On this day in 1964, Disney's live-action comedy The Misadventures of Merlin Jones was released in theaters. Originally shot as a 2-part episode for Disney's television series, Walt liked it so much that he decided to release it theatrically.
The film follows the mishaps of Merlin Jones (played by Tommy Kirk), a precocious but gifted college student/inventor and his girlfriend Jennifer (played by Annette Funicello). Merlin's experiments with hypnosis, a chimpanzee, and a complicated mind-reading gadget lands him in trouble with the law.
The film's opening title song "Merlin Jones" (written by the Sherman Brothers) was performed by Funicello. With vocal contribution from the Wellingtons (who sang the Gilligan's Island theme song), the song was released as a single.
Less than two months later Gold Key published a comic book based on the film.
The following year Disney released a sequel The Monkey's Uncle, also starring Kirk & Funicello.
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