Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story (2001)

Genres - Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Adventure, Fairy Tales & Legends  |   Run Time - 240 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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What if the Jack and the beanstalk saga were true? It's a fascinating starting point for a special effects fantasy, but at 184 minutes, and even with top-notch effects shots every few seconds, there's a lot of padding in the story. The first half sets up the story well enough, introducing Jack and his ancestors before flashing back to young Jack's familiar "fee-fi-fo-fum" fairytale and showing the menacing giant (played by co-writer Bill Baretta). There's a nifty twist in the second half (the giant gets his side of the story told), but an elaborate trial sequence involving a tribunal of costumed giants (including Daryl Hannah in a frightening ice queen frock) in front of thousands of computer animated spectators bogs things down a mite, not to mention a momentum-diverting subplot involving the cloning of the goose that lays golden eggs (it is an interesting idea, however).