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Father Goose
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Product Description


Cary Grant's penultimate feature before retirement was this cheerful 1964 effort to overturn his career-long image of urbane sophistication. As the unshaven, messy misanthrope Walter Eckland, a World War II-era beach bum who monitors Japanese air activity for the Australian navy in exchange for booze, Grant makes a convincingly hard-bitten, hard-drinking antihero. Until, that is, a pretty French schoolmistress (Leslie Caron) and her seven little charges (all girls) survive a nearby plane crash and invade Eckland's raunchy isolation. Directed by 1960s hit-maker Ralph Nelson (The Lilies of the Field, Charly), Father Goose is a glossy comedy that also does justice to its more suspenseful scenes (a deadly snakebite suffered by Caron's character is especially memorable) and leaves plenty of room for Grant to indulge in some entertaining if atypical screen behavior. All in all, this is a minor treat in the actor's magnificent filmography. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Great Movie!!!
    I was practically raised on this movie. I have so many memories of watching it with my grandpa, and the movie never loses it's sense of excitement for me. While not sure if I am truly a Cary Grant fan, I still absolutely adore this film. It's one of those things that I can't get out of my system. I could watch this movie repetitively until I die, and still never get enough!!!1...more info
  • Father Goose
    I received this new remastered DVD in a matter of days after ordering. The product is excellent, and the story "Father Goose" is humorous family entertainment....more info
  • A Charming Comedy
    FATHER GOOSE is a charming comedy about a decadent American expatriot (Cary Grant) who gets pressed into service as a coastwatcher by the Australian Navy during World War II. Grant is stationed on a lonely South Pacific island until he unwittingly is forced to rescue Leslie Caron and her band of young French refugees who join him at his outpost.Trevor Howard is an Australian Navy Commander who maintains radio contact with Grant.

    Much credit goes to Director Ralph Nelson and Peter Stone with his fellow screenwriters. Cary Grant is superb as usual and Leslie Caron is gorgeous.

    FATHER GOOSE won an Oscar for Best Original Story and Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Editing and Sound....more info

  • Father Goose is Cary Grant at his best!
    "Father Goose" is a lot of fun and is arguably Cary Grant's funniest and finest film. Yes, he was great in "Charade", "North by Northwest", "Notorious", etc -- but here his honed skills and comedic timing pay off in this very funny film and makes it well worth seeing. You don't have to be a Cary Grant fan to enjoy this film -- but after seeing it, you will be.

    "Father Goose" was nominated for Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) by the Golden Globe and won an Oscars for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen in 1965. The cast, production, direction, photography, story -- all are top notch.

    The film looks terrific on DVD with an aspect ratio of 1.85. The South Pacific cinematography adds greatly to the visual impact of this film. There are brief bios and filmographies of the priniciples. That's all. No further extras. This film is 16x9 enhanced.

    Highly recommended!...more info

  • One of my favorites
    One of my all time favorite movies this is perfect for any family to watch. I remember my father watching this with me as a little girl and I was thrilled to see it out on dvd. Leslie Caron does an excellent job as a 'prudish' french woman who can turn almost any situation to her favor. The interchanges between Cary Grant and Raloh Nelson are some of my favorite dialogues. Witty and adorable. Father Goose is sure to be a family favorite....more info
  • Grant at His Best
    No doubt about it, Grant was a master. In Father Goose he gets to play aging curmudgeon opposite Leslie Caron's delightfully uptight ingenue and both succeed on every level. The chemistry here is great and the movie never loses focus of its light romantic comedy tone. The dialog is impeccable, the performances sharp and the repartee utterly engaging. And this goes not only for Grant's relationship with Caron, but extends into the "over the microphone" relationship with Trevor Howard, wonderfully and dryly droll. Likewise, the kids are all spot on. They aren't there just for comic relief and unlike modern day comedies, they don't overwhelm the piece. Each was cast perfectly and they support the movie well.

