Pulgarcito (1957)

aka Tom Thumb
Article 3126 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-18-2009
Posting Date: 3-6-2010
Directed by Rene Cardona
Featuring Maria Elena Marques, Jose Elias Morena, Cesareo Quezadas ‘Pulgarcito’
Country: Mexico
What it is: Mexican fairy tale

The diminutive Pulgarcito must save himself and his six normal-sized brothers from an ogre.

After having sat through two rather dry German fairy tale movies, I welcomed the opportunity to catch a Mexican fairy tale movie, even one that hadn’t been dubbed into English. At the very least, you can count on a Mexican children’s movie to have a strong sense of fun and energy, and this one does. Granted, it’s not as fascinatingly bizarre as some other children’s movies I’ve seen from Mexico (LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, for example), but I found this one entertaining enough. One thing that surprised me is that the special effects were actually not too bad; you can pretty much figure out the various camera tricks that were employed to make Pulgarcito seem as small as he is, but the illusion is sustained. Even in a scene where the ogre reaches for Pulgarcito where you can tell that the hand is fake, nonetheless the editing is brisk enough that the camera doesn’t dwell on the effect overmuch, and the hand moves convincingly enough that the illusion is sustained. For me, one of the funniest moments in the movie is when Pulgarcito gets the upper hand on the ogre by teaching the ogre’s wife and children hygiene and manners. The young actor who plays Pulgarcito would reprise the role five years later in LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE MONSTERS.


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