I ran across this oddity in the video store which I assume would find most of its fans from those who collect George Pal films. He's the famous science fiction and fantasy producer/director (The Time Machine, War of the Worlds) who patented a technique known as Puppetoon visually similar to today's Claymation. It stars the great Jimmy Durante, and B-movie favorites Terry Moore (the original Mighty Joe Young), and Tom Drake. Disney animation had its pulse on the public and other studios were looking to cash in too via live action. So why not a live action film with a very talented squirrel? Why not? It's a family film, fun, original, and quite different. The squirrel looks a little like the contemporary mice in the "The Mouse and The Motorcyle" and the Jim Henson film "The Witches." This film however always has its feet firmly planted in reality with the squirrel seeming more like an organ grinder's monkey than human. This gives the animal more vulnerablity. It also gives the human race more responsiblity to take proper care of him and any animal or pet who brings us pleasure and happiness from their presence in our lives. It's also a film that is hard to resist from the film's first shot. Whereas most films wait too long into a film to show the audience what it came to see (Superman flying, ET talking, Aliens killing, etc...), The Great Rupert is introduced dancing in the very first scene! Good decision, because once you see him, you gotta love him!