“The fence is down, the humans come through — there’s only one thing that we can do!”
A group of bugs and insects — including a grasshopper named Hoppity, a bee named Mr. Bumble, and Mr. Bumble’s daughter Honey — find their homes threatened when humans start littering and walking through their grassy neighborhood. Meanwhile, duplicitous C. Bagley Beetle enlists the help of his two henchmen — Smack the Mosquito and Swat the Fly — in convincing Honey to be his wife.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Animated Features
- Talking Animals
Mr. Hoppity Goes to Town — the second and last feature animated film made by Fleischer Studios — is primarily known today as the first animated feature based on an original story. Made 60 or so years before A Bug’s Life and Antz, Hoppity is an early attempt to show life from a bug’s perspective; my favorite scene has Hoppity taking Honey out for a night on the town, down through a pothole to a bugs’ nightclub. Unfortunately, however, while Hoppity remains an enjoyable tale for kids (the morals are clear and straightforward), it’s ultimately not a classic: Hoppity is an insipid hero, and the songs are instantly forgettable. Nonetheless, this is a film which should be seen once by all film fanatics, simply for its place in animation history.
Note: Mr. Hoppity‘s animators were the victims of incredibly unlucky timing: just three days after the film was released, Pearl Harbor was invaded and Hoppity became a box office failure.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- One of the few early animated features to compete with Disney
- Some nifty “neon” animation when Hoppity is accidentally electrified and starts dancing
Yes, simply for its historical importance; but it will ultimately be of most interest to kids.