1976, Animated: "Jack & The Beanstalk"

MarcoBiscotti

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If you grew up watching the Disney Channel or HBO in the mid to late 80's than I'm sure you've seen this animated feature on television before...

http://www.atlasfilm.com/jack.htm

+

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0074705

It was directed by Peter J. Solmo and animated by Gisaburo Sugii and I believe first released theatrically in Japan in 1974 and than redubbed in English and issued here 2 years later by Columbia (I think) in the U.S.

Immediately following, it appeared in regular broadcast on both HBO and the Disney Channel.

It was a musical-driven animated feature with an at-times creepy ambience, based on the classic fairy tale, newly revised and hailed by The Anime Encyclopedia as "an excellent musical anime that could easily have given Disney’s films of the day a run for their money"...


In the movie, Jack and his dog Crosby climb a magical beanstalk to an enchanted castle in the clouds where they have to defeat an evil witch in order to rescue Princess Margaret from a spell that has her convinced she's in love with a dim-witted giant named Tulip.

One song in particular, titled - "No One's Happier Than I" - might be memorable to those with faint recollections of seeing this as it proved a successful element of the film.


Does anyone else remember this??


This is truly one of my all-time favorite animated features and the video has long been out of print and seems to be pretty obscure... I really want this on DVD, quite possibly more than anything else!

I still have an old vhs recording however the a/v quality is awful and it's deteriorating fast - I need this on DVD!!!

Does anyone know who holds the rights to produce/release/distribute this film on home video in the U.S. and what are the chances that we will ever see this marketed again?

Who else would want to see this released on DVD?!
 

Darren Gross

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I would love to see it again.

The mood and look of the giant and his wife scared the pants off of me as a kid...Over the years I wasn't sure what it was until I recently read Patrick Macias' comments about it in the JAPAN EDGE book.
 

MarcoBiscotti

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haha, remember that twisted David Lynch-esque scene where the witch brings Jack into that floating elevator and leads him into the dining room where the chairs and surrounding furniture restrain him while he's hypnotized and force fed that disgusting puke-green soup... that used to scare the crap out of me as a kid!

I could never eat a bowl of pea soup again without thinking about that scene and hearing the witch's hypnotic nasal voice in my head... Also that wedding scene where the witch makes those paper ghost-like cut outs which come alive and chant over the sound of the ringing bells used to give me crazy nightmares!!

 

MarcoBiscotti

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Only one person has seen this, how's that possible?!?

No wonder it hasn't been released to DVD...



Somebody post something!!
 

Brian Kidd

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I'm getting vague twitterings in the back of my mind but can't remember for sure if I've seen this. I would love to, though. I dig creepy kids' movies.
 

MarcoBiscotti

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It had gained a cult status back in the day like The Last Unicorn. I'm surprised it's become such an obscure title..
 

Ernest Rister

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This is one of those movies - like The Water Babies - that I saw at such a young age, that I can't trust my own memories regarding quality. I know I enjoyed the thing tremendously, but then I liked a lot of movies at that age that make me wince today.

Jack and the Beanstalk's main strength, if memory serves, were the story and the art direction, not the actual character animation. It is Disney-esque in that a simple story is expanded to feature-length, and yet the embellishments improve upon the original to a great degree. And yes, I do remember that song, it is seared into my brain like the scars from a branding iron.
 

MarcoBiscotti

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Ernest, unlike the Water Babies this one certainly holds up today in terms of quality and entertainment...

The character animation, despite what you remember, is actually very impressive and since it was animated in Japan it holds a basic semblance in style, design and subtle perspective of early 1970's style anime films most distinct in the character models and expressions yet still retains the refined and fluid nature and movement of the higher-budget American made features. It also boasts an abundance of bright and colorful, imaginative artistry common in animated films and t.v. specials of that time.

Aside from it's basic "Disney-esque" affinity in simply being an expanded rendition of a classic fairy tale brought to life on screen, it also posses other distinct elements - most prominently - an incredibly original, progressive, strong and exuberant musical score which enhances the story immensely!

I really wish someone could tell me which company holds rights to this film as I would kill to have it remastered and released on DVD!!!

I strongly suggest you check it out if given the chance Ernest, it'll bring back some great memories!
 

Ernest Rister

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Oh, believe me, I'd pounce on it if it was available - just like the British feature, Water Babies, the musical score of which has also laid claim to valuable brain cells - I'm just saying I wish I could trust my 6th grade memories enough to comment on it. I remember thinking it was the best version of Jack and the Beanstalk I'd ever seen, if that is any comfort.
 

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