HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  tom thumb It's A Small World After All
Year: 1958
Director: George Pal
Stars: Russ Tamblyn, Alan Young, June Thorburn, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Bernard Miles, Jessie Matthews, Ian Wallace, Peter Butterworth, Peter Bull, Stan Freberg, Dal McKennon, Barbara Ferris
Genre: Musical, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Once upon a time, many years ago, Honest Jonathan (Bernard Miles) was out in the forest where he lived trying to chop down a large tree. He had just begun when a young woman magically appeared, the Forest Queen (June Thorburn), and told him she would rather he didn't fell this particular tree; he was so astonished at her disappearing and reappearing act that he agreed to her wishes, and in return she granted him three of his own. Once he returned to his cottage, he told his wife Anne (Jessie Matthews) about this at the dinner table and wished he had a big sausage to accompany the cabbage he was offered...

Well, that was one wish gone, and soon all three were used up since the sausage was then attached to Jonathan's nose then wished off it again - what a waste. But where was our title character, the one from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales? He shows up later that night, presumably as compensation for the childless, middle-aged couple, and the adventure can commence properly in this, a musical fantasy created by something of an expert in the field during this era, George Pal, producer turned director. Here he was using MGM's British arm to realise his endeavours, which meant a cast mostly hailing from that country.

Though Tom himself was played by an American, the incredibly athletic Russ Tamblyn who had so impressed audiences earlier that decade with his dancing in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and here was recruited to perform more of his impressive moves. First sighted wearing a leaf, because Tom is five and a half inches tall, he is quickly adopted by Jonathan and Anne, who have a whole room full of toys for him to play with, though luckily he doesn't have to exert himself pushing them about because in proto-Toy Story fashion they spring to life when the parents are not around, animated by way of Pal's patented Puppetoons, a line of stop motion which had proven very popular.

This leads to possibly the film's most famous sequence where Tom dances with the playthings, flinging himself around the set with oversized models mixed with the puppets, so dazzling in its invention that the rest of the movie has trouble living up to it. To do so they introduced a sinister element, and there are those who when watching this as an adult find the movie oddly unsettling, but then that was more faithful to the Grimm's stories than might be readily admitted. It's not as if Tom ends up like The Incredible Shrinking Man and has to battle a giant cat or spider - though you do wonder if he ever was faced with such problems due to his diminutive stature, but there are villains in this nonetheless, played by Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers, just on the cusp of making their names internationally.

Those two want to rob the local village's bank, so persuade Tom to assist them under the pretence they need the money to give to orphans when they are planning nothing of the sort, which establishes the grand finale where Jonathan and Anne are unjustly accused of stealing the gold and threatened with a lashing, which seems unduly harsh for a family film from the fifties. All that was more interesting than the subplot where Alan Young was a woodwind (i.e. recorder) player in the village band, and wanted to marry the Forest Queen but couldn't since she was immortal and he was not, though a kiss will remedy that (couldn't she have made him immortal instead?). Along with these complications were songs by Peggy Lee, fresh off her Lady and the Tramp triumph, though she didn't pen the memorable paean to going to sleep, the Yawning Man's song here sung by the legendary Stan Freberg. There's no denying tom thumb probably plays better when you were a little kid, but it rarely flags and Pal's imagination was well-suited to this material; tumblin' Tamblyn's gymnastics remained superb.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5906 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: