Somewhere in Dreamland was a 1936 film based on the titular song.
This film was part of Max Fleischer's Color Classics series.
A young brother and sister carry a wagon with pieces of wood, gathering them for their stove. They pass by three merchants' shops: a tinker's, a butcher's, and a baker's. The children see confectioneries at the window, trying to lick it to taste them. The friendly baker comes out with cupcakes, but they already left. The children reach home, and they are welcomed by their mother (Olive Oyl), with a kiss. Then, they eat dinner: hard bread and flat water. The children eat quickly, with the boy saying "I'm still hungry, Ma." She then cries, because they are very poor, due to the Great Depression. The boy tries to make her feel better by assuring her that he was "only foolin'" and their mother kisses them good night. They get in their pajamas, and they each sing a part of the song, as they fall asleep beneath their very tattered sheets. She turns off the candle light, and goes to bed so sadly.
In their sleep, they enter a land with a welcome sign, an arch of pillows with the word "Dreamland". They walk happily through the wondrous land, which includes an ice cream cone field, an animal cracker carousel, a field of popcorn-making corn stalks, wonderful toys, and two luxurious beds. They laugh happily, and fall asleep, only to wake up the next morning. To their surprise, a large feast is on the kitchen table, provided by the Merchants. They ask, "All for us?" The merchants say, "All for you." They shout in joy, but the boy sticks a fork on his bottom, to check if they weren't dreaming again. The children then laugh as a chorus sings "Somewhere in Dreamland, tonight."
Unlike most Color Classics, which were produced in two-strip Technicolor, with the exception of Poor Cinderella (1934) which was filmed in Cinecolor, this was Fleischer Studios' first film in three-strip Technicolor.
Somewhere in Dreamland is very typical of the style of Dave Fleischer--two angelic kewpie-like children live in terrible poverty but dream of a world of limitless candy and toys. In spite of the overly cute premise and the fact that these children are interchangeable with the children in every other Fleischer cartoon, Somewhere in Dreamland is an adorable film, which excellent animation, especially in the dream sequence. For such an early cartoon, the level of detail is quite impressive--when the kids go to bed, both their pajamas and their blankets are shabby and ridden with holes. It's a shame that cartoons like this are no longer very popular--it's hard for kids today to relate to a cartoon where every body behaves incredibly saintly, and the only villain they have to face is the ever-looming Depression. But Somewhere in Dreamland is a lovely gem that remains a tribute to the inspiring optimism of the 1930's.
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