The Gnome-Mobile (1967)

Walter Brennan, Matthew Garber, Karen Dotrice, Richard Deacon,
An eccentric millionaire and his grandchildren are embroiled in the plights of some forest gnomes who are searching for the rest of their tribe. While helping them, the millionaire is suspected of being crazy because he's seeing...
  • 6.5 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Ellis Kadison, Upton Sinclair, Writer:
  • Robert Stevenson, Director:
  • Producer:
/ 10

I saw it years ago, before BETA system was erased from the earth, and Istill sing the songs from time to time. It is like a weird crossbetween Mary Poppins, Herbie and fragile rock. It was really amusingand as I said, with some catchy songs. Maybe the special effects are alittle bit old-fashioned, but I am sure it is now as charming as it wasthen. I remember, maybe, the good being too god and the bad guys beingtoo bad but, after all, it's supposed to be for kids!

It's also one of those real image movies from Disney, a little bitforgotten, I don't know why. When home video was striking the world,many titles as this one were released, and now with the DVD explosion,some interesting movies, just like this one, seems to be passed by. Ithink this is much better than "lizzie McGuire" and all that "princessDisney" stuff and things like that. At least, a movie like "thegnome-Mobile", does say something, not just "hey! be cool and buyclothes" when you read between the lines.

- Jimina Sabadú

8/10 / 10

This is a bundle of joy, even at the ripe old age of 24. Maybe I tookit all in as if it was meant for pure tongue-in-cheek purposes, buteven as pure kids movie entertainment this is a blast (in cheesy waysas well as for-real ones). It's about the world of gnomes in theredwood west-coast forests coming to light for a couple of kids (theMary Poppens tykes) and an old man who runs a lumber company.

It might make sense to give a little back-up: part of he reason Iwatched this movie- make that a big reason- was that Upton Sinclairwrote it. There Will Be Blood is now out in theaters, a big success,and I was intrigued by what else was adapted from his works. Seeingthis on the credits list made me give a double-take. What? A Disneymovie? Will there be socialist gnomes gathering in the streets toprotest the ways of the 5 to 6 foot tall bunch? And what about thegreedy capitalists cutting down their trees for their profit motives?Do they have no decency?

Those thoughts ran through my mind, thinking that The Gnome Mobilewould be bust, some cheesy kids movie that was so bad it would be good.And, in some ways, it is. It breaks into songs in the weirdest ofmoments (always, it seems, even if infrequently, in the car), andWalter Brennan plays two roles without any real justification except,mayhap, to get a bigger paycheck. But aside from the goofyexpectations, it's actually a lot of legitimate fun, too. Kids whoaren't completely dulled down by current CGI might get a kick out ofseeing how things went in the "old" days (i.e. lots of large back-dropsets, the 'old-school' of blue screen of sorts of forced perspective,matte paintings), and for acting and comedy that is of a completelylight manner. There's danger with a villainous freak-show captain (thename Horatio Quaxton in and of itself is great), and members ofgrandpa's own company.

It's a big, big, big gas. Only in the 2nd climax (yes, there are two, Ithink, sort of), when the lady gnomes go after Jasper in a courtshipritual do things get a little TOO weird (if that's possible with thefrigging Gnome Mobile), and almost a little out of steam.

/ 10

when this movie came out in 1967 i was only six. but when it was shown overthe years on the disney channel and i got to see the movie for the firsttime i cried with laughter. the late but not forgotten walter brennan wasasfunny as funny could be. he was the perfect choice to do both roles. i takemy hat off to walt disney for putting this movie together. this is a moviethe whole family can enjoy. thank you...

7/10 / 10

In all the 3 movies which Matthew Garber appeared, Karen Dotrice washis co-star. "The Gnome Mobile" is the third of them. The previous onesare "The Three Lives of Thomasina" and "Mary Poppins". This duo is alsoknown as the «Mary Poppins kids». Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice aretwo of my favorite kid stars, particularly Matthew.

This fantasy film is something I recommend for anyone who likes oldlive-action Disney films, Disney in general and especially for fans ofMatthew Garber and Karen Dotrice, no matter their age. Yet, this filmseems to be more for children because it's somewhat childish.

The film was directed by the famous Robert Stevenson, the same guy whodirected movies such as the great "Old Yeller" and "Mary Poppins" andthe okay films "The Love Bug", "Herbie Rides Again" and "Bedknobs andBroomsticks".

