The Gnome-Mobile (1967)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Based on a novel by Upton Sinclair, this Walt Disney film follows the adventures of the wealthy D. J. Mulrooney (Walter Brennan) and his two young grandchildren Rodney (Matthew Garber) and Elizabeth (Karen Dotrice) when they run across Jasper (Tom Lowell) and Knobby (Walter Brennan), two woodland gnomes, while on a picnic. After telling the story of their problems, Jasper and Knobby accept the assistance of Mulrooney and the kids as they set off to search for others of their kind.
Classics , Drama , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Walt Disney Productions

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Walter Brennan
as D.J. Mulrooney / Knobby
Karen Dotrice
as Elizabeth
Ed Wynn
as Rufus
Tom Lowell
as Jasper
Richard Deacon
as Ralph Yarby
Sean McClory
as Horatio Quaxton
Jerome Cowan
as Dr. Conrad Ramsey
Charles Lane
as Dr. Scroggins
Norman Grabowski
as Male Nurse
Gil Lamb
as Gas Station Attendant
Maudie Prickett
as Katie Barrett
Cami Sebring
as Violet
Ellen Corby
as Etta Pettibone
Frank Cady
as Charlie Pettibone
Hal Baylor
as Male Nurse
Karl Held
as Paul
Charles Smith
as Airport Attendant
Byron Foulger
as Hotel Clerk
Susan Flannery
as Airline Stewardess
Dee Carroll
as Second Secretary
William Fawcett
as Chauffeur
Robert S. Carson
as Twin Oaks Attendant
Jack Davis
as Manson
John Cliff
as Night Watchman
Mickey Martin
as Bellboy
Alvy Moore
as Gas Station Mechanic
Dale Van Sickel
as Uniformed Guard
Pamela Gail
as Snapdragon
Susan Henning
as Gnome Maiden
Jimmy Murphy
as Raccoon
Judy Van Wormer
as Gnome Maiden
Jesslyn Fax
as Voice of Bluejays
Dyane Robins
as Gnome Maiden
Toni O'Connor
as Gnome Maiden
Kathy Foley
as Gnome Maiden
Barbara Halpern
as Gnome Maiden
Joyce Menges
as Gnome Maiden
Bunny Henning
as Gnome Maiden
Mimi Zerbini
as Gnome Maiden
Cami Serbing
as Violet
Kathee Francis
as Gnome Maiden
Pat Ann Reid
as Gnome Maiden
Cindy A. Taylor
as Gnome Maiden
Susan Gates
as Gnome Maiden
Marianna Case
as Gnome Maiden
Jacquelyn Mary Ray
as Gnome Maiden
Shawn Scott
as Gnome Maiden
Sandra Lee Gimpel
as Gnome Maiden
Virginia Aldridge
as Gnome Maiden
Amedee Chabot
as Married Gnome
Carla Borelli
as Married Gnome
Jeanne Shipman
as Married Gnome
Nancy Gould
as Married Gnome
Karin Blake
as Married Gnome
Carol O'Kane
as Married Gnome
Pamela Howard
as Married Gnome
Carol Merrill
as Married Gnome
Jackie Andre
as Married Gnome
Brenda Power
as Married Gnome
Dorothy Duffy
as Married Gnome
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Critic Reviews for The Gnome-Mobile

All Critics (1) | Top Critics (1)

Quote not available.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Gnome-Mobile


