I'm prejudiced about this film, because I saw it as a small child, and was absolutely enchanted. From a child's viewpoint, everything looked magical. I especially loved the fairy, Light, and the Land of the Unborn Children. As a grownup, I can appreciate the slightly tacky, not to mention low-budget, nature of the costumes and settings, but I don't care. I still love it!!!
For one thing, the color has been restored beautifully; for another, Shirley Temple's terminal cuteness was finally curbed by a competent director, Walter Lang. Every curl still remains in place, but she puts in a more than creditable performance as the spoiled brat, Mytyl. The little boy playing her brother Tyltyl is also engaging, as are Sibyl Jason, and Juanita Quigley as children in supporting roles. And Gale Sondergaard is brilliant as Tylette the sneaky cat. Her exchanges with the growling dog Tylo are highly amusing.
If children have not become too jaded by their exposure to computers, and can still believe in magic and fairies, they will love this allegorical fable based upon the novel by Maurice Maeterlinck.