Children's / Reviews

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) DVD review

Darby is a man of tall tales, spending most of his time in the local pub.  When he is actually abducted by the King of the leprechauns, Brian, he forms a friendship with the imp.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People is a forgotten Disney classic.  Fun, lighthearted and cheery, it is a great romp for children of all ages.

I cannot remember when I first saw this film.  It has been in my memory since childhood.  As I grew older, I have owned the VHS and DVD version of the film.  (Still waiting on Blu-Ray)

Starring Albert Sharpe as Darby, Janet Munroe as his daughter Katie, Sean Connery (a YOUNG Sean Connery) as Michael, and Jimmy O’Dea as King Brian, this is a fun film.  The special effects from the late ’50’s still hold up well today and are at times very creepy (see the banshee and death coach at the end *shivers*).

Using forced perspective (much like Peter Jackson did on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and upcoming Hobbit), you really get the feeling that you are looking at actual leprechauns.  It is actually amazing what they were able to accomplish in 1958, 1959 without the benefit of computer animation.

I realize this is a smaller review than I usually write, but this is a film that I think deserves to not be spoiled.  I would highly urge you to seek this out, if you can find it.  It is fun, magical, and endearing.  A great little film that is (almost) a lost Disney classic.  Disney should not remake this, but should re-release it in theaters or give it a nice blu-ray upgrade.

Movie *** out of ****

DVD **1/2 out of ****


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