Disney version of fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk", featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in the main roles. Also contains another short film, re-released as "Bongo".Written by
Tim Pickett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the reasons behind the creation of the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" was an effort to boost the popularity of Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse was Disney's most popular character from 1928 to the mid-1930s. By the late 1930s, both the studio staff and the audience were losing interest in him. He was increasingly overshadowed by Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. To address the problem, Walt Disney ordered the production of some Mickey-centric film projects such as "Brave Little Tailor" (1938) and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (1940). See more »
During the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" feature, the house breaks apart as the beanstalk grows (at around 53 minutes) and the vines carry Mickey, Donald and Goofy upwards as they sleep. But a minute later, a shot of the intact house can be seen being carried into the clouds by the beanstalk again. See more »
Historical curiosity? Disney doesn't get more historically curious than this
"Bambi" (1942) was the last REAL animated feature the Disney studio released in the 1940s. Until 1950, there would only be shorts - which in general weren't as good either as the innovative ones made in the 1930s, or Jack Hannah's comic masterpieces of the 1950s - and compilation features: "The Reluctant Dragon" (1941), "Saludos Amigos" (1943), "The Three Caballeros" (1945), "Make Mine Music" (1946), "Fun and Fancy Free" (1947), "Melody Time" (1948), "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" (1949). You're unlikely to have seen ANY of these. All of them were stripped apart into their component pieces long ago, largely because, with the exception of "The Three Caballeros", there's no reason to keep any of them in one piece. ("Fantasia" is another exception, so much so that I've left it off the list altogether - it's a completely different kind of endeavour.)
I say this even though "The Three Caballeros" is the only one I'VE seen. I have seen most of the material that went into these movies, though, and trust me: it's uneven, and there's no coherent way of gluing most of it together. -"Fun and Fancy Free", in any event, consists of just two extended shorts: "Bongo" and "Mickey and the Beanstalk". I'm writing mainly to defend the latter. People are much too hard on it. There's a marked similarity between it and the winning short cartoon "The Brave Little Tailor" (1938), another fairytale with Disney characters taking the lead roles, and while "Beanstalk" lacks the earlier short's freshness, it has the advantage of having Donald and Goofy in it, two terribly under-rated cartoon stars who, although capable of sustaining shorts on their own, play off well against one another. (That's why it's impossible to make a Mickey/Donald/Goofy cartoon that's a TOTAL failure.) "Mickey and the Beanstalk" is one of the few post-war cartoons to recapture the spirit of Disney's depression-era stuff.
"Bongo" is of almost no interest - a vapid, directionless account of a circus bear who must adapt to life in the wild, complete with songs. People interested in the history of animation should see every Disney production they can get their eyes on; there's no other reason to see this one. The sheer POINTLESSNESS of pairing "Bongo" with "Mickey and the Beanstalk" makes this Disney's most bizarre compilation feature of the decade. -I wish I'd seen the linking segments. They can't possibly JUSTIFY the film's arbitrary nature, but it might be entertaining to see them try.
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