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The Daydreamer (1966)

Unrated  |   |  Animation, Family, Fantasy  |  June 1966 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 204 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 4 critic

An anthology of fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen: "The Little Mermaid," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "Thumbelina" and "The Garden of Paradise."



(stories), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Sea Witch (voice)
Zenith (The Second Tailor) (voice)
Thumbelina (voice)
Papa Andersen
The Mole (voice)
Mrs. Klopplebobbler
Father Neptune (voice)
The Rat (voice)
Paul O'Keefe ...
Cyril Ritchard ...
The Sandman (voice)
Brig. Zachary Zilch (The First Tailor) (voice)
The Emperor (voice)
Robert Harter ...
Big Claus


A fictional account of a teen-aged Hans Christian Anderson. In this film, young Hans runs away from home and each time he falls asleep he experiences in his dreams the different characters he would later write about including The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina and The Ugly Duckling. Written by Brian Washington <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Before the Little Mermaid, there was...


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El soñador aventurero  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was filmed on location at the site of the New York's World Fair, with LaGuardia Airport being so close it caused trouble with the filming because of noise from the planes. See more »


As the live-action Chris floats downstream in his boat without rowing, the black flippers of a diver propelling the boat from underneath can be seen breaking the water. See more »


Who Can Tell
Music by Maury Laws
Lyrics by Jules Bass
Performed by Ray Bolger
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming, and here's why:
8 September 2000 | by (bordeaux, france) – See all my reviews

"The Daydreamer" is not really an "animated" kiddie film; it's a pretty clever blend of live action and stop-motion puppetry from the people who gave the world "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman." Inventive and ambitious, it makes use of dozens of sets and numerous characters, all of them created from scratch and painstakingly photographed one frame at a time-- something no one today (except Nick Park) would take the trouble to do.

To label this film as "embarrassingly dated" is arrogant and absurd, unless you're willing to pass the same judgment on "King Kong" or "Jason and the Argonauts." Most films are a product of their time. A few are ahead of their time, and those films set the pace for others to follow. But to condemn something from the '60s for not being "Toy Story" is unfair, just as it is unfair for an adult to condemn a movie intended for children.

Apparently an unfortunate result of computer animation is to render much of the history of filmmaking unwatchable because the special effects don't live up to today's standards. It's like kicking away the ladder that got you onto the roof. Today's effects-laden blockbusters would not have been possible--indeed, the film industry itself would not have survived the lean years when television was making inroads--had filmmakers not been willing to "go ahead and tell the story," plowing through budget and technical limitations, doing the best they could with whatever was at hand. To me, using plastic sheeting to achieve the water effects is ingenious. Obviously they couldn't use REAL water in stop-action animation. I challenge anyone to come up with a better solution using 1966 technology.

Of far more importance than technical effects, however, is the effect a film will have on its viewers. Here "The Daydreamer" succeeds brilliantly. Wholesome fare for the current generation of value-starved children, it is to be applauded for its strong ethical stance on the dangers of selfishness and the importance of obedience and loyalty. Far from our present diet of bland postmodern gruel that can come no closer to a moral principle than "have self-esteem, be tolerant and everybody wins," this film teaches that right is right and wrong is wrong, and that actions have serious and often irreversible consequences.

Lament, if you must, the inclusion of so many songs, but again, this picture is a product of its time. '60s moviegoers still had at least a fading appreciation for music--something modern audiences cannot claim (witness the death of the entire musical film genre)--and any children's feature worth its salt was expected to include a smattering of musical numbers. And while the music may be forgettable, the film itself obviously is not -- I saw it ONCE as a small child 25 years ago, and it has remained with me vividly until I saw it again yesterday.

I look forward to the time when my own daughter is old enough to enjoy it as much as I did.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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