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A Chinese emperor prefers the tinkling of a bejeweled mechanical bird to the song of a real nightingale. When the Emperor is near death, a nightingale's song restores his health and teaches... See full summary »
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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
I have never read a review of this film that doesn't dump on it to some extent for not being Disney, or not being modern, or what have you. Like Rodney Dangerfield, this piece never did "get no respect." I understand that the date of its premiere was December 7, 1941! Needless to say, people in this country had other things on their minds. Having just found a used laserdisc of it, I viewed it for the first time since seeing it on television as a kid, and for anyone who fondly remembers seeing it like that, it's a powerful shot of nostalgia. While appropriately cartoonish, the drawing and animation is satisfyingly rooted in the real, physical world enough to make the figures and backgrounds come alive. So many of the "animation festival" pieces you see seem to be drawn by left handed gorillas, and the characters are rendered as formless blobs. But the glowing color palette, and the fine drawing and animation of "Hoppity" is a real treat to the eye. A very good-looking film. Moreover, it is just full of period charm (something which can be appreciated even by people like me, who were not around during that time). The characters, even the villains, are just so damn cute, and I should think anyone with an affinity for the earlier Disney animation (e.g. pre-World War II) would get a kick out of it. If you remember it fondly from years past, as I did, its a special treat. I just wanted to put in a few more nice words about this sweet, simple relic of the past.
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