Nostalgic Disney film highlighted by Burl Ives' songs.
Stewart | Raleigh, NC United States | 05/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""So Dear To My Heart" is a lesser-known Disney film released 3 years after "Song Of The South". It's one of Walt's loveliest films, with several scenes combining live-action with animation, just like the previous film. What I love and remember most about the film is Burl Ives and his singing voice. His songs here include the Oscar-nominated "Lavender Blue" and his duet with Beulah Bondi "Billy Boy". Bobby Driscoll (Jeremiah) is now close to being my favorite child actor of the past. This film, along with "Treasure Island", showed him real talent. Walt Disney discovered him and Luana Patten in the '40s, and they starred together in "Song Of The South" and this film. They were the first child actors put under contract at Walt Disney's studio. Interesting bit of trivia for film history buffs, huh? Anyway, I think "So Dear To My Heart" should be more widely seen by Disney film buffs."
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 04/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even among Disney films there are few that absolutely everyone in the family can watch without provisos of some kind. This movie is one of those. Fans of classic film stars will find this charming family film to be filled with several actors in the prime of their lives.
Jeremiah Kincaid (Bobby Driscoll, who voiced Peter Pan in the animated Disney movie, as well as appearing in "Treasure Island" and "Pecos Bill" and numerous other films as a child star) lives with his Grandma Kincaid (Academy Award and Emmy winner Beulah Bondi). Jeremiah's best friend seems to be Tildy (Luana Patten, who also appeared in "Pecos Bill," "Johnny Tremain" and numerous other films). Another important character in this movie is Jeremiah's Uncle Hiram (Burl Ives), who sings the Academy Award nominated song "Lavender Blue" in this film.
Jeremiah sees a beautiful and famous race horse near the beginning of the movie. Since Jeremiah and his grandmother are poor, owning such a horse is impossible. Jeremiah soon finds a lamb with black wool that is one of a pair of twins. The lamb's mother has pushed the lamb away in favor of the white-wool twin. Jeremiah decides to raise the lamb, in spite of his grandmother's misgivings.
Given that this is a Disney movie, we know that mayhem must ensue at some point. As the lamb grows older it becomes destructive, ripping our door screens, blasting through fences, and destroying furniture. Worse, the lamb does this in town as well as at home.
Jeremiah decides that his lamb is a champion, and wants to enter him in the county fair. To travel to the fair and enter the lamb, Jeremiah needs more money than either his grandmother or Uncle Hiram have. Jeremiah begins picking sassafras and selling it to the local storekeeper (Raymond Bond). However, Jeremiah is not earning money quickly enough. After overhearing a customer looking for wild honey, Jeremiah decides to find a honey tree. Tildy accompanies Jeremiah into the swamp to locate the honey tree, which earns Jeremiah enough money to get into the county fair.
The end of this movie is clever and heart-warming, and avoids being overly predictable. I have watched this movie several times and plan to enjoy it again in the future.
There are several other characters in this movie that I must mention. Harry Carey, Sr., father of Harry Carey, Jr., plays a judge at the county fair in his last role in a career that began in 1909. This movie also marked the end of Walter Soderling's career, a career that included more than 130 film appearances. I have already mentioned Burl Ives, but have yet to note that this movie was one of his first film appearances.
Even though this Disney film was the first Disney film featuring live performers to be shown on television, in 1954, Disney retained animation in this film. Throughout the movie are animated interludes where we meet several animated characters, including an animated lamb. These scenes are clever and foreshadow the style of Disney's animation in the various incarnations of the "Wonderful World of Disney" television show.
This movie takes place around the beginning of the previous century. The style and feel of the era is captured nicely in this wonderful family film that is suitable for children of all ages. The times may be different, but children will always be children, and Jeremiah and Tildy are two children that any parent would love to have in their family. Enjoy!
Full of the morality our Grandparents knew
James F. Foster | 12/09/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most moral Disney film out. Speaks of the things that our Grandparents knew, faith in God respecting your elders, doing the best with what you the Good Lord gave you; placing the things of the spirit before the things of the fleash. A very heart warming innocent movie. They don't make them this way any more."
Film title reflects this viewer's feelings toward it.
James F. Foster | Minneapolis, MN USA | 07/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reissued only once theatrically since its December 1948 release, and still unavailable domestically in the DVD format, this neglected film richly deserves to be counted among the Disney classics.
A personal favorite of Walt himself, it supplies a nostalgic look back at a byegone era and contains much of value to recommend it for viewing by families... together. I first saw it on a warm Friday evening at a tiny theater in the Minnespolis suburb where I'd recently moved with my parents. I'd been slow to make friends there, and two neighborhood boys whom I knew only slightly invited me to see it with them. By the end of the evening we'd become friends, and I at last felt accepted as a part of the community.
I can recall the effect that movie had on me in that it caused me to realize how time was passing in my life, and that someday I, too, might be paging through an old scrapbook in a dusty attic reliving some cherished childhood memory preserved there.
Bobby Driscoll, my favorite child actor by far, shines as young Jeremiah Kinkaid (he would go on to win a special Oscar for his performance in RKO's THE WINDOW the same year). In fact, the entire cast is superb. I'm hopeful that Disney will issue this wonderful title on DVD while I am still around to enjoy it. Please hurry!!"