    I get the feeling that Harrison Ford was trying to do a remake (without really doing a remake) of this movie when he ended up doing "Six Days and Seven Nights," and that movie could be a lesson in how not to compete with a screen legend. Ford tries too hard in that film, something that only points out how masterful Grant was. Smooth as fine whiskey, Grant never pushed, never tried to hard. He just exists in the skin of the character and underplays it beautifully. And Caron -- who should have been a much bigger star than she became -- is exceptional as well....more info
  • A romantic comedy in the old style
    If you liked the original ODD COUPLE - slob and compulsive neatnik thrown together in the same apartment - or HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON - tough guy WWII Marine marooned on an enemy-held South Pacific island with a pretty nun, then you should enjoy FATHER GOOSE starring Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard. I saw it once again on the telly this past weekend while doing the ironing, and I'm fortunate to be old enough to have an appreciation of all three films.

    Grant is Walter Eckland, an antisocial, unkempt escapee from "civilization" that spends his time bumming around the South Seas on an old yacht. At the start of WWII, he's coerced into service as a "coast watcher", an observer stationed on a remote island as a lookout for Japanese planes or ships, by the wily and dry-witted local Royal Navy authority figure, Comdr. Houghton (Howard). Eckland is bribed with booze to perform in His Majesty's service. One of his first assignments is to boat over to another island and rescue a fellow coast watcher. But, on arriving, he finds only his colleague's grave and the Caron character, Catherine Freneau, the daughter of a French government official, who's been stranded with a bevy of underage schoolgirls of which she has charge. Walter naturally takes them back to his island and his hovel, where the differences between the two adults soon surface. To Eckland, Freneau becomes "Goody Two Shoes", while, to the latter, her knight in stained armor becomes the "Filthy Beast".

    While admittedly silly entertainment, FATHER GOOSE is a delightful romantic comedy that doesn't, like some of the current Tinseltown offerings, rely for laughs on sensitive body parts being caught in zippers, bodily fluids masquerading as hair gel, or carnal knowledge of apple pies. This film has Class, chiefly due to the presence of Grant, who character demonstrates more suavity unshaven and without socks than any one of today's crop of male actors dressed up in a tux. (Perhaps only Sean Connery, Robert Redford and Paul Newman are close to being in the same league.) Caron's strong-willed and very feminine Freneau is more than a match for Eckland's obstinately boorish masculinity - a pairing made in heaven, or at least Hollywood.

    Perhaps my high esteem for this film is more a function of nostalgia. But there're a lot of other films from that same period of my youth that are eminently forgettable, so I have to think that FATHER GOOSE is a cut above....more info

  • Father Goose DVD
    I was pleasently surprised at how sharp and clear the DVD transfer for Father Goose is.

    While not one of Cary Grant's all-time best, he is thoroughly enjoyable acting with Leslie Caron and a group of young schoolgirls in this WWII comedy/adventure. This was one of Grant's last starring roles, and he plays against type as a somewhat grizzled loner who likes his alcohol a little too much. He plays an American thrust into becoming a civilian spotter (watching for aircraft and shipping movements) for the Australian military in a Japanese-occupied area of the south pacific by an officer friend in the Australian navy (Trevor Howard).

    Grant's character is asked to transport another spotter from an island where the Japanese have gained a stronghold. This doesn't work out as planned, and there he runs into Caron and her schoolgirl charges who need to get off the island, as well. His only choice is to take them all back to his lookout hut on his own, safer, island, until they can all be rescued by the navy, but the rescue is delayed and Caron and the girls soon take over and turn his life upside-down.

    The eventual rescue and ending to the story is satisfying and sweet, and there is nothing in this movie that parents need be concerned about their children seeing (or hearing), although there is a scene where Grant and the girls are fired upon by a Japanese plane, and another where Grant thinks Caron is in danger of dying from a snake bite, but no worries, this is a comedy, after all. ...more info
  • An all time favoite!
    This is one of my favoriate movies! I have watched this movie so many times that I tell you what the next line will be. If I had to choose only one movie from many, Father Goose would be my choice....more info
  • old time movie
    Easy going movie with good old actors you can count on and enjoy. I enjoyed watching it again for it had been sometime since I seen it....more info
  • Cary Grant plays an unshaven outcast!

