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The Truth About Mother Goose (1957)

The true story behind various nursery rhymes is explored.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Storyline

We learn the true stories behind various nursery rhymes. Little Jack Horner: a servant to a city official was delivering a present to King Henry VIII, baked, as was the custom of the time, in a pie. The present was the deed to a valuable estate, which Horner stole. Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary: Mary Stuart brought "quite contrary" French style to the Scottish court. After a series of disastrous romances, she was jailed; the jailer's son, captivated by her, helped her escape. After a brief but disastrous attempted coup, she fled to England, where her sister, Queen Elizabeth, soon grew jealous and had her imprisoned. London Bridge: The bridge, finished in 1209, was soon lined by shops with luxury apartments upstairs, turning into a popular commercial and cultural zone. The Great Fire that broke out in 1666 spread to the bridge, but the houses were rebuilt. Over the ages, things decayed. In 1823, things finally got bad enough that the bridge was demolished and replaced. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Approved
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Release Date:

28 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Verità su Mamma Oca  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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(Technicolor)
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Connections

References The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An artistically beautiful featurette of the stories behind well-known nursery rhymes

I remember this short very well. Of course it was the version that was on an hour-long episode from a Disney TV show that ran from the 1950s to the '70s. It also had a new narrator — Paul Frees, in the character of Ludwig von Drake. But I was fortunate to watch the original version on YouTube.

In this memorable cartoon, the none-too-cheery stories behind well-known nursery rhymes are revealed. It covers "Little Jack Horner," "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary," and "London Bridge is Falling Down" with a clever contrast of wonderful animation that reflects the influence of the film "Sleeping Beauty" (which was in production then), and serious narration by John Dehner. Each segment begins with an upbeat performance of the song, follows with a depiction of the historical inspiration, and concludes with a rather somber rendition of the tune.

So overall, I would say about this featurette is that it's artistically beautiful, fun to watch and really interesting. I especially love the segment on "Mary, Mary..." though her story was so sad.


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