaire,” which was released back in 1967. One day while we were in production I was on the phone with Richard, and he planned to come up to our studio the next day to see how we were coming and consult on the music. I mentioned we needed a small amount of flute for the next episode, and asked if he’d like to play it for us. He laughed and said he’d be happy to take a crack at it if we had a flute for him to play. It was late in the day, and a mad dash started to track down a flute he could play the next day at lunch time. (We did find one, I ran out to get it and literally arrived back at the office 5 minutes after he arrived himself.)
It took Richard a while to get it, but he got it and played our piece perfectly. He was quite a perfectionist about it, and when finished, he said “It’s been a long time since I played, but it comes back to you.” I told him how I knew he could play because of Happiest Millionaire. “That’s it!” He exclaimed. “That’s the last time I played the flute!”
I’m amazed he got it, and amazed that our series 46 years later is the second time he performed the flute, period. Before that, he had only played as a kid.