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The Truth About Mother Goose (1957)

The true story behind various nursery rhymes is explored.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Page Cavanaugh Trio ...
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Storyline

We learn the true stories behind various nursery rhymes. Little Jack Horner: a servant to a city official was delivering a present to King Henry VIII, baked, as was the custom of the time, in a pie. The present was the deed to a valuable estate, which Horner stole. Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary: Mary Stuart brought "quite contrary" French style to the Scottish court. After a series of disastrous romances, she was jailed; the jailer's son, captivated by her, helped her escape. After a brief but disastrous attempted coup, she fled to England, where her sister, Queen Elizabeth, soon grew jealous and had her imprisoned. London Bridge: The bridge, finished in 1209, was soon lined by shops with luxury apartments upstairs, turning into a popular commercial and cultural zone. The Great Fire that broke out in 1666 spread to the bridge, but the houses were rebuilt. Over the ages, things decayed. In 1823, things finally got bad enough that the bridge was demolished and replaced. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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28 August 1957 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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References The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Old Dame Exposed!
5 September 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A Walt Disney Cartoon.

By learning the real stories behind some of her rhymes we are able to discover THE TRUTH ABOUT MOTHER GOOSE.

Andrew Lang once described nursery rhymes as 'smooth stones from the brook of time, worn round by constant friction of tongues long silent.' They can also, in some cases, be tiny intriguing glimpses into past history, as they often made satirical reference to real events. This excellent little film examines two Mother Goose rhymes, Little Jack Horner & Mary Mary Quite Contrary, and a favorite nursery song, London Bridge. This is a fine example of the medium of animation's ability to painlessly instruct.

Celebrated children's author Bill Peet was the writer on this project. John Dehner narrates and the Page Cavanaugh Trio add their talents to the proceedings.

Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a storm of naysayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.


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