“Mickey and The Beanstalk” is a full stop perfect Disney Classic, doing some things that Walt did best in story telling, reinterpreting a classic fairy tale, incorporating the Mouse and his friends in ways that are both creative and satisfying. It’s also funny, has some neat music and cool character designs.
The rest of Fun And Fancy Free doesn’t quite live up. The title song performed by Jiminy Cricket is a delight, but the first short “Bongo The Circus Bear” is interesting but goes on too long and ends in a bizarre bear dance number about slapping to prove love. The middle segment is a showcase for veltriloquist Edgar Bergen, who is very talented and also narrates the Beanstalk portion, it’s quite a non sequiter, and doesn’t quite do it for me, despite Bergen obvious talent for a mostly lost art form.
But wow, I love “Mickey And The Beanstalk,” especially the opening segment which shows the depths to which Mickey, Donald and Goofy have sunk, with Mickey slicing that bean three ways to make sandwiches on bread sliced thin enough to be transparent is comic genius, as is Donald’s subsequent blow up. Willy the Giant is also a great deal of fun and the singing harp does the job as well as possible.
Seriously, I’m enjoying these anthologies much more than I thought I would. I was kind of dreading this month, and I actually burned through all of them in a weekend (giving myself a nice little cushion going into warmer weather!) and I will probably be revisiting them for casual cleaning the apartment or cooking type viewing. They’re such a delight!
Next week, we continue down this path with Melody Time, will I continue to love these? All signs point to yes!