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String Bean Jack (1938) HD online

String Bean Jack (1938) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Animation / Short
Original Title: String Bean Jack
Director: John Foster
Released: 1938
Duration: 7min
Video type: Movie
A variation on the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story.
Uncredited cast:
Arthur Kay Arthur Kay - Giant / Jack's Mother / 'W.C. Fields' character (voice) (uncredited)

This film was Paul Terry's first in color.

When a character plays a harp, what is heard on the soundtrack is actually Philip A. Scheib playing the piano. Paul Terry, a renowned cheapskate, never would have hired a harpist for this brief sequence.

Reviews: [2]

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    Paul Terry finally bit the bullet and sprang for a few Technicolor cartoons and this one is his first. His staff's handling of it seems a bit off, with a look more reminiscent of tinted and toned movies than the lushness favored by Disney.

    The story, a fairly straightforward retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk", is enlivened by a couple of well-placed gags and some celebrity cameos -- the guy who swindles Jack out of his cow in return for beans is W.C. Fields and the magic harp is Harpo Marx. It is no classic by any means, but grace notes offered by old-time director John Foster make is easily watchable.
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    The Terrytoons are oddly interesting, mainly for anybody wanting to see (generally) older cartoons made by lesser known and lower-budget studios. They are a mixed bag in quality, with some better than others, often with outstanding music and with some mild amusement and charm and variable in animation, characterisation and content.

    1938, like all the other years for Terrytoons, saw a hit and miss batch, more so than the other years even. Of which 'String Bean Jack' is one of the better ones ranking it in correlation with the rest of the Terrytoons and one of the best 1938 cartoons. There are flaws but also a lot of strengths, and a few things done better than what was seen before. 'String Bean Jack' is well worth watching as an above average watch with more to it than completest sake.

    Best asset is the music, which predictably is incredible. It is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated and arranged, is great fun to listen to and full of lively energy, doing so well with enhancing the action. The ambitious, elaborate detail in the backgrounds is still great to see, the 1938 Terrytoons onwards showed more fluidity in design than in previous years and some synchronisation is neat. The drawing is more fluid generally, while the colours in the first Terrytoons effort to be in colour are generally vibrant and nice to watch if not always refined.

    A fair share of amusing moments, with more gags than there can be usually found and they are all beautifully timed and funny (not always the case with Terrytoons), and there is a lot of zest and natural charm. Also a suitably strange and absurdist quality that was fun and endearing to watch. The characters are amusing and quite relatable here too and that it doesn't get saccharine is appreciated. There are imaginative visuals and moments and the celebrity cameos/caricatures from the likes of W.C. Fields and Harpo Marx are inspired, being familiar with those two they weren't hard to recognise which is not always the case with animated caricatures.

    On the other hand, there are occasions where transitions are not as smooth as they could have been and where the colour lacks refinement.

    Likewise, the story, while refreshingly wild for Terrytoons at this point, is thin and with not quite enough surprises, being yet another variation on an oft-done story with many familiar elements. A few moments of staleness in humour though this was only occasional.

    All in all, not bad at all. 7/10 Bethany Cox