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Gnome Mobile
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Movie Details

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Directed By
Robert Stevenson

Walter Brennan, Richard Deacon, Ed Wynn, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber

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Gnome Mobile (1967)
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Movie Review by James
April 19th, 2019

Who doesn't enjoy a good fantasy? Entering the realm of myths and legends is always a fascination of sorts, and it always intrigues the imagination. And Hollywood has plenty of features that put forth the fantasy into a reality. But with 1967's "The Gnome-Mobile" from Disney (yes, that's the title; it's based off a book of the same name, the fantasy is there, just not executed properly. While the film has a good and interesting setup, the rest of the film falters heavily. "The Gnome-Mobile" is a fantasy that could have had some magical improvements.

The story involves an old millionaire (Walter Brennan) who is the head of a major lumber company. After picking up his grandchildren from the airport (Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice respectively), they head in an old car to the California Redwood National Park. Here, the family meets up with some gnomes The gnomes tell them that they are the last of their kind, and the family agrees to help them look for more gnomes. But the gnomes get captured, and now, it's up to the family to save them.

After viewing "The Gnome-Mobile", I can say that the film is merely all right.

How's the acting? It's okay. How's the direction? It's okay. How's the music? It's okay. All right, the main theme song by the Sherman Brothers isn't too bad, but the rest of the musical score is just okay.

This is the perfect definition of an average movie. There's nothing really special about it, and yet, at the same time, there's nothing too negative to say about the movie.

Even the special effects, which mostly consist of a lot green screen effects, is nothing new. In fact, most of the effects are reused from another Disney film: 1959's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People". The effects in this film, there really isn't any big surprises in terms of eye candy. My advice, go watch "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" for integrating the special effects with the story.

Which brings me to the biggest problem of the movie: the story.

The story doesn't know what tone/plot it wants to focus on. At the beginning, the viewer is intrigued with what is going on. But during the second and third acts, the plot loses track of what it is trying to accomplish. During the second act, the grandfather gets sent to a mental hospital; the third act basically involves the gnomes trying to find a bride for the main lead gnome. The problem with this is the fact that the second and third acts don't really admit to anything, and they go on forever. If the story fixed itself by sticking to the main story, then things would have been just fine. But as it is, there really isn't anything fantastical about this fantasy film.

In conclusion, "The Gnome-Mobile" is just an average "fantasy" film that I would only recommend if you are a Disney fan, and want to time travel back to an era where they were just making mediocre productions at best. Just stick with "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" or another fantasy film of that caliber.

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