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
Although never received well critically, this is a truly beautifully animated movie. This film, made at the outbreak of WW2 was one of the first 5 full length animated films ever made, and displays superb animation. Excellent too is the way human castoffs are used by the insects. Unfortunately the character of the principal villain is weak and two dimensional, and the story suffers as a result. The songs, however, are among the best I can recall in any animated film, and "Castle in the air" has to be one of my all time favorites. Unfortunately Max Fleisher was not as independent as Walt Disney, and as a result was never given an opportunity by Paramount to make another animated feature. However, the two that Fleisher was able to release will continue entertaining us for generations to come.
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