So Dear to My Heart

So Dear to My Heart

Synopsis of Movie

After the success of the live-action/animated Song of the South in 1946, Walt Disney released another sentimental period tale in 1948. So Dear to My Heart kept the animation to a minimum, focusing instead on a simple tale of love and “stick-to-it-tivity.”

The movie opens in a rural town in 1903. Out at the Kincaid farm, a sheep gives birth to two lambs, one white and one black. When the mother rejects the black sheep, young Jeremiah Kincaid adopts the critter as his own. His Granny disapproves, but Jeremiah learns from an animated owl in a storybook that it isn’t who you are, “It’s what you do with what you’ve got.”

The boy names his new friend Danny, after famed horse Dan Patch, but the sheep is anything but a thoroughbred. In fact, he’s a nuisance, and Granny becomes increasingly exasperated. Local blacksmith Uncle Hiram is more sympathetic, suggesting Jeremiah enter Danny in the county fair. The boy can’t afford the entry fee, but he and friend Tildy hit on a moneymaking idea.

The pair earns enough for the fair, but before the magical day arrives, a terrible storm kicks up and Danny gets lost. Jeremiah goes out looking, but Granny drags him back inside, telling him God is likely punishing him for caring more about the fair than about his sheep. Both Jeremiah and Granny make a few promises to God, but even if they do find Danny, a little black sheep with no pedigree would need a miracle to win that county fair.

Straightforward with an old-fashioned sweetness, So Dear to My Heart was a personal favorite of Walt Disney’s. Young actor Bobby Driscoll played Jeremiah, two years after his breakthrough role in Song of the South. But as one star rose, another fell. This film was the last for screen veteran Harry Carey, who passed away before the film’s premiere. Also notable was the Oscar-winning song “Lavender Blue,” which became a Burl Ives standard for the rest of the actor/crooner’s life.

Movie Release History

1949 - So Dear to My Heart

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Jeremiah 'Jerry' Kincaid  Bobby Driscoll
Tildy   Luana Patten
Grandma Kincaid   Beulah Bondi
Jerry's Pal   Patrick Curtis
Storekeeper Raymond Bond
Storekeeper's Son  Daniel Haight
Judge at County Fair  Harry Carey
Horse Trainer  Matt Willis
Villager Walter Soderling
Uncle Hiram  Burl Ives
Unknown Spelman B. Collins
Voices John Beal
Voices Ken Carson
Voices Bob Stanton

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