At 95 Years Old, Beloved Disney Legend Returns for Disney’s “Once Upon a Studio”

sherman brothers and walt disney
Credit: D23

A beloved Disney Legend, famous for his years as a composer and songwriter for many of Disney’s classic films, has returned to embrace that role yet again in a special presentation coming in October in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary.

Robert and Richard Sherman

Robert and Richard Sherman/Credit: D23

This week, Disney announced a brand-new short film called Once Upon a Studio, which is set to debut on ABC on October 15. The moving and whimsical animated- and live-action presentation celebrates 100 years of The Walt Disney Company and was written and directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy.

Disney released a trailer for the new short film earlier this week.

Though the Sherman Brothers wrote dozens of songs for Disney’s classic films, including The Jungle Book (1967), Aristocats (1970), and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), they are probably most famous for the songs they wrote and composed for Disney’s 1964 masterpiece, Mary Poppins.

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Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

For their work on the music in Disney’s Mary Poppins, the Sherman Brothers won two Oscars–one for Best Score and one for Best Song for the beloved song “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee.” In August 1965, another song from the film, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” became a pop music hit, making it onto the Billboard Hot 100 List. And “Feed the Birds,” a lullaby written by the Sherman Brothers for the film, became one of Walt Disney’s favorite songs of all time.

In an interview, Richard Sherman said of Walt’s love for the song, “The point of the song—that it doesn’t take much to give a little kindness—was what really registered with Walt.”

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Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Richard Sherman, now 95 years old, returned to Walt’s old office to work on a new rendition of Walt’s favorite song, “Feed the Birds,” which is included in the upcoming short film, Once Upon a Studio.

Yvette Merino, one of the producers of the new short film, said there were some emotional moments during the recording, especially while she was sitting in Walt’s old office with Richard Sherman.

“Yeah, there were moments [that made us emotional],” Merino said of the short’s creation. “I mean, throughout, it was really every once in a while we’d just look at each other in the room. I’m like, ‘We’re doing this.’ And really, I think being in Walt’s office and recording with Richard Sherman was probably, I don’t know, there’s a lot of favorite days, but that was a big one for me.”

Richard M. Sherman

Credit: Disney Archives

Richard Sherman’s face is also featured in a cameo during Once Upon a Studio, as he and his late brother, Robert, have long been icons in the history of The Walt Disney Company.

Fans can see the beautiful film tribute Once Upon a Studio on ABC during The Wonderful World of Disney: Disney’s 100th Anniversary Celebration! on October 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 p.m. Central.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!