Moon Pilot (1962)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Satire, Space Adventure  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Moon Pilot is a Disney film that seems to have slipped through the cracks. Although hardly unknown, it doesn't have the recognition factor of The Absent-Minded Professor or several other of the studio's live action releases from the same general period. That's surprising, for while Pilot is not a great film, it's a surprisingly good little family comedy. It's also somewhat satirical, a rarity for a Disney film of the period, taking some nice little shots at the space race and the FBI, among other targets. Granted, it's a formulaic film, and at times the formula causes a certain degree of predictability. But there are also several imaginative moments, and an overall touch of whimsy that's quite attractive. Lead Tom Tryon is a bit "heavy" for the part, lacking the natural light touch that a Dean Jones would have brought to the part, but he's still effective. Dany Saval is delightful, and Brian Keith and Edmond O'Brien get to bluster way over the top to good effect. All in all, a very agreeable way to pass the time with some of the younger members of the family.