|Index||10 reviews in total|
This is the best story of "Fun and Fancy Free". I really enjoyed the scene when the beanstalk started growing and breaking up the main characters slummish house. This is one of the top ten Disney shorts in my book.
I absolutely love this mini-classic. The animation is really beautiful with colourful backgrounds, especially the opening part with Happy Valley and vibrant too. I also want to say that I thought the animation for the beanstalk was fantastic. As for the music, it was absolutely stunning, full of playfulness and lyricalism. The song "My What a Happy Day" I have always considered a great song, it is just so joyful and makes you want to sing along. All the characters were great too, I have always loved Mickey, Goofy and Donald, and I don't know about you but Willie the Giant was quite lovable here. The voice acting was spot on, with Clarence Nash, Pinto Colvig, Billy Gilbert and Walt Disney himself. The narration was satisfying, from Professor Von Drake in the version I am most familiar with, but also the one with Sterling Holloway narrating and Edgar Bergen in the underrated Fun and Fancy Free were nicely done too. Can I say that I think the singing harp has a beautiful singing voice? All in all, a real pleasure to watch. 10/10 Bethany Cox
A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.
Three zany farmers - Mickey, Donald & Goofy - attempt to rescue the stolen Singing Harp from a temperamental giant.
While it technically does not match the quality of their classic cartoons from the 1930's, MICKEY AND THE BEANSTALK is a most enjoyable two-reeler and provides the trio with one of their liveliest adventures. The sequence of the growing beanstalk up lifting & breaking apart the farmhouse is pure magic. Comic veteran Billy Gilbert provides the voice for Willie the Giant; Clarence Nash does the honors for Donald.
Disney has produced at least three versions of this cartoon. Originally it was the concluding half of FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947) and was narrated by the marvelous Edgar Bergen with assistance from Charlie McCarthy & Mortimer Snerd. There is also a version narrated by Paul Frees in the character of Professor Ludwig von Drake. Finally, there is a version of the cartoon narrated by Sterling Holloway.
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 blizzard of doomsayers, 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.
Just after WWII, Disney released a feature film ("Fun & Fancy Free")
that was actually just two shorts strung very tenuously together. The
same thing happened with "Make Mine Music" and "The Adventures of
Ichabod and Mr. Toad". And, for the most part, these shorter films were
of lesser quality and don't stack up all that well with the best of the
As for "Mickey and the Beanstalk", it is the film that makes up the second half of "Fun & Fancy Free". The first half is a very lame short, "Bongo"--and the less said about that dull cartoon the better! Because of that, I'd recommend seeing a copy of "Mickey and the Beanstalk" on its own--without the first portion. I've seen it marketed that way on several Disney DVDs and videotapes. The only major difference is that the live action portion that accompanies "Mickey and the Beanstalk" from "Fun & Fancy Free" is missing--though some of Edgar Bergen's narration is there--along with new narration by Sterling Holloway. While I miss the cute live action portions (Charlie McCarthy had some nice lines in it), it's just more compact and enjoyable on its own. Not a great short--but well made and entertaining--and a variation on the earlier Disney short "The Brave Little Tailor"--which, incidentally, is actually better than "Mickey and the Beanstalk".
It's a Disneyfied version of "Jack And The Beanstalk" in case you
hadn't figured that out already and in this tale we see Mickey Mouse,
Donald Duck and Goofy driven mad by near-starvation in the barren land
of the previously thriving Happy Valley. This is all because some big,
beastly giant stole a singing harp and plunged the land into a
miserable existence. When Mickey returns one day with some magic beans
instead of any proper food the others are furious but later on that
night, while everyone sleeps, a beanstalk grows through the house and
grows and grows and grows, taking our cartoon trio up to the land of
the giant. Once there, they have fun exploring their giant surroundings
until they find the singing harp. And the giant finds them.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm some animation expert here, I don't know who painted which character and who did the vocal work for the classic cartoons but I will say that this is an absolute treat for children and grown-ups alike. Directed by Hamilton Luske and Bill Roberts, this snappy short packs in plenty of great comedy and family-friendly thrills as our cartoon heroes try to save their own skins (and that singing harp).
Available in a few slightly different variations, this short is worth getting hold of if you're a fan of Disney, the characters involved (including Willie The Giant) or just enjoyable and entertaining cartoons.
Mickey, Donald and Goofy take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy-tale,
starring as poor, starving farmers of Happy Valley who discovered a
beanstalk that grew from the beans Mickey got after trading in their
cow. They stumble upon the beautiful Golden Harp who after being
kidnapped by the Giant lead to the decline of the once prosperous Happy
Valley. As a result, the trio go on a daring mission to rescue the harp
and restore prosperity to their valley.
It's a beautifully animated story with full in-character laughs from Mickey, Donald and Goofy. Mickey is his heroic self while Goofy tries hard not to blunder on things. Donald is hilarious as heck, from him going crazy while starving to him parodying an army sharp shooter. The giant was menacing, but goofy looking, and the Golden Harp was beautiful with her soothing singing voice.
