When I was a kid, this was among my favourite movies. The story of an old couple who are finally granted a wish to have a son, only to find he is just as tall as a thumb, is heartwarming and funny. And the naive character of the boy, the clumsy and funny villains, the comic relief characters, all together make this an enchanting tale for kids.
But for me, the highlight of the entire movie was the yawning man. There were lots of funny setpieces (dancing shoes, a romantic sub plot, ...) to extend the length of the movie, which would otherwise have lasted only half an hour or so, but this one stands out in my mind even today: The animated puppet that sings a yawning song, which makes Tom fall asleep. The song was so good, I have never forgotten it, and better yet: It worked. It was incredibly hard for my entire family not to yawn - not because of boredom, but because there are few things as infective as yawning...
So while Harry Potter may be the kiddie-movie of the moment, full of expensive special effects and a world famous franchise, it is hard to beat this old classic with the one thing that Harry Potter lacks: A soul.
Few other kid's movies managed that. Watch "Jack and the Beanstalk" (with Gene Kelly), or a few of the old Czech fairy tale movies (Salt prince, Cinderella with Hazelnuts), and you won't be disappointed. They all had what most ultra-slick kid's movies lack....
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