    Director: Ralph Nelson
    Format: Color
    Studio: Republic Studios
    Video Release Date: November 23, 1999


    Cary Grant ... Walter Christopher Eckland/Mother Goose
    Leslie Caron ... Catherine Louise Marie Ernestine Freneau
    Trevor Howard ... Commander Frank Houghton RAN/Big Bad Wolf
    Jack Good ... Lieutenant Stebbings RAN/Bo Peep
    Sharyl Locke ... Jenny
    Pip Sparke ... Anne
    Verina Greenlaw ... Christine
    Stephanie Berrington ... Elizabeth Anderson
    Jennifer Berrington ... Harriet 'Harry' MacGregor
    Laurelle Felsette ... Angelique
    Nicole Felsette ... Dominique
    Alex Finlayson ... Doctor Bigrave
    Peter Forster ... Chaplain
    Richard Lupino ... Radioman
    John Napier ... Lt. Cartwright, USS Sailfin Executive Officer
    Simon Scott ... Captain of Submarine, USS Sailfin
    Don Spruance ... Navigator
    Ken Swofford ... Helmsman, Submarine USS Sailfin

    An unkempt, scruffy Cary Grant plays an American ex-patriate during WWII who is running from civilization, but is recruited into the coast watcher service against his will by Commander Frank Houghton (Trevor Howard)of the Royal Australian Navy with promises of whisky as a bribe. While on an island radioing aircraft and ship traffic, he is induced to take a teacher (Leslie Caron) and her girl charges into his custody. Japanese forces are a constant threat, as well as the danger of snakebite, for which Cary Grant maintains a supply of snakebite remedy. Of course, it is suspected that he also carries a supply of snakes for the same purpose.

    This is one of the last movies that Grant made. Two years after it was made, he retired from the movie industry.

    The usually dapper, suave Grant, was out of character in this part: unshaven, scruffy, and a drunkard. It was a refreshing part for him, and he played it superbly.

    It is a thoroughly entertaining film.

    Joseph (Joe) Pierre

    ...more info

  • Great Product
    This movie is just as funny as when I first saw it as a kid.

    Very funny one-liners: "How do know it's a she?" "Because it's mouth is open, now be quiet!"...more info
  • A scruffy Cary Grant? But it works. Bigtime.
    We're used to seeing Grant in a tuxedo carrying a martini glass--when you think "debonair", the picture that goes with that word is that of Cary Grant. I heard somewher that he was on a short list of candidates to play James Bond in "Dr. No" before they settled on Connery. In this film, to say Grant "dresses down" is putting it mildly--as he plays a former college professor turned beachcomber who is caught lifting supplies from an Australian naval base during WW II and drafted into their coastwatcher corps to stay out of prison. Leslie Caron figures in as a governess of a group of young daughters of diplomatic personnel who are stranded on a fellow coastwatcher's island, but now that Grant's colleague has been killed in a strafing run, Grant's their new host. Grant hardly feels like a host, and the negative chemistry between him and Caron makes for quite a few laughs. But in my opinion, one of the biggest yucks in this film is a sight/ sound gag early on. After Grant is loaded up with supplies at the base (now voluntarily), he shoves off. The base's exec expresses his doubts that the commander (Trevor Howard) can trust Grant not to take the provisions and run. Howard pooh-poohs his subordinate's worries. The next scene shows Grant steaming along liesurely to a woodwind version of the film's theme "Pass Me By" on the soundtrack. The music shifts to a Sousa-esque brass band version of the tune as the camera shifts to a huge gunboat rumbling along in Grant's wake. Absolutely great! And then some....more info
  • Father Goose, lots of laughs!
    A great depiction of its time an excellent Cary Grant movie. If you haven't seen it, it's a must!...more info
  • Cary Grant driven mad by Leslie Carron
    Cary Grant plays an American drifter in the Pacific during WW2, who is blakcmailed by Australian Naval officer Trevor Howard into staying on a small island to keep a lookout for Japanese (Howard rams Grant's boat to make sure he can't get away from the island). His peaceful island existence is disrupted when he has to accomodate a French diplomat's daughter (Leslie Carron) and the seven little girls in her charge. Carron is an insufferable prig who forces Grant to give up his hut to accomodate them, and to add insult to injury hides his supply of whiskey. There is a charming scene where, after he has saved the life of one little girl when Japanese land on the island, she shows him where the whiskey is. From then on the girls become friends with Grant, and even the self-righteous Carron unbends a bit and becomes less obnoxious. Then he teaches Carron to catch fish by hand, and as he is fondling her in the water, they start to smoulder at each other, and you probably can guess where it goes from there. The girls are all very good,particularly 'Harry', who is inseperable from her cricket bat. This is a very funny film,though Carron is infuriating through a lot of it. Personally I think it would have been better if Grant had - oh well, perhaps I'd better not finish that thought, it's very politically incorrect....more info
  • Father Goose
    This is one of the best "classic" movies ever! Both my husband and I
    love this movie....more info
  • Charming movie
    My husband and I both enjoyed this charming movie very much, very entertaining, lots of humour. There were some glitches in the script, but we forgave that. We enjoyed it very much. AND it was not at all dated....more info
  • One of Cary's best
    Even though Cary Grant stepped away from playing the suave, sophisticated man, in this movie, Father Goose, you can't take the charm and sophistication out of him. He does a wonderful job as Walter Eckland, a scruffy, ex-professor who just wants to live freely and without responsibility. There is a certain electricity between Grant and Carron in this movie. It's an excellent, yet eccentric, love story that is a must for any classic collection....more info
  • Cary Grant's Last Great Film
    If you love Cary Grant you should go wild over this movie, where he spends most of his time in a grisly half-beard and scruffy clothes. It was his last great movie.

