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In a vacant corner lot off Broadway (by about a yard) is a place called the Lowlands by the tiny community that lives there. Bugs and insects are neighbors and hang out at the Honey Shop of old Mr. Bumble the bee and his daughter Honey. Hoppity the grasshopper arrives to be with Honey, his sweetie. This bugs the crooked C. Bagley Beetle, so do his bunglers Smack the Mosquito and Swat the Fly. The Beetle wants Honey and the Lowlands for himself. But the Human Ones, with their littering and carelessness, pose a threat of destruction to every Lowland home of bug and beetle alike. Despite the doomsaying of Mr. Creeper, the snail, Hoppity finds hope of a new home behind the house of two Human Ones: Mary, who cares for a beautiful garden; and Dick, a struggling songwriter who puts his own hope on a Broadway hit to save his home. Written by
"Hoppity Goes to Town" was the second and last full length animated feature made by Max and Dave Fleischer, who created a parallel universe to Disney. While Disney's films are well remembered today, both of the Fleischer films "Gulliver's Travels" and this one are forgotten.
"Hoppity" is a spellbinding original, not an adaptation like the first picture. That is a major plus, one would think. No, the critics, rarely on the Fleischers' sides to begin with, tore into them for this. Yes, the story is not as tight as "Gulliver", but how can you hate a film that flaunts itself so joyfully?
It is filled with great musical numbers and a very involving story, which would be a crime to reveal. The characters are lovable and charming and there is heart in this film.
The Fleischers' really outdid themselves here and never quite did so again. Most of their time would be devoted to one-reelers after this tanked at the box office. It's a shame they didn't continue making features. Who knows? Their next attempt may have become the masterpiece they were aiming for.
**** out of 4 stars
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