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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:
Bongo: The story of a circus bear who escapes into the forest.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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...
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.