My opinion right after watching movie
My opinion on the film is that it is kind of boring, but it has its good moments. Not the best package film, not the worst. Just….. kind of generic, silly, and boring. It is mediocre.
In about 1941, the shorts Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk were set to be full length features, but then the strike that year made them broke, and they could not make them as films. Also, the animation was not good enough to be 2 feature films. Bongo was going to be a prequel to Dumbo but that fell through for some reason, and Mickey and the Beanstalk was ANOTHER attempt to regain Mickey’s popularity from Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Popeye (they were more popular because they had more personality). At last-minute, they combined these two into a package film.
So the story starts with Pinocchio’s Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) coming out of a plant and introducing us to the package film. He comes across a doll and a teddy bear, which leads to our first short out of two, Bongo.
So Dinah Shore is narrating the short for us, an explains how Bongo the Bear is a famous circus performer, who was praised and such. He got sick of how he was treated when he was not performing and longed to be in the wild. So when they are on a train to go to their next gig, he escapes. He is struggling in the woods, and has a tough first night, but he wakes up to see the love of his life LuluBelle.
They soon fall in love and as soon as they hook up, a tough bear named Lumpjaw tries to commit kidnapping marriage by forcing the girl to be with him. So she is the damsel in distress and he needs to save her. He tries to do that, but Lumpjaw is too big and tough for him. After he gets knocked around for a bit, he is thrown and shown that bears slap one another when they are in love -_-. This is where the film goes from being a bore to totally stupid. So after he learns this, he slaps Lulubelle and she slaps him again. Him and the other bear end up on a waterfall, but Bongo manages to escape.
Mickey and the Beanstalk
So now a man with a puppet is introducing us to the short that tries to make the bland Mickey interesting (and yes, I am gonna make fun of Mickey all throughout my blog series). Him (Walt Disney and Jimmy MacDonald) and his buds Goofy (Pinto Colvig) and Donald (Clarence Nash) are poor as heck, and their town is poor as heck. After they barely get food, Donald loses it and attempts to kill the cow, but Mickey refuses to let that happen. Instead, the bland hero sells off their cow for magic beans. Donald is about to beat him up, but he grabs the beans and throws them, leading them to the Willie the Giant in the beanstalk.
So they climb up and find a feast and they eat. They also see the singing harp that belongs to their town, but they get captured by the giant and put into a box. Mickey escapes and gets the key from the Giant, and gets the crew and the harp (Anita Gordon) out. It is a battle of the races as the Giant follows them. They cut down the tree when they reach the bottom, and then we are changed to the weird-looking narrator saying that the town became rich again, and the harp was returned to its rightful owners. The giant is in the real world, looking for Mickey and his crew.
Well, let’s start with Bongo. He is the naive guy who is trying to find himself and learn, which he does with LuluBelle, who is just a plot device to be won. The Lumpjaw bear is the one we are supposed to root against, and he is a prick.
Now on the next short, Mickey…….zzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzz (wakes up, realizing I have a review to finish). Ohh, my bad. Donald is crazy and has his funny anger management, which I LOVE, and while Goofy is not as funny as he usually is, he was likable too. I like the Giant and how much of a fool but an intimidating fool he is. The harp is…….. a good singer.
The animation in this film is not strong; I am just being honest. The coloring is extremely dull, the movements are not the best, the cells issue are more apparent (as you can see white on the outline of the characters at times), and it is not very good. Not the worst I have seen, but probably the worst yet.
The music is forgettable. Barely remember a score or a song.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on September 27, 1947, it was a success. It got alright reviews and the money from this and it’s 2 immediate successors helped finance the big gamble of Cinderella.
Forgotten, and has a minimal fanbase.
= 25.5/40 = 64%
6 thoughts on “Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: Fun and Fancy Free”
I feel that if seen today, many people would claim “Bongo” as promoting spousal abuse, lol.
In a way, it kind of is promoting it I was thinking of that when writing this review, but did not want to cross that path.
It’s from a different period of time where stuff like that could be taken as funny in cartoons. I’m not a believer of holding other eras by beliefs/ideals of the current era.