Upton Sinclair and Walt Disney: The Gnome-Mobile (1967)

Upton Sinclair’s 1936 novel The Gnome-Mobile tells the tale of a brother and sister who befriend distraught forest gnomes in order to save a ring of ancient redwoods from a greedy logging company. Sinclair, most famous for his muckraking novels The Jungle (1906) and Oil! (1927), moved to Southern California in the early 1920’s where he continued to work as an author and activist. When Walt Disney read Sinclair’s script, he felt the material wasn’t right for cartoons but agreed to make the film with live characters. Directed by Robert Stevenson, The Gnome-Mobile was released in 1967, three years before Sinclair’s death. It was one of the last films produced by Walt Disney himself.

In the above clip, the children and their new friends sing a final song of togetherness while taking a ride in the “gnome mobile.”