#9 Fun and Fancy Free

#9 Fun and Fancy Free

Giants and puppets and bears, oh my!

In an effort to continue saving money during/after the war, especially as they were operating on limited resources, Disney continued to produce package films. After their first two South American focused films, they began to structure their films with fantasy shorts. They were ideas that the studio had planned on developing into feature films, but had to rework into shorts due to the effects of the war: animators being drafted, the military commissioning the studio to create propaganda films, money running low. Times were tough and to sustain the studio, they had to work on putting together small stories rather than focusing on big ones. This ultimately allowed Disney to save up, so to speak, and put their resources into their bigger films down the pipeline (you know, some little movies called Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, if you’ve heard of ’em).

In my last post, I mentioned how the film after The Three Caballeros, Disney released the film Make Mine Music, but it’s not presently available for watching. So, the following film, Fun and Fancy Free, was the first time I watched one of these more independently segmented package films. While Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros at least had a common theme to tie them together, the latter four package films do not. This was also the last time Walt voiced Mickey. Now, let’s see what these new package films have in store:

My thoughts on Fun and Fancy Free:

  • Now this is a mickey and friends tale!
  • The 40s are giving me whiplash with these movies – fairy tales, sad animals, South America, different stories in one movie
  • Oh this movie has its own theme song
  • Jiminy Cricket long time no see!
  • So is he on break from being Pinocchio’s conscience? Does Jiminy not need to do that anymore since hes a real boy?
  • “Human race going crazy” as the headline in 1947 and we still are in 2020
  • “On every page you’ll find the whole world worrying” Jiminy you just got out of a freaking WORLD WAR
  • Now we have climate change and plagues and impending doom Jiminy WE CAN’T BE FUN AND FANCY FREE
  • Why is this cricket obsessed with inanimate women?
  • At least Donald was chasing after someone who was alive
  • Oh no we’re back in a circus things weren’t great the last time we were there
  • This bear knows jiu jitsu excuse me?!!
  • Aww he gets chained up as soon as he leaves the stage
  • SEE?! I knew the circus was trouble!
  • Poor Bongo indeed
  • Ooh someone did NOT lock that cage well, they’re gonna be in trouble
  • That was clever of him to use the unicycle
  • Born free, as free as the wind blows….
  • Ahahahaha that jump and subsequent trip over a branch is so relatable
  • I’m happy for this little guy
  • But also this story needs to speed up what comes next? What goes wrong?
  • Okay wildlife aint that loud
  • It would have been much more realistic if he just heard freaky sounds in the silence every once in awhile
  • Between this and Bambi what is with all the single animal just chilling around by themselves and being instantly attracted to each other immediately
  • Aww but their noses form a heart
  • Why are all the other bears normal sized except Bongo and his gf
  • Ooh Bongo you can’t take that guy. And you’re not smart enough to trick him
  • She slapped him!
  • Yo Lulabelle that aint cool that’s domestic violence
  • What is up with her?
  • Why is she hitting him but mad at him?
  • Why does smacking the big bear make him love her
  • Now she’s crying 
  • What does she want?!
  • “When bears are in love they always say it with a slap” what?!
  • That’s not , that can’t be close to nature accurate
  • That is also TERRIBLE for children to hear
  • Go Bongo, fight for your love!
  • So…what’s the difference between slapping for a fight and slapping for love?
  • Like, how does the big burly bear know whether Bongo is hitting him out of anger or because he’s in love with him?
  • There is so much forest destruction going on
  • This is kinda stealing a lot from Bambi, with the whole two animals in love but then an aggressive opponent comes along and then both suitors battle
  • AND a climatic moment with a waterfall?
  • Just, you know, without the charming characters and great animation
  • Oh, well, Bongo and Lulabell are gonna live happily ever after, good for them!
  • Love truly is a battlefield, kids
  • And now we’re back with Jiminy
  • AND NOW after breaking into this person’s house he’s gonna read their mail
  • HOW is he a conscience?
  • “Party: tonight. Place: house across the way” good specific invitation, there
  • At first I thought it was a bunch of kids but they are creepy puppets
  • Is this Jeff Dunham’s life
  • WHO is controlling the dummies?!
  • Is this a Goosebumps situation
  • “This is a story that everyone should know” “Yes but not everyone should tell it” This puppet is shady
  • “I think I’ll run out and wind the sundial” I see you Charlie, go off
  • “Once upon a time long ago” “Funny nothing ever happens nowadays” Charlie is making POINTS
  • He is the only valid puppet in existence
  • “Mr. Brogan” IS THIS NOT HER FATHER?!
  • WHAT is this child doing in a strange man’s house? Alone?!
  • A strange man offering her cake and candy and treats? HMMMM
  • A strange man obsessed with puppets? YIKES
  • We get it. This place is happy.
  • More crows oh no!
  • You telling me no one saw a GIANT?
  • “Misery” “Just like the 8th grade” hahaha
  • “Days passed. Weeks passed” “I passed, new deal” Charlie does not stop with the zingers
  • On the cow: “She used to be a good milker, but now-” “She’s an utter failure” Charlie is KILLING ME!
  • Mickey! Goofy! Ugh Donald
  • The imaginary bread wow

