Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is a 1977 animated film by Richard Williams (with a few live-action segments) based on the doll characters created by Johnny Gruelle. The film is mostly famous for being an example of Deranged Animation.The plot is based on the book Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, by Johnny and Marcella Gruelle. Raggedy Ann and her brother, Andy, are dolls who live together in little Marcella's room with other friendly toys. The day of her birthday, Marcella gets a Jumeau doll, Babette, who is quite vain. A pirate captain in a snowglobe is immediately stunned by her and decides to elope with her to make her his bride. Ann and Andy decide to go rescue her, and on their journey, they meet a depressed blue camel doll (The Camel With The Wrinkled Knees), a lake of sentient taffy that keeps eating itself (The Greedy), an insane knight who plays practical jokes (Loony Knight), and a diminutive king who inflates when he laughs (King Koo Koo) until a final confrontation on the pirate's ship.Raggedy Ann is voiced by Didi Conn, who would later star as Frenchie in the Grease musicals as well as the Shining Time Station/ Thomas the Tank Engine TV series. Joe Raposo (Sesame Street) wrote the songs.The film has similarities with the Toy Story movies, which came out about twenty years later (toys coming to life when humans not looking; new toy coming in and having to be recovered on their owner's birthday; toy that is sad about being left away from its owner). More than that, the film is known for being really freakin' weird at times. Reviewed here.A book about the making of the film, "The Animated Raggedy Ann & Andy" by John Canemaker, could be read here as well.
This film contains examples of:
Action Girl: Well, more of a Faux Action Girl in Raggedy Ann's case, as she usually relies on the men around her to protect her - but Ann is the one who insists on embarking on the quest to rescue Babette, and she can take care of herself if she absolutely has to.
An even more surprising example is Babette, who is very much a Damsel in Distress in the earlier parts of the story but by the climax has taken over the pirate ship and is wielding a whip!
Affably Evil: The Greedy. He literally wants to eat Ann's heart, but he is polite to the heroes and bears them no ill will - at least at first.
Animation Bump: The entire Greedy sequence (sans the ending part, which was done by a different animator), which was done entirely by Golden Age veteran Emery Hawkins, is very fluidly animated and loaded with so much detail that you jaw will drop just from taking it all in. Keep in mind, stuff like this was an extreme rarity for animation back then!
The animation of the Camel by Art Babbitt, another animation great, is noticeably more solid and restrained than the rest of the movie.
Anti-Villain: The pirate captain just wants a female companion for himself.
Balloon Belly: Random parts of King Koo Koo's body inflate when he laughs; when he inflicts the Tickle Torture on the good guys, the "last laugh" this gets from him causes him to expand to monstrous proportions. When Raggedy Andy realizes that the King is just "full of hot air", he tells the Pirate Parrot to pop him. The resultant explosion sends Marcella's toys, plus the Camel, back to her backyard.
Wacky Wayside Tribe: There is also a convincing argument to be made that the entire middle third of the movie (starting with the Greedy and ending when they finally get back to the business with the pirates) feels like an enormous side-quest, even though King Koo Koo shows up again for the climax.
Big Red Button: On the speedboat stolen by the twin dolls is a big lever with a hand at the end and the sign "Don't pull me". They do pull it, and it causes the speedboat to go berzerk and fling its crew all the way to the pirate ship they were headed for.
Some might say the Greedy is really just a kid-friendly interpretation of Yog-Sothoth ◊
Nah, he's more like Abhoth from "The Seven Geases"—a pool of sludge that constantly devours itself. Except Abhoth is made of primordial ooze and devours its own floundering malformed offspring, and the Greedy is made of taffy and devours the candy inexplicably bubbling out of itself.
Eldritch Location: Parts of Looney Land are pretty eldritchy even by the movies own surreal standards.
Genre Savvy: When they happen upon a freakish-looking boat moored on a lagoon just off the coast of Looney Land, the protagonists seem to instinctively recognize the kingdom's inside-out logic and reason immediately - and correctly - that pushing a big red button marked "STOP" will cause the boat to "go."
Have I Mentioned I Am Manly Today?: Andy is adamant that, in spite of being about as butch and durable as his sister, he's a super-macho, rough-and-tumble action-hero toy who will brook no dress-ups or tea parties, and also will fight you.
Positive Discrimination: When King Koo Koo and his sea monster attack the pirate ship, all of the male characters (the Captain, his crew, Andy, and the Camel) are quickly caught and subjected to Tickle Torture, but the two females (Ann and Babette) manage to hide themselves and seem to have escaped this fate. Ultimately subverted when the girls are finally discovered and tickled, but they still don't have to endure the tickling as long as the guys.
Retro Universe: With the exception of some contemporary clothes worn by Marcella in the film's opening sequence (and she quickly changes into a more "girly" outfit for her birthday party), the film does not appear to be taking place in 1977. In fact, judging by the characers' sensibilities and the music and so on, this would most likely be taking place in the mid-1950s at the latest (and, in fact, these characters were created in 1914). Not only that, but Babette and King Koo Koo and several other characters look as if they were literally Born in the Wrong Century.
Schmuck Bait: The "WELCOME" sign on the entrance to Sir Leonard Looney's funhouse.
Andy gets stuck under a box with just his feet sticking out, like the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz. And he runs up a wall like Cosmo in Singin' in the Rain during his "Make 'Em Laugh" song.
Inverted: This troper sees some connection between Satoshi Kon's more deranged moments and this movie's overall style.
Standard Snippet: "Entry of the Gladiators" is briefly heard when our heroes get sucked into the funhouse.
Stockholm Syndrome: Played with. By the time our heroes catch up with the runaway pirate ship, Babette doesn't want to leave. But it's not because she's fallen for the captain, but because she has seized control of the ship and persuaded the crew to sail to Paris, which is where she wanted to go in the first place.
Sugar Bowl: The Greedy himself is this, except it's nightmarish and disturbing rather than bright and cheery.
Unwanted Rescue: By the time the heroes have reached the pirate ship, Babette has overthrown the captain and has no interest in returning to Marcella's room. The outcome of the battle with King Koo Koo takes the decision out of her hands.