In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_9gm3ll8jmttmc3w4bmnmcurldl8

Guardians of the Galaxy

In many respects, “Guardians,” directed and co-written by indie wit James Gunn, and starring buffed-up former schlub Chris Pratt and Really Big Sci-Fi Blockbuster vet…

Thumb_myhhyqdnplpywpihk5btjuq2kxk

Finding Fela

Alex Gibney's "Finding Fela," about the legendary African pop star and political activist, feels like the rough draft of a very good movie.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Life Itself Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

The Gnome-Mobile

  |  

A neighborhood theater is the best place to see a new Walt Disney movie, and so whenever one opens I go and stand in line with about 500 kids and get inside for the first matinee on Saturday.

The kids are my colleagues in this enterprise. Once I made the mistake of seeing a Disney movie the first thing on a Friday morning when all the kids were in school. There were about nine people in the theater. Under conditions like that, what critic can decide if Disney is up to par? Disney films are made to please kids, not critics.

So now I go on Saturdays. Last Saturday the kids let me know that "The Gnome-Mobile" has some good parts in it. They let me know this because when the good parts came on the screen they stopped still and watched them. The rest of the time they fought, laughed, popped bags, whistled and thundered in wild herds up and down the aisle.

The movie is about the world's most grandfathery grandfather (Walter Brennan) and his grandchildren (Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice), who become involved in the affairs of gnomes. It appears that Brennan, one of the wealthiest timbermen in the country, has cut down a lot of forests and made things tough on gnomes.

But after he meets Jasper the gnome (Tom Lowell) and discovers the gnomes' plight, Brennan sets out to reunite Jasper and his grandfather with the rest of the gnomes, including the oldest gnome in the world (played, by Ed Wynn -- who else?).

There are a lot of adventures along the way, and Disney seldom lets the story line lag. The kids especially liked the scenes with gnomes in them (the Disney organization has perfected the technical tricks necessary to make the little people look like they're right there with the big people).

They also liked the "gnome-mobile," which is Brennan's enormous 1930 Rolls Royce.

Matthew and Karen, who were the "Mary Poppins" kids, are convincingly on the level and not the goody-goody child stars they might have been. Brennan is just fine. The special effects are fascinating. The kids got their money's worth.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Comic-Con 2014: Star Trek Kickstarter Film "Prelude to Axanar"

A report from SDCC on the Kickstarter "Star Trek" film, "Prelude to Axanar."

Able-Bodied Actors and Disability Drag: Why Disabled Roles are Only for Disabled Performers

Scott Jordan Harris argues that disabled characters should not be played by able-bodied actors.

The greatest films of all time

I am faced once again with the task of voting in Sight & Sound magazi...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus