Disney: Fun and Fancy Free
Released in 1947
, Fun and Fancy Free
is the 9th Film in the Disney Animated Canon
The movie is a "package film
", consisting of two shorts that were each originally planned to be full-length movies in their own right, but due to situations at the time, had to be cut short and put together in this one movie.
The two shorts are:
The shorts are tied together with a framing story starring Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio
, who sets up a record player that plays the first story, and then attends a birthday party where the second story is told by Edgar Bergen
and his puppets Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.
Unlike most other Disney animated features from before the age of home video, this was never given a theatrical re-release. Sometimes, however, the individual segments were each tacked onto another Disney release and/or aired on television, usually as part of episodes of the Disney anthology series
. Mickey and the Beanstalk is by far the more well known of the two shorts, and can often by found in other DVD collections by itself.
The movie provides examples of:
- All Animals Are Dogs: At one point, Bongo crawls along the ground on his stomach, randomly sniffing around.
- Anachronism Stew: Mickey and the Beanstalk takes place in a medieval setting, but Donald apparently knows what a machine gun is.
- Right before imitating a machine gun, he refers to the dragonflies he's pretending to shoot at as "bombers."
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Played straight with Willie the Giant when he invades Happy Valley and steals the harp.
- Bears Are Bad News: Inverted with Bongo, Lulubelle, and the gang of friendly bears that live in the forest. Played straight with the huge, monstrous bear, Lumpjaw.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Willie the Giant (see both Not-So-Harmless Villain and Villainous Breakdown below).
- Bullying a Dragon: Mickey, Donald, and Goofy accidentally attract the attention of a dragonfly the size of a bomber plane and it briefly attacks them, but then flies off. Unfortunately, Donald then has the bright idea of taunting it.
- Caught with Your Pants Down: Happens to Goofy when he squeezes under the door of the giant castle and he loses his pants when they get snagged, exposing his Goofy Print Underwear.
- Lampshaded by Charlie McCarthy (whom Edgar Bergen tries to keep quiet):
Charlie: Hey! He [Goofy] got caught with his pants—
Edgar: (sternly) Charlie.
Charlie: Caught with his pants—
Charlie: Well, his slip was showing...
- Chekhov's Skill: Bongo uses his circus skills to help defeat Lumpjaw.
- Cute and Psycho: Donald.
- Deadly Dodging: Bongo pulls this off.
- Deadpan Snarker: Charlie McCarthy the ventriloquist dummy constantly snarks on everything from Edgar Bergen's story telling ability to the New Deal. Naturally, a lot of his jokes go over younger viewer's heads nowadays.
Mortimer: (referring to the giant's footsteps) Gosh, who made them?
Charlie: Well, it wasn't Cinderella.
- Despair Event Horizon: Donald's breakdown of driven to the absolute lowest point of starvation, it's both terrifying and completely tear-wrenchingly understandable given the circumstances.
- Disney Death: Bongo and Lumpjaw both go over an Inevitable Waterfall.
- Disney Villain Death: Willie the Giant. That is, until the story turns out to be Real After All.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
- Falling in Love Montage: Bongo and Lulubelle, accompanied by the sugary love song "Too Good to be True".
- Fisher King: The harp is what keeps Happy Valley happy. With her gone, it turns into Gruesome Gulch.
- Foreshadowing: Early on in the "Bongo" sequence, Dinah Shore delivers the line, "He didn't even know how to act like a bear!" Later, Bongo doesn't understand why Lulubelle slaps him in the face (it's apparently how a bear says "I love you").
- High Dive Hijinks: Part of Bongo's circus act involves diving 300 feet into a damp sponge.
- "I Am" Song: "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow" (which, incidentally, was originally created for Pinocchio, where Jiminy first appeared).
- Impact Silhouette: Bongo does it with a waterfall.
- Insane Equals Violent: A hunger-induced Donald Duck attempting to kill the cow into hamburgers counts.
