Fun and Fancy Free

Watch Fun and Fancy Free

"It’s Got That DISNEY MAGIC!"
  • G
  • 1947
  • 1 hr 13 min
  • 6.4  (9,358)
  • 66

Fun and Fancy Free is a delightful animated musical film from 1947 that is a perfect example of how Walt Disney revolutionized the animation industry. The movie stands out because it features two stories that are cleverly interlinked by a common thread. The stories are "Bongo", an adventure of a circus bear who escapes to the forest, and "Mickey and the Beanstalk", a retelling of the classic fairy tale.

The movie opens with the genial radio host Edgar Bergen and his ventriloquist dummy, Charlie McCarthy, who are hanging out in their cozy living room. Bergen sets up the tale of "Bongo," and the puppet characters slowly come to life as he introduces them to the viewers.

In "Bongo," the circus bear, voiced by legendary crooner, Dinah Shore, is the main character. The story begins with Bongo, tired of his monotonous life in the circus, taking a leap of faith and escaping to the wild. Bongo adapts to his newfound life in the forest quickly and meets some lovable creatures such as a female bear, a squirrel, and a mouse. Bongo is not alone. The female bear is not very welcoming at first, but Bongo's buffoonery wins her heart over, and they do a delightful duet called "Two Happy Bears."

"Bongo" is fun-filled and packed with action as the couple dances, swings on tree branches, and slides down the waterfalls. It is pure slapstick entertainment - with hilarious sequences where Bongo outdoes himself in his attempts to impress the female bear.

The second story, "Mickey and the Beanstalk," features Walt Disney's superstar, Mickey Mouse, alongside other famous Disney characters, Donald Duck, and Goofy. The story opens with a cheerful giant named Willie (voiced wonderfully by Billy Gilbert) singing an upbeat song that will become a recurring motif throughout the movie.

The story takes place is a fantasy world where times are hard, and Mickey Mouse and friends' farm is barren. In desperate need of food, Mickey and gang set out on a quest to acquire the magic harp that sings whenever it's played, and whose music brings more abundant crops to the land. To succeed, they must climb the legendary beanstalk, a feat that the timid Donald is not very keen on undertaking. It's one of the funniest moments of the movie when we see a terrified Donald being hoisted on top of the beanstalk, shivering with fear.

Once the group reaches the top, they enter the castle where they meet Willie, the friendly giant. Willie invites them in and treats them to a fantastic feast. Willie is a superb character in the story, thanks to the humor and warmth Billy Gilbert brings to him. He is not your typical giant, as he's vegetarian and apparently good-natured, but his selfish wife is not as welcoming as Willie.

The story is punctuated with catchy tunes like "Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow", and engaging scenes where Mickey and his friends dodge giant rats and fly to safety with the aid of Dumbo the elephant.

In terms of animation style, the movie retains the traditional Disney charm, with graceful, fluid movements of the animated characters, and palettes of bright colors that dazzle the eyes. The animation is masterful, and the way it delivers simplistic images that sync perfectly with the songs is a hallmark of Disney at its prime.

What sets Fun and Fancy Free apart from other animated films is the genius of the puppetry/animation blend. Edgar Bergen serves as a masterful emcee who bridges the gap between the stories, introducing them with humor and ease. In some of the scenes, Bergen's ventriloquist dummies, naturally incorporated into the story, seamlessly take over the narrative. Charlie McCarthy, voiced and controlled by Bergen, delivers some of the funniest lines in the movie.

In conclusion, Fun and Fancy Free is a splendid example of what an animated musical film should look like. It's funny, charming, and engaging. The movie is timeless in its appeal, and it's a film that can be enjoyed by the young and old alike. It's a reminder of the continuity and the power of the Disney brand, and it will live on forever in the annals of animation history as a masterpiece.

Fun and Fancy Free is a 1947 animated movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 13 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 66.

Fun and Fancy Free
Where to Watch Fun and Fancy Free
Fun and Fancy Free is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Disney+, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Fun and Fancy Free for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (9,358)
  • Metascore