Fun and Fancy Free
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FUN AND FANCY FREE, Walt Disney's 9th full-length animated masterpiece, is a delightful gem that not only sparkles with charm, but is unbelievably rich in history-making Disney moments. It was the last animated feature starring Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse, and the only film featuring all four of Walt Disney's most famous characters -- Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket. Following Disney's classic tradition of great storytelling, unforgettable characters, music, and adventure, FUN AND FANCY FREE is the joyful telling of BONGO and MICKEY & THE BEANSTALK, two timeless tales magically brought to life by the beloved Jiminy Cricket and the masterful combination of animation and live action. And now, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, FUN AND FANCY FREE has been beautifully restored so a whole new generation can experience the magic of Walt Disney's original theatrical vision -- for the very first time! One of Disney's happiest films ever, FUN AND FANCY FREE makes a valuable addition to your Disney video collection.|This film marked the debut of actor Jim Macdonald as the voice of Mickey Mouse -- Walt was too busy to do it himself.|Jiminy's opening song, "I'm A Happy Go Lucky Fellow" was originally written for PINOCCHIO.|It's the only film featuring all four of Walt Disney's most famous characters -- Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket.|Cliff Edwards, the voice of Jiminy Cricket, played a soldier in GONE WITH THE WIND -- he appears in a hospital scene with Olivia DeHaviland (Melanie Wilkes).
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This review is for the stand-alone HD version of FUN AND FANCY FREE, which I streamed as a rental. I do intent to pick up the combo Blu-ray that is packaged with he Ichabod and Mr. Toad shorts in the not too distant future. While the animation looks gorgeous, younger viewers might be put off by some of the live action sequences featuring Edgar Burgen. It was a different time with a different sensibility towards humour. For myself I appreciate the nostalgia of 'old Disney' that live action segments like this and in other package films (e.g. THE RELUCTANT DRAGON, etc.) convey.
For the quality of the stream, I found it to be crisp and pleasant to look with vibrant colours that certainly outdo older DVD presentations of these shorts.
On thing that prevents me from outright purchase of the digital/streaming versions like this is the lack of inclusion of any special features. This is something that Amazon has started to change, though. For the recent digital Diamond edition of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS there is a purchase option that includes all of the special features (it makes the running time close to 5 hours). I have noted that ZOOTOPIA has a similar option now. Hopefully this will filter out to many more of the disney titles as well.
Bongo is the first short film, the tale of a circus bear who yearns to be free. He escapes confinement on a circus train and must learn to fend for himself in the wilderness. This movie is narrated by Dinah Shore. There are several songs too many, all of them instantly forgettable.
Mickey and the Beanstalk is narrated by Edgar Bergen, a ventriloquist who worked better on radio where you couldn't ’t see his lips move. The story more or less follows the original fairytale, albeit in an abbreviated form. Donald dominates this movie. Willie the Giant is hilarious.