A poet of the cinema invents the beauty of the place, a tropic isle, its occupiers, and the battle.

The technique recalls Fischinger. No figures, not even toy soldiers (cf. Romeo Bosetti’s The Automatic Moving Company)...

A historical note, and then the facts of the matter... a building program... the riposte.



Mother Goose Stories

“Little Miss Muffet”, “Old Mother Hubbard”, “Queen of Hearts” and “Humpty Dumpty”. Mother Goose steps out of her book with her namesake waddling beside her, waves her wand and makes a table and projector appear.

The verses are intertitled line by line amongst the action. When Little Miss Muffet catches sight of the spider (which must have been at the back of Poe’s mind when he wrote “The Raven”), her eyes protrude roundly before she runs away.

Old Mother Hubbard and her dog are superbly animated on the naturalistic side (rather than the expert cartooning of the King of Hearts or the spider), but the dog will be laughing or smoking a pipe.

The Queen of Hearts is a charming blonde deeply studied at the oven as she bakes. Her inexpressible smile at the Knave’s forswearing is Leonardesque.

Humpy Dumpty is an egg on the nest that rolls out and sprouts limbs. After his fall, a king’s man shakes his head over the pieces of his shell, one of which says “The End”, as king’s horses look on.

These are as good as the Mother Goose rhymes themselves, and not too good for children. The musical sense of Harryhausen’s scenic constructions probably stems from the verse.

There is no dialogue, only a delightful score that is uncredited. Rocky & Bullwinkle’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” open similarly with a little lady and a large book, parodying Harryhausen’s film.