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Farmer's son Jack believes a traveling salesman (similar to the portrayal of the Wizard of Oz back in Kansas) when he tells him that his beans are magical. Willingly exchanging his cow for them, Jack is chastised by his mother and throws the beans away. The beans grow into a massive stalk overnight, and Jack's dog, Crosby, is approached by a mouse, who entreats them to climb up. The beanstalk leads up through the bottom of the well into the courtyard of a castle in the sky that is occupied by the witch Mrs. Noire (Hecuba). Keen on stealing treasure, Jack is eventually convinced by Crosby that he should rescue the imprisoned Princess Margaret (whom Mrs. Noire intends to marry to her ogreish son, Tulip) and break Noire's spell that has turned all the castle's former occupants into mice. After a final confrontation with Tulip, Jack saves the day, though it becomes patently obvious that Margaret is a clearheaded girl of 18, determined to get on with restoring her people's fortunes, while Jack is merely a child in love with the idea of being a hero. In an original and poignant twist on happy-ever-after, Margaret stays on in her castle while Jack returns home (happily) to his farm, where he soon forgets all about her. This feature debut of future Tale of Genji-director Gisaburo Sugii is an excellent musical anime that could easily have given Disney's films of the day a run for their money, but one which sank without a trace on a very limited U.S. release.