The Return of Wilby Daniels

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December 19, 2014 by T. Gregory Argall

Decades in the making, it is time to complete one of the greatest film trilogies of all time.
Sure, most people don’t think of it as a trilogy, yet, because there have only been two films so far (not counting the horrible remakes), but trust me, it is destined to be a trilogy. We just have to want it badly enough.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. A bit of history first…

Once upon a time (1959) Tommy Kirk played the role of Wilby Daniels in a Disney film. Young Wilby was an average, wholesome teenager with average, wholesome teenage things on his mind. He had a little brother named Moochie, his dad was Fred MacMurray, and he really wanted to get with his neighbour, Annette Funicello. (Annette Funicello was the Megan Fox of her time.)
Life was good for Wilby Daniels.


But then, through a series of highly unlikely but not-contrived-at-all events, Wilby came into possession of a cursed ring and the curse was passed on to him. Due to the curse, Wilby found himself randomly transformed into a big, shaggy sheepdog, usually whenever it was most socially inconvenient and comedically rewarding.
With a simple flair for whimsy, the film was called “The Shaggy Dog.”

Years later (1976) Disney alumnus and Volkswagen enthusiast Dean Jones took on the roll of Wilby Daniels. Now a lawyer, Wilby ran for election as District Attorney when he suspected corruption in local law. Hanging out with various familiar 1970s faces such as Suzanne Pleshette, Jo Anne Worley, Tim Conway, Dick Van Patten, Keenan Wynn, and Vic Tayback added to the inevitable hilarity and confusion when the cursed ring became active again, turning Wilby into a sheepdog. Again.
The whimsically simplistic flair continued with the titling of this film, “The Shaggy D.A.”
Fun for the whole damn family. Dean Jones And so the tail, uh, sorry, I mean tale of Wilby Daniels seemed to end there, but now, at last, finally, and it’s about time, too, the final film in the trilogy can finally be made. The world is ready.
Please, Disney, make it happen.

Picture this… Wilby Daniels, played by Bill Murray, is now retired and a grandfather to an indeterminate number of grandchildren. He moves into a seniors residence and quickly manages to fit in with an amusingly mischievous but generally harmless group of old codgers. However, it soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems, when Wilby and pals discover a plot to sell the care home to a group of real estate developers with ties to the mob.

Bill Murray

As Wilby and his aged gang (Harrison Ford, Danny Aiello, James Earl Jones, and Geoffrey Lewis) plan to save their home and thwart the bad guys, they accidentally reactivate the ring’s curse, this time turning all them into sheepdogs. More hilarity and high jinks ensue.
The whimsy and flair and simplicity are back as we title this one “The Shaggy Old Dog.”

This movie just can’t miss. It’s got comedy blockbuster written all over it. Disney, we beg you, complete the trilogy, let the story be told.

And, as always, try to be nice to each other.



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