Popular songwriters weren't close brothers

April 27, 2009 1:41:46 PM PDT
The Sherman brothers have written some of the most familiar music in our pop culture and yet they never really go along. They are the subject of a new documentary called "The Boys" at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

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The brothers wrote "It's A Small World" for a Disney ride and it was the most translated song in history.

"Oh they want to kill us or kiss us for that one," said Richard Sherman.

Richard, along with his brother Robert, have defined family music for 60-years in Walt Disney films.

"He liked out story ideas. I think a great deal of it was Bob and I were story thinkers. We'd always think in terms of story and character," said Richard. "It means a happy attitude, the right kind of attitude, makes a tough job easy."

"A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down," might also be familiar words sung by the famous character Mary Poppins.

Yet writing happy songs, Richard and Robert never had a personal relationship.

"We walked our separate paths in life, but we did get together on our songs. We did have respect and love for each other," said Richard.

It was what inspired their sons to make this film. They had grownup not knowing each other.

"We thought it was odd intellectually, but not emotionally. But we knew no other way," said Gregory Sherman, a producer-director.

"I've spent time around Richard, but really not the family. It was always professional not personal," said Jeffrey Sherman, a producer-director.

Making the documentary they filled in missing pieces. They had known only half the story. Now their lives have been "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

How did he ever make up that word?

"Slowly and carefully," said Richard.

So this film has created a new direction in this family's life.

"It's a small world after all," sang Richard.

*Please note: ABC7's parent company is Walt Disney.

The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story

San Francisco International Film Festival information

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