A boy, no bigger than a thumb, manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.A boy, no bigger than a thumb, manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.A boy, no bigger than a thumb, manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.
Based on the Brothers Grimm story, "tom thumb" may just be the most undervalued musical made in the 1950s. "tom thumb" has everything a family musical should have, a fantastical fairytale full of colour, vibrant song and dance sequences, and a warmth to cheer the bluest of hearts. With the athletic and ebullient Russ Tamblyn taking the lead as Tom, and villains portrayed with such gleeful caddishness by Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas, the film was always going to start from a good footing. Add in Tom Howard's Academy Award winning effects, Gamley & Jones' whimsical score and the zippy direction from Ray Harryhausen mentor, George Pal, well what's the excuse for not letting this film into yours, and your children's life?
The story unfolds in a blaze of glorious art design and pupetoon effects. As Tamblyn roams around his little world, the makers blend over-sized sets with animation and real life choreography. Yeah its a little creaky now, but this is still magic, a hark back to a time when it was hard work to craft such a fusion of incredible delights. There's a main sequence as Tom brings the toys to life (you see a toy without a child is as bad as a child without a toy), a truly wondrous segment of film that deserves classic status. Fit to sit alongside the moment Gene Kelly danced with Mickey Mouse in Anchors Aweigh, this sees Tamblyn trip the light fantastic around, and with, numerous articles and childhood toys beloved by so many in the past. Then there is the talented shoes, a mortality romantic sub-plot, and yes! the good against evil thematic so rich and potent with many a fairytale that has been spun. It's all good, really it is.
Am I biased because it was a childhood favourite? You can bet your last Cent, Penny or Euro that I am indeed! But I know this one truth, that I have shown this to various age groups over the years, and not once has this film finished and not been met with smiles and even happy tears on occasions. Because ultimately it delivers the joy to the children, and to the children in us all. And that be the truth your honour.
Doo be doo be doo 9/10
- Oct 2, 2009