    Grant, playing against type, ends up helping the U.S. in World War II by being a spotter on a Pacific island. Who else could capture the screen time so well when being all alone on the island (maybe Tom Hanks, since he did it too?). When Grant meets Caron and the little girls it turns into a hilarious battle. The ending has some suspense before it all ends happily ever after.

    A great movie for Grant fans. Too bad he didn't end with this one instead of going on to make Walk, Don't Run as his final film!...more info
  • Cary Grant Out Of A Tuxedo
    Cary Grant stars as an ex-professor who has sought refuge (and isolation) in the South Pacific while World War Two rages around him. He is forced to volunteer as a lookout on a remote island, which instead of being invaded by the Japanese, becomes overrun by seven schoolgirls and their teacher Leslie Caron, survivors of a plane crash. Although charming is usually the word used to describe the typical Cary Grant character, it doesn't work in this film. The gruff and frustrating Grant wants nothing to do with the girls or their stubborn teacher, but it's a small island and they're hard to avoid. Grant and Caron work very well together in this blend of comedy and some action. It's a change of pace for both, and they acquit themselves nicely with a good chemistry and sense of character. Grant also has a number of terrific moments with Trevor Howard, his military contact via the radio. Directed with a light touch by Ralph Nelson, he wisely lets Grant do his thing and let's the script speak for itself. It's good to see Cary Grant out of a tuxedo for a change, and it's great to see a comedy that comes from character and situation, rather than put-down one-liners....more info
  • Great Movie
    Our entire family loves to watch this movie over and over again. So glad we could get a copy on DVD!...more info
  • Father Goose
    Cary Grant is cast as Walter Eckland in this very funny classic comedy. His normal sexy leading man characteristics are downplayed to let his comedic genius shine through. He stars opposite Leslie Caron cast as Catherine Freneau. They are an accident waiting for a place to happen at their first meeting, and it just gets worse from there. Walter is bribed and threatened into service as a watcher in WWII. Catherine is a diplomat's daughter given the responsibility of escorting several school children into a safer area. When they are all stranded together, the hilarity, and battle of the sexes begins.

    This is one of my favorite comedies, and one of Cary Grant's last movies. No one does it like he does. A great film that the entire family can enjoy together.
    ...more info
  • "Is it getting hot in here?"
    One of the immortal Cary Grant's last films, this particular one is a romantic, witty little gem. Well-scripted, well-acted, and full of really weird humor, this is one to treasure.

    Walter Eckland has no intention of getting himself involved in World War II -- no intention, that is, until he is "drafted" into service to the Allies. Basically he needs to keep an eye open for the Japanese. He reluctantly obeys, but his mission suddenly takes a weird turn when he rescues a slew of civilians: the prim, devious schoolteacher Miss Freneau, and her seven little girl charges. Before Eckland knows what's happening, they've taken over his little house, his clothes, his food -- and his whisky. (It's the last one that really makes him nuts) To his horror, they won't be picked up for at least three weeks.

