The Magic Beans (1939)

Article 4230 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-16-2013
Directed by Lester Kline
Voice cast unknown
Country: US
What it is: Cartoon fairy tale pastiche

Jack trades the family cow for a handful of Mexican jumping beans that grow into a giant beanstalk.

This cartoon sat on my hunt list for years and almost ended up on my “ones that got away” list, but I finally found a copy. I’m not quite sure what to make of it; it doesn’t quite work and it’s somewhat off-kilter. The humor feels rather self-conscious, even when it makes an unexpected turn into Tex Avery-style humor at the very end. Still, it manages to give off an interesting vibe that is somewhat unlike that I get from the other cartoon studios of the period (this one is from Walter Lantz, by the way). On a side note, and bearing in mind the cartoon I covered yesterday, I did find it interesting that Jack and his mother were anthropomorphic mice; given that tidbit of information, you should be able to figure out what the giant is going to be.

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