So Dear to My Heart

Overview

Like Disney's earlier Song of the South, So Dear to My Heart peppers its live action with animated sequences. In this film, however, it is the "live" story that lingers longest in the memory. Set in 1903, the film takes place on the small Kincaid farm. Twin sheep are born in the barn: one white, one black. When the mother sheep rejects the black lamb, young Jeremiah Kincaid Bobby Driscoll adopts the animal, naming it Danny, after the great trotting horse Dan Patch. Danny grows up to be quite troublesome, and ...
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Overview

Like Disney's earlier Song of the South, So Dear to My Heart peppers its live action with animated sequences. In this film, however, it is the "live" story that lingers longest in the memory. Set in 1903, the film takes place on the small Kincaid farm. Twin sheep are born in the barn: one white, one black. When the mother sheep rejects the black lamb, young Jeremiah Kincaid Bobby Driscoll adopts the animal, naming it Danny, after the great trotting horse Dan Patch. Danny grows up to be quite troublesome, and Jeremiah's grandmother Beulah Bondi wishes that the boy would get rid of his pet. Jeremiah's only ally is kindly blacksmith Uncle Hiram Burl Ives, who encourages the boy to enter Danny in blue-ribbon competition at the county fair. Granny is against this notion, so Jeremiah sets about to pay his own way. On a stormy night, Danny runs away; Jeremiah is kept from searching for the lost sheep by Granny, who now believes that the boy wants to enter the state fair contest for selfish reasons rather than out of love for his pet. She further warns that the Lord may not let Danny survive the night. The next day, however, Danny returns. Remembering Granny's remonstrations, Jeremiah now states that he won't attend the county fair, having promised the Lord that he'd forget about the competition if Danny was spared. Moved by this unselfishness, Granny softens her own stance, claiming that she'd promised the Lord that Jeremiah could go to the fair if the lamb returned alive. The story reaches a warm-hearted climax at the fair; Danny doesn't win, but his ultimate prize is far more meaningful than any blue ribbon. The isolated animated sequences spring from Jeremiah's scrapbook, illustrating such homespun philosophies as "stick-to-it-tivity" and "it's whatcha do with whatcha got." So Dear to My Heart yielded a hit song, "Lavender Blue," which co-star Burl Ives retained in his repertoire until his dying day.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Though definitely not a sequel, So Dear to My Heart is something of a follow-up to the more memorable Song of the South (although without the earlier film's racial aspect that causes discomfort among some modern viewers). Heart features several of Song's cast members, an agrarian period setting and a blend of live action and animation, but there the similarities end. The animation is professional but neither as lively nor as interesting as that in Song, and the cartoon elements therefore do not stand out; they're genial but not impressive. The score is catchy and serviceable, but not memorable, and the title song, while popular in its time, is somewhat on the treacly side. The screenplay lacks surprises, but does what it sets out to do, much like Harold D. Schuster's laidback direction. While no one turns in a powerhouse performance, the cast is solid. Bobby Driscoll carries off the lead role with assurance; if he occasionally goes in for a bit too much "cutesiness," he's still appealing. Beulah Bondi is quite good as the grandmother, a role which could easily be played as a too much of a harridan or too much of an old softy, and a young Burl Ives brings his downhome folksiness to the role of the uncle. Heart is typical of many Disney films of the period, but it has a warmth and a heart that will cause many viewers to overlook its flaws and give it a warm embrace.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/15/1995
  • UPC: 012257296037
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bobby Driscoll Jeremiah Kincaid
Beulah Bondi Granny Kincaid
Burl Ives Uncle Hiram
Luana Patten Tildy
Harry Carey Judge at County Fair
Raymond Bond Storekeeper
Daniel Haight Storekeeper's Son
Matt Willis Horse Trainer
Walter Soderling Villager
John Beal
Ken Carson
Bob Stanton
The Rhythmaires Voice Only
Melvin Howard Torme
Technical Credits
Harold D. Schuster Director
Mac Alper Set Decoration/Design
John Tucker Battle Screenwriter
Les Clark Animator
Eliot Daniel Score Composer
Walt Disney Producer
Winton Hoch Cinematographer
John Ewing Art Director
Milt Kahl Animator
Hal King Animator
Eric Larson Animator
John Lounsbery Animator
Don Lusk Animator
Hamilton Luske Animator
Dan McManus Special Effects
Joshua Meador Special Effects
Perce Pearce Producer
Maurice Rapf Screenwriter
Lloyd L. Richardson Editor
George Rowley Special Effects
Thomas Scott Editor
Ted Sears Screenwriter
Paul J. Smith Score Composer
Marvin Woodward Animator
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