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Tom Thumb

A movie directed by George Pal

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enchanting family classic

  • Dec 27, 2009
I remember this classic quite vividly from my childhood - it's a real treat to finally be able to see it again on DVD. In TOM THUMB (1958), the special-effects wizardry of George Pal, the outstanding talents of Russ Tamblyn, and the whimsical music of Peggy Lee come together to create a spellbinding story for the young and the young in heart.

A childless couple (Bernard Miles and Jessie Matthews) are blessed with a tiny, thumb-sized son, when they are given three wishes by the beautiful and kindly Forest Queen (June Thorburn). Little Tom Thumb (Russ Tamblyn) turns out to be quite a handful indeed, leading the whole town on a merry dance in his enchanted shoes; but later falls into the clutches of two merciless crooks (Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers), who exploit Tom by making him participate in a robbery, for which his parents are ultimately blamed. Tom and his friend Woody (Alan Young) - who also hides a yen for the lovely Forest Queen - must race against time to catch the real villains, and save Tom's parents in the process.

A real charmer. TOM THUMB springs to life with music, colour and merriment to spare. Russ Tamblyn is a little dynamo in the title role, displaying his amazing gymnast skills in some fantastic dance numbers ("tom thumb's Tune", "Talented Shoes"). George Pal's legendary stop-motion Puppetoons make several appearances (who could ever forget the Yawning Man?), and the strong chemistry of June Thorburn and Alan Young helps the romantic portion of the story become one of it's most memorable components.

The DVD includes both widescreen and full-frame versions of the movie, plus the trailer.

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About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #145
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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About this movie


When the 2-inch-tall Tom Thumb arrives at a childless couple's door, it seems like the perfect family has been created. But a chance meeting with a pair of devious robbers soon has Tom acting as an unwitting accomplice in a robbery, thereby threatening his family's happiness. Only Tom (Russ Tamblyn ofWest Side Story) and his friend Woody (Alan Young) can prove the innocence of Tom's parents and bring the robbers to justice. This 1958 presentation of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale won an Oscar®for its innovative special effects. Timeless scenes include the famous dancing shoes and the painted boy who peels himself off of a pad of paper to dance around the room. Peggy Lee and Fred Spielman provide a wealth of catchy songs that have Tamblyn, Young, and Peter Sellers singing, dancing, and performing impressive gymnastic feats. This fanciful tale will appeal to the entire family.--Tami Horiuchi
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Director: George Pal
DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
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