A long time ago in a forest far away, woodcutter Bernard Miles (as Jonathan) is granted three wishes by beautiful forest queen June Thorburn (as Queenie), for sparing a giant tree from his axe. Alas, Mr. Miles squanders his wishes by growing a giant symbolic sausage on his nose, but wife Jessie Matthews (as Anne) receives a consolation prize when tiny Russ Tamblyn (as Tom Thumb) arrives on his birthday, fully grown. The childless couple always wanted a son. After getting lost at the local fair with family friend Alan Young (as Woody), Mr. Tamblyn is rescued by villainous Terry-Thomas (as Ivan) and mugging sidekick Peter Sellers (as Antony). The black-dressed men use Tamblyn to steal some gold coins, which gets his parents arrested...
This marvelous adaptation of the "Brothers Grimm" story is, to coin a familiar phrase, "fun for children of all ages." The film won special effects wizard Tom Howard a second "Academy Award", making him two for two. Gymnastic dancer Tamblyn performs a perfect ten as the un-capitalized "tom thumb"; the versatile young actor had just been receiving "Oscar" consideration for his dramatic roles. Also superb is the dastardly pairing of Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers, who savor every second of their screen time. Taking the director's chair for his first feature, "Puppetoon" master George Pal reaches a career high. The soundtrack isn't riddled with hits, but it nonetheless captures the charm. A romantic subplot is the only thing not filled to the brim with magic.
******** tom thumb (11/27/58) George Pal ~ Russ Tamblyn, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Alan Young
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