Seeing my own reflection in my laptop screen on day 20 of self-isolation:

  • But also, as much as this narrator creeps me out, his observations on Donald are highly accurate
  • OF COURSE Donald is the weakest link
  • He’s going to KILL his friends?
  • Well he did set Panchito on fire in the last movie
  • Donald is the WORST
  • Oh he’s going for the cow
  • I mean, that’s … logical right?
  • I know there’s a difference between dairy cows and cows for steak but if you got nothing
  • This man is choking his puppet in front of the child!
  • Where are her parents/guardians they need to take her away
  • She’s smiling cheerfully listening to a story about people starving and watching him strangle the puppet she’s concerning me too
  • “The cow is their best friend” since WHEN?! The cow was not at the table, the cow wasn’t talking, she was out in the barren wasteland
  • “a friend in need is a friend indeed” “so what?” “so they need some steak” Charlie is the only person at this party I’m enjoying
  • Has this child eaten steak? I bet she has. Is anyone gonna tell her how they make it?
  • Okay they sold the cow, they sold their supposed best friend
  • Wow mickey you jerk
  • I know the story, I know they really are magic, but still
  • Magic or no food is more important
  • “Poor mickey” mickey was dumb
  • Very lucky for them that none of them rolled over and fell all the way down to their doom off the beanstalk
  • So they’re just gonna steal someone’s food, RIGHT off their table? They deserve the giants wrath
  • Disney teaches kids breaking and entering is ok one too many times
  • Again, I know the giant stole the harp and is not a nice person, but Mickey and co. don’t know that
  • Chocolate pot roast?? Come again, sir?
  • I mean I’d be mad too if I caught people trying to take my food
  • Also, try and tell me you wouldn’t freak out and try to chase a mouse if you found one on your dinner table
  • So now Mickey is trying to trick the giant to kill him in his own house
  • CAUGHT
  • This harp is smart, singing clues and messages
  • Ooh tying the shoelaces good idea
  • Whoops except that’s what got him caught
  • Mickey’s always going the extra mile but sometimes you just need to quit while you’re ahead
  • Ugh he just wasted so much champagne
  • Geez lots of chaos
  • So, Happy Valley gets its harp back, but how much property damage and death occurred after the giant fell???
  • Plot twist: the giant is real!
  • LA!

Well, that was definitely different. The Bongo short was okay – I felt it dragged on a bit and was derivative of prior films, though I understand that development was shaken up. The Mickey and the Beanstalk segment was pretty straightforward on the familiar tale. I have to say, the child sitting alone with the man and his puppets is still a bit creepy to me. In my post-watch research I learned that the man, Edgar Bergen, is the father of Candice Bergen, the Emmy-winning actress famous for Murphy Brown (she’s also the lady who runs the pageants in Miss Congeniality).

Next week is the penultimate package film, Melody Time. We’re getting there, folks.

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