The movie is generally likable, colorful and has soul, but it doesn'tmanage to be a truly great movie. The movie is quite promising in thebeginning and it goes rather well until more or less the middle,perhaps a bit later than that. However, after that it isn't that greatand becomes a little goofy for my taste.

The sceneries are great, particularly the forest, which create anatmosphere that strongly resembles "The Wizard of Oz". Less good aresome scenes with cars that inspired certain scenes for "The Love Bug",but at least those scenes are separate. The scenes with gnomes clearlyresemble later movies such as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".At the end, there are some nice primitive special effects.

Walter Brennan is excellent in the role of the eccentric butdisciplined D.J. Mulrooney and he is never annoying, unlike that gnomewith big beird whose name I don't even know. The character D.J.Mulrooney owns a Rolls-Royce Phantom II, the gnome mobile of the title.A fine automobile indeed, but gigantic. If we consider its immense sizeand the time when the car was made, it's concerning the serious dangersthey took with such an unsafe and huge car by doing some crazy stuff incurves and high speed.

As for the kids (Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice), they are perfect intheir acting. Very lively, cute, charming, smart and classy. It'spossible to see Matthew Garber doing incredible things here, such asdriving a car and climbing a building. In fact, the scene when Matthewtries to drive the huge car but can't reach the pedals because he's toosmall for it is funny and Karen gives him a help. After the funnysequence when he climbs a building and helps his grandfather to escapeis when the movie begins to lose its initial greatness.

Matthew Garber portrays Rodney, while Karen Dotrice plays Elizabeth.They're brothers and their surname is Winthrop. I've gotta say, Rodneyis a lovely and different name - very classy and British too. I loveMatthew's lines «When I get a car, it's going to be a Maserati» and «1horsepower??». The kid is fine, huh? I mean, a Maserati. That'sthinking tall :)

The classic comedian Ed Wynn has a small role as one of the gnomes atthe end, but this time he isn't as funny as usual.

Sad that Matthew Adam Garber is not with us anymore. Why didn't he andKaren keep in touch after this film? After all, they did 3 moviestogether and they were friends. Another funny line of Matthew is whenhe comments that nobody has a snoring like grandpa...

As for the soundtrack, "The Gnome Mobile Song" is great, very charming,jolly and timeless. The movie wasn't a success. Maybe Matthew lost hismotivation because of this and gave up on his acting career. ProbablyKaren felt the same and maybe that's why she was such a long timewithout making movies.

In conclusion, a decent movie although not all that great. But it'sworth for the lovely Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice.

/ 10

The Gnome-Mobile is a Disney production and stars Walter Brennan, TomLowell, Matthew Garber, Karen Dotrice, Richard Deacon and sees Ed Wynncameo. It's based on a 1936 book written by Upton Sinclair called TheGnomobile. The story concerns a timber tycoon called D.J. Mulrooney{Brennan} who along with his two grandchildren Rodney & Elizabeth{Garber & Dotrice}, get involved in the affairs of two Gnomes, Jasper &Knobby {Lowell & Brennan (again) respectively}. Jasper desperatelywants a bride and Knobby is fading away as he fears the Gnome race isbeing wiped out by the constant felling of the forests. But in spite ofKnobby's mistrust of humans, especially foresters, all five of them setoff in Brennan's Rolls-Royce; now nicknamed The Gnome-Mobile by thechildren. Sure enough tho, problems arise as first a row breaks outwhen Knobby finds out about Mulrooney's trade, and worse still, whenthe two Gnomes are Gnomenapped by weird circus owner Horatio Quaxton{Sean McClory}. What will become of them all in Disney's fantasticalfamily delight?

What more do you want really? Leonard Maltin praised the film as beingone of Disney's most unsung comedy/fantasies, and Roger Ebert wrylyobserved that Disney makes these types of films for kids, not critics.Who am I to argue with those two wise assumptions? It's a jolly filmthat contains bright and likable characters {acted likewise}, a lovelytitle song {written by the Sherman Brothers} and lasting effects workthat has a timeless charm about it. The story {adventure} zips alongwith no boorish filler to hinder it, and the finale delivers everythingyou hope it will. Go Disney, this deserves a bigger reputation forsure. 7/10