Jack and the Beanstalk
- TV Movie
A superior children's feature
Better than many of today's children's videos, this little gem of live action plus animation from the '60s deserves to be seen again. The Hanna-Barbera production won an Emmy when NBC first broadcast it in 1967. The principal live characters are played by Bobby Riha, as Jack, and by Gene Kelly as his adult companion. (In the original fairy tale, of course, Jack has no companion, but there are obvious reasons for including a sidekick, who in Kelly's hands becomes the main character.) The giant is a gruff but comically inept animated figure whose voice is provided by Ted Cassidy. A variety of other animated characters appear, including two hilariously weird birds who dance a tango with Kelly. All the dancing, as one might expect, is terrific, with Kelly reprising the sort of dancing-with-animation he pioneered in the 1945 film "Anchors Aweigh." The songs are by the experienced Hollywood team of Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen. As actor, singer and dancer, young Riha is a satisfying partner for Kelly. The familiar Hanna-Barbera animation may look flat and uninspired to contemporary audiences, but it does its job. Highly recommended.
- Apr 3, 2005
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By what name was Jack and the Beanstalk (1967) officially released in Canada in English?Answer