The House that Jack Built is a short animated film by Ron Tunis it was released in 1967. It as a modern telling/version of jack and the bean stalk that talks about consumerism, capitalism and greed.
Jack is the ideal version of the 1960’s suburban man; he has an office job in the city, a house in the suburbs and a house wife who worries about the bills. He is just like all of his neighbors; they are all carbon copies of each. It’s the perfect parody of the “classic” American dream, with a nice house a good paying job and a draining schedule that overworks you while your superiors bask in the lap of luxury.
Over time one would assume Jack longs to escape his boring 9 to 5 office job. But a stroke of luck and misfortune Jack Crashes his car. The ruined Vehicle is traded for Beans. This is where the new version of the classic tale of jack and the bean stalk comes into play.
Jack of course climbs up the bean stalk to find a beautiful mansion/castle. Unlike in the classic version of this tale this home is not owned by a towering Giant but by a physically small man who happens to be an economic giant. This giant had a gold mirror which he uses to hypes himself singing him endless egotistical praises. Jack steals the mirror to boost his ego and now a new “giant” is born. He becomes the boss and gets out of the suburbs and becomes incredibly wealthy.
But for Jack, nothing is ever enough no matter how much money he makes no matter how successful he become he still wants more. This short film excellently depicts the Corruption of capitalism and Its unyielding hunger for more.
An ingesting part of this film was how simple the animation style was. The characters themselves were not flashy or incredibly detailed , which made it easier to focus on the moral and theme of the story rather than the characters. Because this story doesn’t have to be about one kind of person. Many people from all sorts of backgrounds crave power and superiority in a capitalist world.
Another interesting feature of this film was how it doesn’t outright condemn big corporations and a capitalist way of life.it doesn’t show that Jack was sad or displeased with his life we as viewers can only project our own thoughts into his very cookie cutter life .
In conclusion The short animated film the House that jack built is a clever retelling of a classic fairy meant to warn us about the Darker side of the American dream, It reminds us that its not always about how hard you work or who you know. Sometimes it’s about what you stole and how you inflated your ego to try and justify your actions. Because you are the best and don’t you deserve the best ?