Jack and the Beanstalk (1974 film)
|Jack and the Beanstalk|
Japanese poster for the film
|Hepburn||Jakku to Mame no Ki|
|Directed by||Gisaburō Sugii|
|Produced by||Mikio Nakata|
|Written by||Shūji Hirami|
|Music by||Takashi Miki|
|Edited by||Masashi Furukawa|
Jack and the Beanstalk (ジャックと豆の木 Jakku to Mame no Ki) is a 1974 Japanese animated feature film produced by Group TAC and Nippon Herald Films and directed by Gisaburō Sugii. Styled after classical Western animation, it is a musical fantasy based on the fairy tale of the same name with the screenplay by Shūji Hirami, music organization by Yū Aku and songs and score composed and arranged by Takashi Miki with Shun'ichi Tokura and Tadao Inōe. It was released in Japan on July 20, 1974 and in the United States by Columbia Pictures in 1976.
Jack resides with his mother in a small house out in the country. Being very poor, they eventually find themselves forced to sell their cow, which has stopped giving milk. Jack runs into a mysterious man on the way into town and trades the cow for a handful of "magic" beans. Jack's mother becomes angry at him and spanks him with a broom before throwing the beans out the window.
As Jack sleeps, the beanstalk grows, much to the astonishment of Jack's dog, Crosby. Crosby is even more surprised to see a mouse in a dress descending the beanstalk. Jack awakens and is also amazed at the sight of the beanstalk. The mouse convinces Jack and Crosby to accompany her up the beanstalk.
Upon arriving at the top, the trio find themselves in the courtyard of a castle, where they find a girl who appears to be in a trance looking at them. The girl, Margaret, is the princess of the castle. Her mother and father have disappeared, but she claims to be happy since she will soon be marrying her beloved prince, Tulip, who is actually a giant. Margaret introduces Jack to Tulip's mother, Madame Hecuba, who herself is actually an evil witch that has put the princess under a spell. The witch aspires to become queen of the Land of the Clouds when Tulip and Margaret are married.
Madame Hecuba takes Jack to an upstairs dining hall, where she feeds him some soup intended to put him to sleep. She has to hide him quickly when Tulip, who is not very bright, arrives upstairs. As he is eating, Tulip smells Jack's presence. Jack manages to escape, much to the chagrin of Hecuba, who orders Tulip to find him and promises to share Jack with him.
In the meantime, Jack meets more clothed mice as well as a talking harp. The harp initially starts calling for the giant, but is quick to cooperate when the mice and Jack persuade her that it would be in her best interest. She reveals that Madame Hecuba got rid of the king and queen and turned the people of the castle into mice. Tulip comes into the treasure room and Jack witnesses a golden hen lay a golden egg. The harp also reveals that the witch's spell must be renewed daily.
Jack decides to grab the hen and as much treasure as he can carry and make his way back down the beanstalk. In the process, he tricks Tulip into thinking he fell to his doom. Jack and his mother celebrate their new-found fortune until Crosby persuades Jack that he should stop the princess from marrying the giant.
With fresh determination to help the princess, Jack ascends the beanstalk a second time. He learns from the harp that the spell over the princess can be broken with a kiss from someone who is truly brave. Jack crashes the mock wedding and gives Margaret a kiss. The witch and the giant are both angered when Margaret returns to normal and recognizes them for who they are. A chase ensues, and Jack eventually faces Madame Hecuba again. Tulip enters the room and prepares to step on Jack when, at the last moment, he turns on his mother and steps on her instead.
With the witch destroyed, the mice turn back into people and the castle starts to return to normal. The giant is still around, however, and chases Jack and Crosby. The two eventually climb down the beanstalk with Tulip in hot pursuit, and cut the beanstalk down upon reaching the bottom, causing Tulip to fall to his death. Jack and Crosby look up to the clouds, thinking about Margaret.
- Jack (ジャック Jakku)
- Key animated by: Shigeru Yamamoto; Voiced by: Masachika Ichimura (Japanese); Billie Lou Watt (English)
- Margaret (マーガレット Māgaretto)
- Old bean-seller
- Voiced by: Kō Nishimura
- Prince Tulip the giant (巨人(チューリップ) Kyojin (Chūrippu))
- Key animated by: Teruhito Ueguchi; Voiced by: Hiroshi Mizushima (Japanese); Jack Grimes (English)
- Madam Noir (ノワール夫人 Nowāru-fujin), Madame Hecuba (English)
- Crosby (グロスビー Gurosubī)
- Harp (たて琴 Tategoto)
- Key animated by: Kanji Akahori; Voiced by: Nobue Ichitani (Japanese); Billie Lou Watt (English)
- Mother (おっ母)
- Paper priest (紙の司祭 Kami no shisai)
- Voiced by: Takeshi Kusaka
- Kōjō (口上)
- Voiced by: Tonpei Hidari
- Mii (ミイ)
- Key animated by: Toshio Hirata
- Mice (ねずみたち Nezumi-tachi)
- Key animated by: Toshio Hirata
- The beanstalk (豆の木 Mame no ki)
- Key animated by: Kanji Akahori
It is the first feature directed by Sugii or animated by Group TAC and the second film under that arrangement, following as it did the just previously produced half-hour educational film The History of Mutual Aid: The Story of Life Insurance.
- タイトル・口上（左 とん平）
- 追い出しの歌（左 とん平）
The English-dubbed version received mixed opinion from U.S. critics. Henry Herx wrote in his Family Guide to Movies on Video: "Its songs are insipid and the animation rather primitive[;] still it moves along at a lively enough pace and may amuse younger children." Richard Eder of The New York Times remarked: "The lines are blurry, the colors muddy, and the action is blocklike. When the characters' lips move up and down, the words come out sideways." He ended his short review with this comment: "It is the kind of thing grandfathers are sent out to send their grandchildren to. They will sit silently, side by side, and a quiet loathing will come up between them." In 2010, Michael R. Pitts said that the songs are "forgettable". Conversely, the writers of Jerry Beck's Animated Movie Guide hailed it as "A successful Japanese emulation of American fairy tale theatrical cartoon features with many delightful songs", and gave it four stars.
- "ジャックと豆の木とは - 映画情報 Weblio辞書". Weblio.jp. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- "ジャックと豆の木". Jmdb.ne.jp. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- The original, Japanese-language version film itself.
- "Los Angeles Anime Festival". Anime News Network. April 16, 2003. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- Jack and the Beanstalk on IMDb
- "The History of Mutual Aid". Pelleas.net. 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- "Family/children". Hen's Tooth Video. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- ミュージカル・ファンタジィ"ジャックと豆の木" (in Japanese). Anison Generation. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- "Various - ジャックと豆の木". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
- Herx, Henry (1988). "Jack and the Beanstalk". The Family Guide to Movies on Video. The Crossroad Publishing Company. p. 136 (pre-release version). ISBN 0-8245-0816-5.
- Eder, Richard (April 16, 1976). "The Screen: 'Beanstalk'". The New York Times. p. 11.
- Pitts, Michael R. (2010). "Jack and the Beanstalk". Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1982. McFarland & Company. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-7864-4447-9. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). "Jack and the Beanstalk". The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago Reader Press. pp. 125–126. ISBN 1-55652-591-5.