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So Dear to My Heart
So Dear to My Heart poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Harold D. Schuster
Hamilton Luske
Produced by Walt Disney
Perce Pearce
Written by Ken Anderson
John Tucker Battle
Marc Davis
Bill Peet
Maurice Rapf
Ted Sears
Starring Bobby Driscoll
Luana Patten
Beulah Bondi
Burl Ives
Music by Paul Smith
Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
Editing by Lloyd L. Richardson
Thomas Scott
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Release date(s) November 29, 1948 (Chicago, Illinois)
January 19, 1949 (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.5 million
Money made $3.7 million (U.S. rental) $575,000 (foreign rental)

So Dear to My Heart is a 1948 American live-action animated feature film produced by Walt Disney, released by RKO Radio Pictures. Its world premiere was in Chicago, Illinois, on November 29, 1948. Like 1946's Song of the South, the film combines animation and live action. It is based on the 1943 Sterling North book Midnight and Jeremiah. The book was revised by North to parallel the film's storyline amendments and then re-issued under the same title as the film.

In an ironic tie-in to the title, the film was a personal favorite of Walt Disney, since it re-created on film one of the most memorable times of his life, growing up on a small farm in the American Midwest at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Walt said: “So Dear was especially close to me. Why, that’s the life my brother and I grew up with as kids out in Missouri.” Walt had intended that this would be the first all live-action Disney feature film, but his distributor, RKO, convinced him that when audiences saw the word “Disney,” they expected animation. Thus they split the difference.

So Dear to My Heart was the final film appearance of Harry Carey.

Plot

Set in Indiana in 1903, the film tells the tale of Jeremiah Kincaid (Bobby Driscoll) and his determination to raise a black-wool lamb that was once rejected by its mother. Jeremiah names the lamb Danny for the famed race horse Dan Patch (who is also portrayed in the film). Jeremiah's dream of showing Danny at the Pike County Fair must overcome the obstinate objections of his loving yet tough grandmother Granny (Beulah Bondi). Jeremiah's confidant Uncle Hiram (Burl Ives) is the boy's steady ally. Inspired by the animated figures and stories, the boy perseveres.

Cast

  • Bobby Driscoll as Jeremiah "Jerry" Kincaid
  • Luana Patten as Tildy
  • Burl Ives as Uncle Hiram Douglas
  • Beulah Bondi as Granny Kincaid
  • Harry Carey as Head Judge at County Fair
  • Raymond Bond as Pete Grundy, Storekeeper
  • Walter Soderling as Grampa Meeker
  • Matt Willis as Mr. Burns, Horse Trainer
  • Spelman B. Collins as Judge
  • Bob Haymes as Singer Bob Haymes

Voices

  • John Beal as Adult Jeremiah/Narrator
  • Ken Carson as The Owl
  • Bob Stanton as Danny
  • Marion Darlington as Whistling Sound Effects
  • Clarence Nash as Vocal Sound Effects
  • The Rhythmaires as Vocal Ensemble/Bluebirds

Awards and honors

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Burl Ives's version of the 17th-century English folk song "Lavender Blue," but lost to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from Neptune's Daughter.

Bobby Driscoll received a special Juvenile Award from the Academy, honoring him as "the outstanding juvenile actor of 1949". (In addition to So Dear to My Heart, he had garnered critical acclaim for his dramatic performance in the RKO melodrama The Window.)

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in this list:

  • 2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
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