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Wacky World of Mother Goose, The

USA



Original Air Date:
1967
Channel:
Theatrical
Prod. Co.:
Jules Bass
Genre:
Film
 

5.00

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Characters & Voices
Mother Goose - Dame Margaret Rutherford
 
(drawn animation)

The prolific team of Arthur Rankin, Jr., and Jules Bass released their first cel-animated feature in 1966, The Wacky World of Mother Goose. The two were more well-known for the stop-motion “Animagic” process showcased in TV specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and films like Mad Monster Party, but they decided to go the old-fashioned route for this wacky take on classic nursery rhymes. With veteran British actress Dame Margaret Rutherford as Mother Goose, Rankin-Bass combined old favorites and a few new characters into one eclectic whole.

At the start of the film, Mother Goose has to go tend to her sister, who has a cold. Leaving behind her nursery rhyme friends, Mother is unaware that Count Walktwist, a villain with crooked legs, is planning a takeover in her absence. With his henchmen, the Crooked Knights, Walktwist sets his sights on overthrowing Old King Cole and marrying Harmony, his lovely daughter.

Harmony wants to marry her clumsy beau, Prince Robin, but Walktwist abducts the young couple and takes over the land. Meanwhile, the Crooked Knights have kidnapped Jack Horner’s parents, and the young boy must join up with Mary Quite Contrary to rescue them. Mary has sent a plea for help to Mother Goose, and although the kindly matron can’t return yet, she does send the Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker to help.

Jack and Mary meet Peter Piper’s wife, Patricia, who tells them that Walktwist has turned her husband into a Crooked Knight. The Cow jumps over the moon to take Patricia to Mother Goose, while the Dish and the Spoon run away to tell Walktwist what’s going down. Walktwist dispatches the Crooked Knights to take care of Jack and Mary, and then things really get wacky, with appearances by Little Boy Blue, Humpty Dumpty and a menacing candlestick.

Together with George Wilkins, Jules Bass also composed the film’s original songs, which included “Great Big Wacky World,” “Half a Chance,” and “S.S. BBC.” Long forgotten except by those who saw and loved it, The Wacky World of Mother Goose has become a hard-to-find gem on video.
 
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In 1934, Henry began syndication from King Features Syndicate.