tom thumb (1958)
Article #1636 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-6-2005
Posting Date: 2-3-2006
Directed by George Pal
Featuring Russ Tamblyn, Alan Young, June Thorburn
An elderly couple make a wish for a son, even if he’s no bigger than their thumb. The Forest Queen grants their wish.
I really enjoyed this version of the fairy tale when I first saw it. When I viewed it again years later, I was less impressed with it. I fully expected to repeat that reaction with this, my third viewing, since I watched while suffering from stomach flu and was in a rather foul mood. Instead, the movie had the opposite effect on me; the simple charms of the movie cheered me up immensely, and I ended up fully enjoying the experience. Like many of the better Disney features, the plot is pretty late in coming, but it makes up for its slowness in its substantial charm; Russ Tamblyn gives an energetic and spirited performance as tom (especially in the dances), and it was great seeing George Pal resurrect some of his puppetoon animation for the movie. It’s not as grim as the original story, but rarely are the works of the Grimm Brothers presented that way. The songs are a little on the weak side, the movie runs a hair too long, and Peter Sellers has a role that’s almost too easy for him (though he does very well indeed). All in all, I have to say that this is one of my favorite of George Pal’s movies.