|Set in a small alpine village, this live action / "Puppetoon" animated version of the story has Honest Jonthan, a kindly but poor old woodcutter make a deal with The Queen Of The Forrest" not to cut down the biggest tree in the forrest. Jonathan agrees and he is rewarded with three wishes. The Queen warns him not to waiste the wishes, but as soon as he arrives home at dinnertime the foolish old man and his wife Anna use the wishes up and they are gone.
Saddened over the fact that they cannot have the child that they wanted so badly, poor Anna is near tears. Jonathan, forever the optimist, still believes that there maybe hope. The Queen may grant them another wish, just a little one, that they son would a sweet and caring little boy.
Later that night, a knock is heard at Accron Cottage. Jonathan answers the door and is greeted by his son, Tom Thumb. He is welcomed by the elderly couple and the next day the father and son head for the woods to work. There they meet a kind hearted but bumbling fellow Woody, who has just been assigned to perform with The Royal Military Band at the fair next sunday and two villians Evil Ivan and his henchman Fat Tony.
Ivan and Tony want to use Tom to help them rob The Royal Treasury. They approach Honest Jonathan to have him sell the little fellow to them. Appalled, Jonathan refuses and the two scoundrels move on. Woody invites Tom to join him at the fair. Jonathan allows his son to go to the happy event with Woody. However, while buying a pair of Talented Shoes from the local cobbler, Tom's Shoes keep on dancing to the music of the band and he can't stop. He soon grabs a little girl's balloon and the little fellow is soon flying over the countryside.
Ivan and Tony spot the kid flying over them and they bring down safely to earth. The two villians trick the little fellow into helping them rob the Royal Treasury and then sending him into the swamp. Poor Tom is almost eaten by the creatures of the swamp, but he is saved by The Queen.
Taken home by Woody, Tom is sent to bed by his angry father. The next day, the king's soldiers are having breakfest with Jonathan and Anna. While eating some bread, the captain of the guards nearly breaks his teeth on a gold coin found in his slice of bread. (Tom had been given a gold coin by the crooks). Believeing that the elderly couple is guilty of robbing the Royal Treasury, the Soliders take them away to the village where later that day they are about to be whipped in public for the crime.
Woody and Tom find and capture the two fiends and turn them over to the law. Jonathan and Anna are freed and they receive a big reward for capturing the crooks. Woody is made the new leader of The Royal Military band and he marries The Queen Of The Forrest. Tom falls in love with a little lady figurine atop the celebraition cake and everyone lives happily ever after.
Originally, George Pal wanted this film to use an all "Puppetoon" cast. The heads of MGM however felt that the film should feature a combination cast of live actors and "Puppetoons". They also suggested to Mr. Pal that "Tom Thumb" should be played by a human performer. At first, Pal was relunctant to have his tiny hero played by a human being, but he warmed up to the idea and he suggested to the studio heads that Donald O'Connor play the role.
MGM execs had a different actor and singer in mind. They got a stubborn Pal to watch footage from "Seven Bride For Seven Brothers" and had him watch the efforts of a talented fellow named Russ Tamblyn. Impressed with his dancing, acting and singing abilities, Pal choose Tamblyn to play his tiny hero.
Filming scenes at MGM's Borchmwood Studios in England and the remainder of the film at Pal's "Puppetoon" studios "Dollywood" in Holland, the famous puppet animator created a wonderful musical fantasy film that used live action, stop motion animation music, songs and dance in a way that still enchants movie goers and later tv and video viewers to this day.
"Tom Thumb" was the last movie for Jessie Mathews; she would retire from the screen following the film's release.
Three Years after the film's release, Alan Young would appear in another popular family oriented fantasy, the CBS TV Fantasy sitcom"Mr. Ed". Mr.Tamblyn would play "Tom Thumb" one more time in Mr. Pal's second and last live action/ puppet animated musical fantasy film, "The Wonderful World Of The Brother's Grimm" in 1962.