Along with Dumbo, which immediately followed it, this 1940 classic, the second of the Disney animated features, is probably the best in terms of visual detail and overall imagination as well as narrative sweep. Like Dumbo and Bambi, it might have given Dan Quayle cause for concern by validating single parenthood, but everyone else should be delighted. The richly and finely delineated characters include a cluster of European villains, an American hero and blue fairy, and a couple of father figures whose nationalities seem mid-Atlantic. The moral lessons include a literalization of metaphors about lying and other forms of misbehaving, and the grasp of a little boy's emotions and behavior often borders on the uncanny. A razor-sharp restoration, with some stereo enhancement and vividly restored colors, appeared in 1992.
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