A shiny penny to the man (or lady) who can remember this or has even seen it!. Directed by Disney maestro Robert Stevenson who ALL of the Disney films through the 50's and 60's!. The film also has various actors from other famous Disney movies such as the 'Mary Poppins' kids, Tom Lowell from 'That Darn Cat' and Disney stalwart Ed Wynn. The film is based on a story by Upton Sinclair although how accurately I don't know. The story tells of two children and their grandfather who discover gnomes living in the Redwood forests in California. The trio help the two gnomes by escorting them to another wooded area looking for more of their kind. They run into trouble along the way as a freak show owner steal the gnomes and the fact that the kids grandfather is the owner of a logging company that is destroying the gnomes natural habitat. Much like other classic Stevenson films such as 'Blackbeard's Ghost' this has been forgotten when up against other mega Disney animations. The 60's saw many live action flicks from old Walt which are admittedly terribly dated watching now but the charm factor is through the roof!. The visuals here are your typical vibrant colourful affair, the cheery ever happy acting, quirky sickening songs and those amusing sped up special effects. I was impressed with the puppetry on display though, at the start of the film the gnomes are chatting with some animal friends of the forest and these creatures look great. Considering this film was made when it was you gotta give kudos to the craftsmanship on show. The effects overall are to a very high degree in general, the bluescreen work is of course obvious but does the job, while enlarged sets to force scale really work nicely, especially inside the Rolls Royce. The entire film has that bold cartoon look about it much like all the other uncle Walt live action films of the era but it does also suffer from feeling somewhat similar to those other films. There is a nice car chase sequence which is pretty much the same stuff you see in 'The Love Bug', its cool and planted the seed for 'Herbie' but its too much of deja vu for me. Later scenes in the film do tend to feel like other fantasy films also, a bit 'Willy Wonka-ish' a bit 'Wizard of Oz-ish', not totally but you sense it. Unfortunately the film is no where near as great as those films, probably why its long forgotten. You do get the feeling they stuck the 'Mary Poppins' kids in there simply to try and make the film more attractive to audiences still high on that British vibe. Its only Ed Wynn who seems to fit in this fantasy world, even Brennan kinda feels a tad wooden and out of place (his 'Jaunty car' song is pretty awful). Without sounding too cynical I can see why these films didn't take off as well as the animated films, the use of the same cast doesn't help with originality, I mean you could of stuck Dean Jones in here quite easily and nothing would feel any different. I confess to finding the finale also somewhat disturbing actually, the main young hero gnome is looking for a female partner, so he gets to choose a girl gnome at the end (spoiler aler...oh come on the films 46 years old people!). So all the girly gnomes line up and he gets to choose his sexy gnome wife! lucky boy, so basically we are seeing gnome prostitution are we not?. Sounds over the top but the dialog coming from the elder gnomes do in fact consolidate my theory. After that the girls must chase and capture our plucky young gnome hero, the one who catches him gets to be his the whole choosing bit was a complete waste of time. This again seems really dumb, why would anyone run??! these sexy girls are running this guy down and virtually tearing off his gnome pants, oh if only!. Its all done in a very family fun orientated way of course but there does feel like a darker undercurrent here...or maybe that's just me and my sordid mind who knows. The film is most definitely a Disney classic for sure, chock full of delightful characters, magical sequences of wonder, bright colourful scenery and charming silliness all based around old world fantasy creatures. I'm not so sure kids these days will get a kick out of it as CGI animation seems to be the thing. For me the film is a bit too wishy washy and sappy, not a lot does happen that is memorable and as I've said its way too similar to many other Disney films of the time. Even though the magic on display is created well it does clearly tend to struggle to keep things gripping and inventive, it can't really match the likes of 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks'.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


★★ (out of four) Some people will probably call me heartless and anti-family entertainment for my feelings towards this live-action Disney favorite from 1967. To me however, it shows how hard it was for Disney to change with the times. While cinema was embracing new themes and maturity with pictures like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", "Darling", "In the Heat of the Night" and "Who Killed Teddy Bear", Disney stayed stuck in a time warp that wasn't advancing. Don't get me wrong. Disney didn't need to become part of the 1960's free-love movement. But, I think they could have continued to create film geared towards the family without making them so darn hokey. "The Gnome-Mobile" today is nearly unwatchable in its cheesiness. It does have an odd, mind-numbing curiousity. My question is: Did they ever find this film to be high entertainmnt? Walter Brennan is WAY over the top in two roles here. First is a wealthy San Francisco businessman who has his grandchildren visiting. The other is as a crotchety gnome living in the redwood forest. I couldn't take my eyes off this picture, not in a good way. I was in awe of how bizarre it is and how annoying Brennan could be at times. [IMG][/IMG]

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

The guys who wrote this movie were most definitely on some drugs. It is nuts, but hilariously nuts. Basically the kids from Mary Poppins are for some reason on a raod trip with their grandfather. Some how they befriend a tiny little man (about the size of a Barbie Doll). Some how they manage to get the little man back to his people and there is a big husband hunt among the gnome women. Weird, weird, wacky stuff. Kids should love it and grown folks should too prvided that there is liquor (or whatever) involved.

Courtney Williams
Courtney Williams

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