Fun and Fancy Free
Film number nine is Fun and Fancy Free. This is a Mickey cartoon and a circus story from Jiminy Cricket. This is the fourth film from the package era and is the eventual product of what were originally going to be two separate full-length films, Bongo and The Legend of Happy Valley. The latter would eventually become Mickey and the Beanstalk and has some fame as it aired as a standalone episode of the Mickey Mouse cartoon. The theatric version of Fun and Fancy Free was released in theaters in September of 1947.
This movie is two animated shorts loosely tied together by Jiminy Cricket listening to people tell him stories. The animation is very good. There are some coloring issues, but generally the movie has a lot of character and memorable scenes. The backgrounds are beautiful and the characters each feel original.
The music in this film is another good blend of theming and action. The music doesn’t take the front seat like in Fantasia or Make Mine Music but helps bring the stories to life. There are even a couple of songs that are very good, and I am surprised are not typically included with Disney film song collections. Specifically, “Say it with a Slap” is a pure classic in my mind.
The stories in this film are probably the best yet for a DAC. Bongo deserved its own film and Happy Valley, although somewhat overshadowed by the presence of Mickey, is a good tale. The stories are well told and easy to follow. But the narration kills everything. Both stories have a narrator that constantly takes you out of the experience. In Happy Valley they even cut away from the cartoon for some of the creepiest live action in any Disney film. If it weren’t for the bad narration, strange live action, and poor connection between the stories this one might have given Dumbo a run for its money.
Run Time – 73 Minutes
20th Academy Awards – 0 Nominations – 0 Wins
Disney Animated Canon so far in order of Quality
1. Dumbo 10-23-1941
2. Pinocchio 2-7-1940
3. Make Mine Music 4-20-1946
4. Fun and Fancy Free 9-27-1947
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 12-21-1937
6. Saludos Amigos 8-24-1942
7. Bambi 8-13-1942
8. Fantasia 11-13-1940
9. The Three Caballeros 12-21-1944