Artist: Arthur Rackham (1867-1939)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

50th Anniversary of Disney's 'The Gnome-Mobile'

Walt Disney's classic "The Gnome-Mobile" celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Disney's classic family fairy film “The Gnome-Mobile” celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This delightful movie is based on a book by the famous novelist Upton Sinclair. The movie stars character actor Walter Brennan in the dual roles of D.J. Mulrooney and Knobby the gnome, and Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber (from Disney's “Mary Poppins”) as his grandchildren.

The Gnome-Mobile is the story of millionaire lumber baron D.J. Mulrooney, who learns the importance of conservation after befriending a pair of gnomes. Mulrooney and his grandchildren, Elizabeth and Rodney, go on a picnic in the woods, where Elizabeth encounters a lonely gnome named Jasper.

Jasper tells Elizabeth that he and his grandfather, Knobby, are the last gnomes in the great redwood forest. He believes there may be other gnomes elsewhere, but they have no way to search for them. Elizabeth introduces Jasper to her brother and grandfather and offers to take Knobby and Jasper to look for other gnomes in her grandfather's Rolls Royce. The group dubs the car “the Gnome-Mobile.”

Their journey is complicated by a greedy freak show owner who wants to exploit the gnomes, and by one of Mulrooney's employees, who has the lumber baron locked in a mental hospital. With the help of the Gnome-Mobile the children must rescue their grandfather and the little gnomes.

Sadly, this enchanting movie is not remembered by many people, and does not air on television. Luckily, it is available on Amazon Instant Video as well on DVD alone, or along with another great fairy movie, “Darby O'Gill and the Little People” in a Disney collection at

“The Gnome-Mobile” is great family fun, and a must have for a fairy movie collection.  

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