There's plenty of adventures in this exciting rescue-the-harp plot. It's non-stop fun you would expect in a cartoon movie from beginning to end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yay, memories! This is one I hold very dear to my heart. Right behind Pinocchio, it's actually my second favourite ever Disney work, even more so than the other Disney movies that I personally consider great, because it hits me with just the right kind of precious warm nostalgic magic that is so rare. Whenever I'd watch it as a kid, and it would show the magically captivating opening sequence where Happy Valley is 'imagined' into existence, I would always want to live there for the seconds before the place is shrouded by the mysterious and sinister shadow that steals away the land-enriching harp and quickly renders it a most UNhappy valley! Oh my god - the "My What A Happy Day" song!!! Such a cheerfully sunny and uplifting introduction that is infectiously charming! We always got a huge laugh out of the bull's solo! I challenge anyone to watch that whole sequence and not get a big smile on their face. One of the funnest elements is that it features all three of the most famous Disney characters, which is something that I always enjoyed in all the animations they were in together, as they just played off each other so effortlessly. And their chemistry here is top notch, with Mickey being the hero and heart of the team, and Donald and Goofy the slapstick. Goofy's my least favourite, but I do love his duet with Donald where they're singing all about food, watching that part always makes me wanna eat so bad! You can't count on a duck for squat when the going gets tough.. Donald gets one of his all-time best moments when he briefly goes stark raving mad from starvation when they have to split the last bean and slice of bread three ways! It's so hysterical when he snaps at the narrator to "Shaddap! I can't stand it!!!", then proceeds to eat the dishes! And then the way he looks so deranged as he grabs the handy viking axe off the wall and goes after the poor cow! I'm probably in the minority here, but why exactly are they so against eating the cow? Donald had a valid point - kill the cow and get the meat, Bossy's got to go! ::: My favourite scene is when the harp sings "In My Favourite Dream." It's very beautiful and soothing. Oh sweet maiden of the harp, you and your delightfully enchanting song of perfect melodious peace - I could listen to it all day, *forever!* I really enjoy the amazingly intricate and intertwining animation of the vines during the fantastic beanstalk growing sequence. It's so expertly done the way the motions of the creepers move to the music, and how they're given a kind of personality by how they react to the characters as they grow about them in their sleep. Now just how they managed to remain asleep through such chaos is anybody's guess! I love Willie the giant as the villain because he's a tad more interesting than just being a brainless oaf. Which he kind of is too, a lovable dope, but he alternates between playful dumb kid and threatening bad guy real quickly. It is pretty creepy. And he's a real menace for the gang to escape from when it gets to the big finale. And he was a magic giant too! I'd forgotten that the last time I saw this. The song that he introduces himself with is very strange and catchy. And the ending where he's tiptoeing around Hollywood in search of Mickey I always found such a surreal and odd way to end it, but it fits. Practically perfect, it's funny, thrilling and even though it's not a movie it has the look and feel of one of the studio's feature-length animated works. What a beautifully imagined and put together little classic. Pure bliss.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of the longest 1940's animated short films by Disney and in
general (including also the other companies like Warner Bros). Usually
they're around 6-7 minutes, but this one stands at a whooping 28
minutes to do the story justice. It switches occasionally back to the
narrator who also, as an introduction, tells us a bit on crucial
characters from previous Disney feature films such as Pinocchio and
When the real story begins, we see a harp-lady with a beautiful voice being kidnapped and thus the happy valley she used to sing for sinks into despair. Action switches to our heroes Mickey, Goofy and Donald who show the possibly best portrayal of starvation ever put in an animated movie. When Micky exchanged their proper meal for a handful of magic beanstalks, they, all of a sudden, end up on a distant world in the sky where they pretty much have the size like midges and butterflies.
They approach a large castle and not only find lots of delicious food (Goofy in the jelly is a highlight), but also the abducted harp and the magically skilled, but daft, ginger giant who kidnapped her. Their initial plan of tricking the giant into turning himself into a fly and kill him with a swatter fails, but the harp-lady can manage to sing him to sleep, so the trio and her successfully escape the castle and revive Happy Valley. It's a thoroughly recommendable short film and certainly not only to children.
When I first viewed Mickey and the Beanstalk with my toddler son
approximately 16 years ago, I saw it as more than a retelling of an old
fairy tale. Later, while watching a documentary about the devastation
wrought upon a real life "Happy Valley", the Owens River Valley, I was
reminded of my initial impression of the back story of this short film
- the drought and desolation in Happy Valley caused by the theft of the
harp as a veiled metaphor for the appropriation of water resources by
the GIANT burgeoning metropolis of Los Angeles under the direction of
"Willie" Mulholland. Streams and brooks sing or are musical in their
own way. Diversion of riparian resources can cause calamity. A giant
municipality that diverts water for its own use can leave the former
beneficiaries of those resources woefully lacking the wherewithal to
prosper or even survive.
If the writers used the foundation for the plot of this short animated film as an opportunity for political protest or commentary, they may have done so secretly, fearing that their theme might be edited from the film or that they might suffer reprisal. I'd like to believe that Walt Disney, whom I believe had a social conscience, left the metaphor in the film but didn't publicize it so as not to cause undue controversy around a film that was intended as children's entertainment. I'd appreciate comments about this subject, especially from anyone who has knowledge of the intentions of the writers, directors, or producer.
'Jack and the Beanstalk' is a very familiar story and the Disney adaptation
is a delight to watch. It starts with an old duck and his little friend
Hermann talking about fairy tales. The duck explains how 'Cinderella,
'Pinocchio', 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Snow White' were fairy tales and
therefor the story and the characters were made up. With this talking we see
the actual images from those Disney-movies.
Than the duck tells his own fairy tale version of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and we see Mickey, Donald and Goofy as the three Jacks climbing the beanstalk and meeting the giant. With lots of funny moments and nice things that can only happen with animation this is a another great movie from Disney. When that beanstalk goes up I was amazed by what I saw.
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