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Raggedy Ann and the rest of the toys in Marcella's playroom are curious about a package that has just arrived. They look inside and discover it contains a beautiful French doll. The haughty girl, named Babette, is horrified by her new home. She wants to go back to Paris. Meanwhile, the Captain, a pirate in a snow globe, sees Babette and falls in love. He tricks Raggedy Ann into freeing him and then immediately kidnaps Babette and sails out the window. Raggedy Ann and Andy leave the playroom to rescue her. Their adventure includes meeting a blue camel with wrinkled knees; the Greedy, a living, self-consuming taffy pit filled with every candy and confection known to the palate; King Coo Coo and the Loonie Knight, who love to laugh, but only at the expense of others; and Gazooks, a tickle monster hired to give King Coo Coo the last laugh. Finally, they find the Captain; but the damsel in distress proves more capable than they had imagined. Written by
Nowhere near as disastrous as others would have you believe.
Hey, kids! Let's play a game! I'm going to make a point about a particular animated film and we'll see whether it succeeds in intriguing you despite whatever else the press has said in the past! Sound like fun? Ok, hang on tight and here we go!
If you ask anybody who loves animation to tell you what they think are the absolute lousiest animated films ever created, you can bet the farm on the fact that their list will include at least one of the follow titles: "My Little Pony", any one of the "Care Bears" movies, "Rainbow Brite and The Star Stealer", "Raggedy Ann and Andy", "Wizards", "The Pebble and The Penguin", "The Lord of The Rings" and "Thumbelina" among countless others.
It's hard to argue with any of those titles. Put simply, they are almost all completely down the row horribly written, terribly produced movies.
But I want to point out one of these titles to you: what I'm about to say is a really wild nonconformist recommendation. I'm going to recommend one of these films I just listed. It's not as bad as the press has claimed. Heck, I even think it's pretty good.
Which movie am I talking about? This particular title, of course. Richard Williams' expensive animated bomb "Raggedy Ann and Andy".
Well look, I did warn you that I was going to make a really wild nonconformist recommendation. But think about it a moment--here is a film with the finest talent on hand, gorgeous animation and art direction and genuinely terrific songs. It's enjoyable--except for the holes that drag down the lot a bit (some scenes, such as the opening dollroom segment, the Greedy sequence and the meeting with King Kookoo, could have been neatly chopped in half and bettered the pacing here).
The problem is that Richard Williams was inexperienced as a feature film producer and was given an incredibly short production schedule. I mean hey, YOU try creating an absolute masterpiece under those conditions! Williams was fighting a losing battle, but he still tried.
The results aren't guaranteed to please everybody out there (fans of "wild" animation who hate children's material will gag on it, I'm sure), but that doesn't mean it's not fun. The whole routine with the French doll and the Captain is so hysterically ridiculous that you can't help but smirk at the whole situation--you'll see what I mean later in the movie. The scene-stealing section here is a song feature a dancing Camel With The Wrinkled Knees, which is gorgeous both in art and in music. Other musical faves here include "I Look and What Do I See?", the title piece and especially "Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers". There are others just as charming here... this soundtrack really deserves to be released on CD. Plus, the whole thing has a genuinely warm ending to it that will please the young at heart everywhere.
While animation diabetics will most likely get cavities from it, everybody else who loves hypnotically lovely children's stories will enjoy it. It's certainly not without flaws, but it has special moments in it that you'll genuinely fall in love with. Give it a chance.
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