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There is an audio version of this review HERE.
By 1947 the war was over and the Disney studio was beginning the slow and often painful process of reconstruction. The animators were back from the front, and the US military had ended their four-year long virtual occupation of the studio. But it would be another three years before the they were ready to get back to “real” Disney movies, big full-length animated features. In the meantime, they soldiered on with “package” films, what I like to call the “Never Heard Of ‘Ems” as they tend to be the most obscure movies in the whole canon. Fun and Fancy Free is in many ways even scrappier and more thrown together than Make Mine Music or the two Caballeros movies. Whereas they were at least unified by subject (music and Latin America, respectively) Fun and Fancy Free is essentially the studio saying “Yeah. Here’s two short movies we didn’t have the time or money to make into full features. You don’t like it? Sorry. We were a little busy fighting for your freedom.”
Cost saving was the driving force of this movie, and the next two that followed. Simply put, the market had not yet recovered to the point that Disney could spend the kind of money a new Bambi or Pinocchio would require. Europe, the movie industry’s second most important market, was no longer at war. But it was still in a very bad way.