Fun and Fancy Free

Fun and Fancy Free

Synopsis of Movie

The lingering economic effects of World War II made it impossible for Disney to produce a true animated feature, so the studio improvised. Fun and Fancy Free was one of a series of package films, animated shorts tied together into a feature-length compilation.

Jiminy Cricket serves as host of the film, starting things off by playing a record of the first tale: “Bongo.” Dinah Shore sings the story’s narration, which chronicles the life of a talented circus bear named Bongo. Unable to cope with the mistreatment of his cruel circus masters, Bongo escapes into the forest, where life is not much easier.

After enduring thunderstorms, wild animals, and the like, Bongo meets a pretty female bear, only to be rebuffed with a series of slaps to the face. But after Bongo learns a thing or two about how bears express affection, he’s off to claim his new love from a jealous rival.

Jiminy leads into the next featurette with an invitation to the birthday party of child star Luana Patten (Song of the South’s Ginny). Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and puppets Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd entertain at the girl's party. Bergen tells the young Luana the tale of “Mickey and the Beanstalk,” a reworking of the old fairy tale starring Mickey, Donald and Goofy.

The three farmer friends live in total poverty, forced to divvy up a slice of bread and a single bean for supper. Mickey trades the farm cow for a handful of “magic beans,” sending Donald into a tizzy. When the beans sprout overnight into a giant beanstalk, the sleeping friends are carried up to the castle of Willie the Giant, who is none too pleased by the intrusion. Bergen, McCarthy and Snerd offer wisecracking commentary on the action.

Though the film disappeared from circulation for many years, "Bongo" and "Mickey and the Beanstalk" showed up occasionally as separate cartoon shorts on Disney's many television programs. The entire film was restored and re-released on video for its fiftieth anniversary in 1997.

Movie Release History

1947 - Fun and Fancy Free

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Edgar Bergen Himself
Jiminy Cricket Cliff Edwards
Giant Billy Gilbert
Singing Harp Anita Gordon
Mickey Mouse Jim Macdonald
Donald Duck Clarence Nash
Luana Patten Herself
Unknown Dinah Shore

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