ⓘ Tom Thumb (film)

Tom Thumb (film)

ⓘ Tom Thumb (film)

Tom Thumb is a 1958 fantasy-musical film produced and directed by George Pal and released by MGM. The film, based on the fairy tale "Thumbling" by the Brothers Grimm, is about a tiny man who manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.

It stars Russ Tamblyn in the title role, with a largely British supporting cast it was filmed in both Hollywood and London, including Bernard Miles and Jessie Matthews as Tom Thumbs adoptive parents, June Thorburn as the Forest Queen and comic actors Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers as the villainous duo who try to exploit the tiny hero for profit.

Director Pal worked with cinematographer Georges Perinal, animators Wah Chang and Gene Warren, art director Elliot Scott and special effects artist Tom Howard to create the animated and fantasy sequences. Peggy Lee wrote the songs, and Douglas Gamley and Ken Jones wrote the music.

The film is referenced in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm 1962 and Pinkeltje 1978. The film is also featured in Thats Dancing! 1985

The filming locations for the movie were in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. and London, England.


1. Plot

Jonathan, a poor but honest lumberjack, lives in the forest with his loving wife Anne. One day, while chopping down a tree, the mystical Forest Queen appears before Jonathan and begs him to spare the tree as it is a home to a family of birds. As selling wood his livelihood, Jonathan is initially reluctant, but after the Queen demonstrates her magic powers, Jonathan agrees. In gratitude, the Queen tells Jonathan she will grant Jonathan and his wife three wishes. Jonathan races home to tell Anne about the incredible encounter.

Unfortunately, Jonathan and Anne accidentally squander the wishes while bickering over dinner. As they turn in for bed that night, they look over the second bedroom of their cottage, which is fully stocked with toys for the child that they dearly wanted but were never able to have. Anne laments their previous squandering of their magic wishes, which they could have used to wish for a child, but Jonathan consoles her that the Forest Queen may yet show them kindness and grant them one more wish. Anne remarks that she would love any child that they would have had "even if he was no bigger than her thumb."

Later, they are roused by a soft knocking at the door and find before them a young boy who is literally the size of a thumb, who addresses Jonathan and Anne familiarly as "Father" and "Mother". Anne instinctively knows that the boys name is Tom.

In the following days, family friend Woody takes Tom into town where a carnival is being held. Tom is carried off by a balloon up to the top of the nearby castles treasury tower, where two thieves, Ivan and Antony, are conspiring to steal the gold. They realize that due to his size, Tom will easily be able to slip between the bars of the grill on the treasury roof and trick him into believing that they need the gold to help poor orphans. As a reward for his assistance, Ivan gives Tom a single gold sovereign from the stolen loot. Tom returns home late at night, to find his parents distraught over his disappearance from the carnival. While he sneaks in through the window, he accidentally drops his sovereign into a cake that his mother had been baking.

By the next morning, the robbery has been discovered and guards are scouring the countryside searching for the thieves. A unit stops at Jonathans cottage to ask if he or Anne have seen anyone suspicious in the area. Anne offers the guards some cake and one guard bites into the slice containing the sovereign, instantly recognizing it as part of the stolen treasure. Jonathan and Anne are arrested and taken away to be flogged in the town square.

With Woodys help, Tom tracks down the real thieves and, thanks to his ability to control animals, eventually manages to bring them back to the town square, along with their loot, thereby exonerating his parents. Ivan and Antony are arrested and the gold is returned to the treasury. The movie concludes with Woody marrying the Forest Queen, whom he has been clumsily romancing throughout the movie.


2. Cast

  • June Thorburn as the Forest Queen
  • Peter Bull as the Town Crier
  • Terry-Thomas as Ivan
  • Stan Freberg as Yawning man voice
  • Bernard Miles as Jonathan, Toms Father
  • Peter Butterworth as Kapellmeister
  • Peter Sellers as Antony
  • Alan Young as Woody
  • Jessie Matthews as Anne, Toms Mother
  • Russ Tamblyn as Tom Thumb
  • Dal McKennon as Con-Fu-Shon voice
  • Ian Wallace as the Cobbler

3. Production

Pal said he had the idea to make a film out of tom thumb in the late 1940s when making Puppetoons for Paramount. He filmed scenes in England in early 1958, taking over every one of the seven sound stages at MGMs London studios, and using two crews. He moved his unit to Los Angeles in April 1958.


4. Soundtrack

  • "Tom Thumbs Tune"
uncredited Music and Lyrics by Peggy Lee Sung and danced by Russ Tamblyn and the Puppetoons
  • "After All These Years"
uncredited Music by Fred Spielman Lyrics by Janice Torre Sung by Jessie Matthews dubbed by Norma Zimmer
  • "Talented Shoes"
uncredited Music by Fred Spielman Lyrics by Janice Torre Sung by Ian Wallace
  • "The Yawning Song"
uncredited Music by Fred Spielman Lyrics by Kermit Goell Sung by Stan Freberg
  • "Are You a Dream"
uncredited Music and Lyrics by Peggy Lee Sung by Alan Young

5. Reception

Variety wrote, "film is top-drawer, a comic fairy tale with music that stacks up alongside some of the Disney classics"; and Time called it "unusually fresh and appealing; it is kid stuff, but it will probably sell a lot of popcorn to the grownups, too."

The film was the 8th most popular movie at the British box office in 1959.

According to MGM records the film earned $1.800.000 in the US and Canada and $1.450.000 elsewhere, making a profit of $612.000.


6. Awards

At the 1959 Academy Awards, the film won an Oscar for Tom Howard in the category of Best Effects, Special Effects.

At the 1959 BAFTA Awards, Terry Thomas was Nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the category of Best British Actor.

At the 1959 Golden Globes, the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical.

At the 1959 Laurel Awards, the film was nominated for Top Musical, while Russ Tamblyn was nominated for a Golden Laurel for Top Male Musical Performance.

At the 1959 Writers Guild of America Ladislas Fodor was nominated for a WGA Award Screen for Best Written American Musical.

  • Clark as Mrs. Bearfat Tillicoot Ferike Boros as Mrs. Broken Thumb Don Zelaya as Tom Broken Thumb Clem Bevans as Ben Edward Gargan as Poker Player Spencer
  • Jim Carrey and director Tom Shadyac particularly the Ace Ventura franchise his series of Thumbmation shorts and his film Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
  • Personality : Tom unaltered Retrieved 2 July 2016. Padnani, Amisha 6 October 2017 Tom Alter, Blue - Eyed Star of Bollywood Films Dies
  • Old. Tom Picture Perfect Easy Monet Leonardo Da Tom Picnic Panic Happy Camper Too Many Crooks Big Top Tom Rock N Roll Tom Green Thumb Fun Eau De Tom Fangs
  • reactions, the film was given Two Thumbs Up from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper on their television show. The film opened on Christmas Day 2003, and
  • Jean - Pierre Leaud as Saint - Just Blandine Jeanson as Emily Bronte Yves Afonso as Tom Thumb Juliet Berto as The Radical According to a letter from the Argentine writer
  • animation, producing numerous short films and commercials, as well as two feature films The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb 1993 and The Magic Roundabout

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