Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Animated Musical, Fairy Tales & Legends  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Fun and Fancy Free is one of several "package" animated films produced by the Disney studio in the 1940s. Like the other packages, Fun features cartoons that are longer than the "curtain raiser" kind but too short for feature length. It's a good way to tell tales without worrying about stretching them out to cover a feature - although, truth to tell, even in their present form, both of the cartoons in Fun feature a bit of padding. Bongo, the first of the pieces, is an entertaining tale with a gentle moral that is probably not as well known to modern audiences as it was to those of the 1940s. It's sweetly told (in narration and song by Dinah Shore, sounding quite nice) and beguilingly animated, and will be especially appreciated by younger viewers. Mickey and the Beanstalk reworks the familiar fairy tale to accommodate the studio's "big guns" - Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. The characters behave true to form in the familiar setting, and the film features a number of setpiece gags that are lively and provide a twinkle. The animation is also quite good, most noticeably in the growth of the beanstalk, which is a highlight. Framing sequences featuring Edgar Bergen and Jiminy Cricket add to the charm. All in all, Fun is minor Disney, but quite enjoyable.