While Fun and Fancy Free is yet another package film, it differentiates itself from the previous films in that Fun & Fancy Free only has two stories. They are wrapped together by an outside narration done by Jiminy Cricket. To introduce the first segment, Jiminy, still a household intruder despite apparently having it made after helping out Pinnocchio, stumbles upon an unhappy looking doll and teddy bear, so he plays them a record that tells the story of Bongo, the circus bear who feels the call of the wild and frees himself.
Unfortunately, the wild isn’t what he thought it would be. Heck, he has trouble riding his unicycle. There’s loud noises at night. Trees are hard to climb. When you can’t climb one, the rest of the animals laugh at you. And catching fish is hard. Life in the woods is hard. And that’s sad when there’s a cute girl bear you’re trying to woo. It’s worse when the biggest, baddest bear in the forest also likes the same girl bear.
Lulubell (Bongo’s beau), is a pretty strong character. When the big bad bear is about to beat Bongo, she steps in between them. And then proceeds to punch Bongo in the face.
You see, that’s how bears flirt: By attacking one another. But because Bongo doesn’t get it, lady bear gives up on him and Bongo unicycles off dejected. Fortunately, a musical interlude from the narrator fills him in. So after a final showdown with the big bad bear, Bongo gives Lulubell a good slap and everything’s happy.
I think this is a movie I’d have to keep away from children. With all their imaginations, I’d hate to have them get it in their mind that they’re a bear and think that the proper way to express affection is through physical violence. I’d much rather my kid be something cool. Like a tiger or a velociraptor.
But I digress.
The second segment is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. To introduce it, Jimini, while being a home invader, spies an invitation to a party across the street and decides to crash that as well. So he hops across the street to a party and it’s nothing but a little girl and a creepy old ventriloquist with two dummies. Yeah. I’m raising some eyebrows too, but hey, it was the 40’s and little girls being invited to “parties” with only an older guy around was probably a common occurrence. Yeah. And crickets talk.
Anyway, he tells her a story about “Happy Valley” in which a magic harp made the valley plentiful, until it was stolen. The remaining family in the valley is Donald, Goofy, and Mickey. No explanation on why they’re living together. They’re just there.
But they’re starving, having to divide their last bean. But they have a cow that’s relatively well fed, so Mickey goes off to sell it in exchange for magic beans which takes them to the giant’s castle in the clouds. They get discovered and Donald and Goofy are locked up. Mickey comes to the rescue and springs them all with the help of the harp, which can put the giant to sleep.
They escape and Happy Valley is once again happy.
It makes sense that Mickey is the main hero in this one. After all, he’s got experience dealing with giants.
Guess that’s it. No science for this week.