Une fee… pas comme les autres (1956)

aka The Secret of Magic Island
Article 3256 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-19-2010
Posting Date: 7-14-2010
Directed by Jean Tourane
Voices unknown
Country: Italy/France
What it is: Bizarre children’s movie

An evil monkey infiltrates a carnival so he can sneak into a village and steal their treasure – a magic wand.

I’ve been dying to see this movie ever since I stumbled across a trailer of it. Once it popped up on my hunt list, it proved near impossible to find, but it finally turned up, albeit dubbed into Swedish. It’s a children’s movie with a gimmick, and that gimmick is that the cast is made up entirely of animals who, according to the ads “think they’re people”. So what you get are scenes of animals doing things that they don’t usually do; you see dogs tending bar, pigs using a bandsaw, frogs driving motorcycles, ducks driving trains and cars, dogs playing the organ, ducks shooting pool… you get the idea. The narrators tell the story, but with this sort of thing, the story is secondary; the attraction is the animal footage. Some of it gets really strange; there’s something truly unsettling about seeing a rabbit smoking a cigarette, or a fox giving a shampoo to a chicken. It’s the sort of movie where a critique is rather pointless; you’ll either find the gimmick irresistible or you won’t. Still, it does get old after a while, even with a running time of about an hour. At the very least, the movie is one of a kind.


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