Jack and the Beanstalk (1974)

Article 3886 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-26-2012
Posting Date: 4-4-2012
Directed by Gisaburo Sugii
Featuring the voices of Jack Grimes, Corinne Orr, Billie Lou Watt
Country: USA / Japan
What it is: Animated fairy tale

Jack, humiliated at having traded the family cow for some magic beans, is startled to find that the beans are really magic and have grown into a giant beanstalk. He climbs up it, and finds himself in the kingdom of the clouds, where he has to save a princess from a witch and a giant.

With a rating of 7.4 on IMDB, one thing is for sure; this movie has its fans. But I’ve come to expect that with any children’s movie; since they’re usually the first ones we see in our lives, they have a strong chance of becoming old favorites. Personally, I can’t stand the music in this one, though I will admit that it’s somewhat offbeat, and the movie does use it in interesting ways. The movie takes a few liberties with the original story; it throws in a princess and a witch to complicate things, and the witch is the real villain, since the giant is something of a half-wit who can’t even bring himself to say anything resembling “Fee Fi Fo Fum” (and for some reason, it just doesn’t seem like “Jack and the Beanstalk” without the phrase). In some ways, the giant could even be considered a hero in the story, given the role he ultimately plays; one almost wishes that he didn’t suffer his expected demise and went back and lived in a cave somewhere. There’s a few surreal touches here and there to add to the fun, but I’d certainly like this one a lot better if the music didn’t grate on me.

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