- Interactive Narrator / Big "Shut Up!": In Mickey and the Beanstalk:
Edgar Bergen: But Donald doesn't give in, Donald doesn't give up—
Donald: SHUT UP!
- Let's Get Dangerous: When Bongo stops running in fear and starts putting his circus skills to work.
- Love at First Sight: When Bongo's eye catches Lulubelle standing in the water.
- The Love Slap of Epiphany: The Bongo story. There was even a song about it.
- Mood Whiplash: The scene where the narrator explains the plight of the peasants is somewhat gloomy but still funny. Then Donald starts freaking out....
- No Fourth Wall: An animated Willie crashes Luana's party by lifting the roof off and asking if anyone had seen Mickey. The sight of this causes Edgar to faint. In the stand alone release of Mickey and the Beanstalk, this happens to Ludwig von Drake. Prior to Willie's appearance, both are consoling a companion that Willie never actually died and that he exists as a figment of their imagination. Boy were they wrong!
- It gets better: Willie walks through Los Angeles and picks up a Brown Derby restaurant and wears it as a hat.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain / Villainous Breakdown: Willie is laughable enough, but he is also a violent kleptomaniac who wields a morning star the size of a two-story house when he sees Mickey, Donald and Goofy trying to escape with the harp that he had stolen.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: Willie the Giant in the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment is the villain in this Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation. He's several stories tall, looks quite human, and lives in his castle high in the clouds. He's also a giant magician, being a consumate shapeshifter. He keeps a magical animate harp imprisoned, whom Mickey, Goofy, and Donald need to save.
- Pale Females, Dark Males: Lulubelle's fur is a noticeably lighter color than that of Bongo or Lumpjaw.
- Parasol Parachute: Jiminy Cricket does this.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: Willie just can't get the hang of saying "pistachio".
- Production Foreshadowing: When Mickey and his friends find Willie's giant footprints, Charlie possibly does this by joking that Cinderella (whose movie premiered three years after this one did) couldn't have made them.
- Real After All: At the end Bergen has to tell Mortimer that Willie didn't die because he wasn't real to begin with. And then Willie lifts the roof off their home looking for Mickey.
- Real Men Wear Pink: "You sure you don't want a pink bunny?"
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Willie's eyes flash red when he awakens from his sleep to discover Mickey and company making off with the harp.
- Two times during Donald's breakdowns.
- Red Is Heroic: Bongo wears a red vest.
- Redubbing: After the film's release, Mickey and the Beanstalk was aired on TV in several different versions with new narrators. One aired as part of an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, narrated by Professor Ludwig Von Drake (this received a standalone video release in 1988). Another was narrated by Disney legend Sterling Holloway, with a completely different script. In The Seventies show The Mouse Factory, Shari Lewis and her puppet Lamb Chop did the honors.
- Likewise, when Bongo first aired on TV, the narration by Dinah Shore was replaced by that of Jiminy Cricket himself.
- Japan also had several dubs; One version has Rokuro Naya as Mickey; the other has Takashi Aoyagi, and both versions still have Yu Shimaka and Koichi Yamadera as Goofy and Donald, respectively.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The frame for the second story is in live action. Although Jiminy is so small and has such an insignificant role at this point, it's not really a big deal. But when Willie shows up at the end...
- Solid Clouds: The giant's castle rests on a solid cloud.
- Stock Sound Effects: Aside from minor stock sound effects heard throughout the film, the sound during the fall of Willie is the same as planes diving down during World War 2.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: Edgar and Charlie, respectively, during the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment.
- Title Drop: Jiminy's introductory song essentially names the set — the name "Fun and Fancy Free" describes his happy-go-lucky view on life.
- Tricking the Shapeshifter: Subverted. Mickey tries to get Willie to turn into a fly so that he can kill him with a fly swatter. Unfortunately, Willie wants to turn into a bunny rabbit, and does so instead. And when he sees Mickey, Donald and Goofy holding the swatter, he gets wise to their scheme and captures them.
- Villain Song: "Fee Fi Fo Fum."