    An extended, very witty battle of the sexes takes place, as Miss Freneau dodges and weaves around Eckland, and Eckland tries to retain some mastery over his domain. But a series of crises (comical and serious) force Eckland and Freneau not only to deal with the Japanese, but also with each other.

    Cary Grant shows more of his versatility in this film, since his comical talents are usually passed by in favor of his rugged sexiness. That sexiness is buried in this one, under the scraggliness of a beachcomber who is rebelling against the world with alcohol. Revelations about his past are somehow quite appropriate; as a character in another of Grant's movies said, "you have unexpected depth."

    Leslie Caron, whom I had previously seen only in "Gigi," is also in rare form here. She makes Miss Freneau both sympathetic and mildly repressed, with a dry wit and a very devious mind. She also manages one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in a movie, where Miss Freneau gets drunk after being bitten by a snake. Her acrobatics ("Ooooooh, is it getting hot in here?"), weird confessions ("I'm a picture straightener!") and the occasional lapse into insanity ("Tell me, I want to know, what did my blood taste like?") are too funny for words.

    Other highlights include the chaplain and the accordian player, and the delightfully deadpan Trevor Howard as a Navy commander who's not afraid to play dirty. The writing is excellent; the mutual realizations by Freneau and Eckland may seem a little hasty and contrived, but that can be easily passed by.

    This is fine to watch with the kiddies -- there is virtually no profanity, no smut, a little non-bloody violence, and children will probably enjoy the antics of the seven little girls (such as the of-repeated whine "I wanna go home!"). There is one scene of drunkenness, however, and we are treated to sly indicators of more mature material ("he... he made a GESTURE, sir!" "Oooh, he called the captain a dirty name"). The little girls themselves are remarkably well-acted by believable child actors, except for the oldest one. One particular highlight is the little girl who keeps biting Eckland's hand.

    Recommended especially for romantic comedy fans, and for fans of Caron and Grant. Or simply watch if you're in the mood for fun....more info

    I am deffinatly not the type of person to watch old movies. I don't likE them and find them irritating but when I saw Father Goose I all but busted a gut laughing. This movie truly is a wonderful comedy with a hint of romance and action! This movie is perfect for parents and kids to watch together....more info
  • Classic Carey Grant movie
    I loved this movie! I saw it as a kid when I was 12 or so and it was the first Carey Grant movie I saw. Only later as an adult did I get the humor of that scene with him teaching her how "to fish." That was a riot!
    Love this movie, it's a comedy classic....more info
  • Father Goose: The Filthy Beast ! !
    I recently watched this wonderfully funny movie "Father Goose". Aside from the fact that I love Carey Grant, this movie is a comedic classic. Anyone who wants to sit down with the family and really enjoy a home-night-at-the-movies, should get this movie. To say I loved it, is an understatement. Buy it, rent it, but see it soon. ...more info
  • A movie the whole family can enjoy....
    This was the first film my parents took me to see as a kid. It was funny to me then and it still makes me laugh today. Cary Grant plays this boozed up guy just kicking back on a South Pacific Island during WWII. He reluctantly signs on as a lookout for the allies watching for the enemy. He answers a distress call which turns out to be Leslie Caron and her 7 girl students. What happens next is fun and entertainment for all to enjoy--a great romantic comedy and probably one of Grant's funniest. I believe the scene where Grant teaches Leslie Caron how to fish with her bear hands was the first "wet t-shirt" scene, tastefully done. A classic romantic comedy. This 1964 film won an Academy Award for Best Story and Best Screenplay. ...more info
  • Excellent!
    I'm not sure of anyone I've ever known, or of any personality type who was not or would not be entertained by this movie....more info
  • The other side of Cary Grant
    One of Cary Grant and Trevor Howard's later films, Father Goose draws on Grant's darker comedic side, casting him as a drunken, societal drop-out forced into supporting the allied war effort in WW-II. The brilliant chicanery that Trevor Howard must use to enlist Grant's support is hilarious. Grant is cast opposite a much younger Leslie Caron, who must deal with young children she is responsible for and Grant's curmudgeonly demeanor. Wildly funny in many places, this could be considered one of Grant's best comedic performances....more info
  • No goose eggs here
    It's never a sure thing that old films will age well. If they reflect their era's obsolete mores too well, they will miss the eternal themes that make movies watchable forever. "Father Goose," the 1964 collaboration of Cary Grant and Leslie Caron, is one film that ages well, if not absolutely perfectly.

