So Dear To My Heart is a cute film. The story centres around a boy named Jeremiah AKA Jerry (Bobby Driscoll) as he tries to turn his pet black lamb Danny into a prize winner despite his grandmother objecting.
This film used the same formula ‘Song of the South’ established: a combination of live-action and animation. So Dear To My Heart also has a similar scenario and environment as well as the same two delightful children acting (Bobby Driscoll and Luana Patten). By taking inspiration from the ‘Song of the South’, they were able to make something ten times better and that can still stand up today.
Bobby Driscoll and Luana Patten are just adorable. They bring such happiness and childlike wonder, adding a real feeling of innocence to the film. Burl Ives brings so much fun as uncle Hiram. The actor brings a country charm to the rule and the songs he sings are both fun and memorable. Beulah Bondi is great as the stern but loving grandmother who has been worn down by having to run the farm and look after her grandson.
Danny the lamb is quite an astonishing creature. Like Bobby and Luana, Bobby and Danny were a great team, Danny is hilarious whenever he runs and causes mess and Jeremiah runs after him and tries to stop him. This was also the final film that Harry Carey was in as a small part as the head judge of the Country Fair, he sadly died before this film was released.
The Animated scenes are gorgeous, and the effort of the artists is defiantly noticeable. The animated scene all take place in greeting cards and are shown to be the day dreams of young Jerry. The main characters that show up in the day dreams are a smart old owl and a little black lamb. The animated scenes were only added because, when it was tested, audiences wanted animation as that was what Disney had been known for at the time. That being the case, seeing a spider doing a type jig in the song about perseverance was a highlight in the film.
So Dear To My Heart features an enjoyable musical score by Elliot Daniel and Hy Morey which includes the Oscar nominated Lavender Blue which Burl Ives delivers in a straightforward style. Alot of the songs, especially the ones in the day dreams, had lifelong lessons in them.
So Dear To My Heart is a film that will become dear to the heart of any one who watches it. The film’s message of perseverance and love will sit with the watcher long after the film has ended. This film is all an all an adorable film that transcended time with its messages and can still be enjoyed to day by adults and kids alike.
So Dear To My Heart – Cast
Bobby Driscoll – Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Kincaid
Burl Ives – Uncle Hiram Douglas
Beulah Bondi – Granny Kincaid
Luana Patten – Tildy
Ken Carson – Voice of the Wise Owl
Harry Carey – Head Judge of the County Fair
Bob Haymes – Singer Bob Haymes (singer)
Danny – Danny the Lamb