This is an old Disney book which we’ve read dozens of times over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever counted it before, so here goes. It casts Mickey in the role of Jack in an otherwise standard version of this fairy tale. and is one of my son’s favourite bedtime books, because we have so much fun doing silly character voices, and adding additional dialogue and text to the story when we read it, ending up with a rather subversive, and non-traditional telling of the Jack and the Beanstalk story. Things like, “And then Mickey, that verminous little thief, stole the giant’s bag of gold, even though the giant had never done ANYTHING bad to Mickey,” and “Mickey threw down the bag of gold, where it bashed Donald Duck in the head. Fortunately, he wasn’t harmed, since he doesn’t have a brain,” and “Then Mickey MURDERED the giant by chopping down the beanstalk,” and “The three friends lived happily ever after, until the bad karma of Mickey’s evil actions caught up with them, and they were all reincarnated as slugs.” Stuff like that. Oh, and I usually do the giant’s dialogue in my best Dame Edna voice.
It’s a hoot to read it this way, and I feel like I’m giving my son a bit of a moral lesson, too. While we may go a bit overboard in villifying poor Mickey, really, this IS a messed up story. Mickey/Jack basically breaks and enters into this giant’s castle, steals his stuff, and then murders him so he doesn’t get in trouble. No provocation – and we can assume that the harp, at least, was happy where she was, or she wouldn’t have called out to the giant when she was being kidnapped, right? LOL! So, we have a lot of fun with this book, even though, as books go, it’s not particularly inspired. It’s also not a good bedtime book, since we always end up laughing hysterically over something or other, which isn’t particularly condusive to getting my son to sleep soon afterwards. All things considered, though, 8/10 for sustained entertainment value.