    The film is set in the South Pacific during World War II. Grant plays Walter Eckland, a harmless misanthrope who is doing his best to stay out of the war. He is happy to tool around in his boat and drink whiskey all day. But the world starts to crowd in on him, first in the person of Commander Frank Houghton, the bemused and bandy-legged commodore of a British destroyer intent on getting Eckland involved in the fight against the Japanese. Then there is Caron and her charge of young girls, the daughters of diplomats assigned to the South Pacific. The cast is superb and the humor still fresh. There's just enough of an element of danger (from a Japanese patrol boat and planes) to keep everyone on their toes. There's plenty of good-natured grumpiness and sparks between Grant and Caron to make their relationship interesting. Even the controversy about Grant's sexual orientation do not take away from the masculine attractiveness that was his stock-in-trade. The only plot device that hasn't survived is Eckland's overreliance (and how!) on whiskey. Oh, and a few face slaps that he and Caron administer to each other. Alcoholism and domestic abuse have (mostly) lost their use as a comic devices in the last 40-odd years.

    Still, "Father Goose" is decent, humorous and generally harmless. Very enjoyable on its own merits and to watch Grant in a classic role...more info
  • Walter like the drink his booze
    And he is messy, he is not neat and tidy and clean like Madine and six girls. But they are all stuck on the island togrther....more info
  • A great relaxing movie
    A sweet and simple gem of a movie, fun for all ages. It is nice to be able to share such movies with children and not worry about negative images. It is set in WW2 and involves a beachcomber and a teacher with 7 charges. ...more info
  • Fancy and Reality play well together
    Essentially a comedy FATHER GOOSE dabbles into some of the realities of World War II in the South Pacific. Credit for this can be given to Cary Grant's surly yet sophisticated approach to this type of role and Ralph Nelson's direction which uses comedy as a canvas to spin his tale tinged with the realities and frailties that are encountered in life's many challenges not to mention relationships. I could not help but think as I watched this film that Cary Grant really stood his ground as an actor because the seven little girls really could have stole this picture away from most adult actors. Leslie Caron is also good as she brings a sense of level headed femininity to counter Cary Grant's gruff response to having his solitude encroached on by "civilization" and all that implies. This is an enjoyable film....more info
  • Love the movie-the DVD quality should be better
    It's a Carey Grant movie-love it. I am disappointed that it was not re-mastered. I have a Blu-ray player and Samsung LCD TV with 7.1 surround system. The system automatically resizes for best quality. Which for me means the picture is not widescreen. The sound is not digital quality either. Given the option of watching on a VCR or this DVD-I would still pick the DVD. A little disappointed in the quality....more info
  • Father Goose
    This movie is Cary Grant at his comedic best. He and Leslie Caron are perfect foils for each other. Grant is the reluctant hero who rescues Caron and seven daughters of diplomats she is in charge of during WWII. Grant is a coast watcher for the allies. They are the only people on an island and are trying to avoid detection by the Japanese, who of course want to eliminate anyone who can report their movements. They interplay between Grant and the eight females is hilarious. This is a movie the whole family will enjoy watching together....more info
  • Classic romantic comedy
    This movie is one of our favorites, and we have watched it dozens of times over the years. Although the story line takes place during World War II, this is definitely NOT a war movie! Rather, Cary Grant and Leslie Caron are complete opposites who meet on an enemy plane-watching Pacific island and what follows is just plain funny. Trevor Howard is also great in this movie, his banter with and tricks on Cary Grant are dry humor at its best. Throw in a bunch of diplomatic school girls, an enemy excursion to the island, and the final denoument, and you have all the makings of a great movie. Get ready to meet "Goody-Two Shoes and the Filthy Beast"! This movie is a true classic and will never get old....more info
  • To Cary, Or Not To Cary, What Will I Grant.
    This is Cary Grant at his best, he is about the most virsital
    actor in his time. and when he did Father Goose he realy did it
    good. The show is fun. humorous, and has a great story line.
    I put this movie in with my all time favorites. and a must to see. get the popcorn ready and get the kids set down and enjoy the show. My kids loved it as a family tridition, they watched it many times. I promise you will enjoy it too....more info