Screenplay - Family / Fantasy
In old California, a witch who steals children to sell abroad turns a defiant boy into a magic, flying, talking donkey and his grumpy old dog into a talking bird. WG#: 717754 (Animated or Live Action/Animated)
In old California, when orphaned Danny Garrison's grandfather dies, he is at the mercy of his step-grandmother Hester, a vicious witch. Hester is using the farm in the Sierras to hide stolen children she plans to ship abroad. She's in collusion with a shady lawyer. Danny (10) wants to go to the sheriff.
To get rid of Danny, she turns him into a donkey and sends him flying away, assuming he will crash. Danny discovers he can fly and talk. His little dog Reggie, turned into a bird, also talks and can now complain, constantly, to Danny about its own gripes.
On a distant horse ranch, widowed Abraham Jensen lives with his two children, Charlie, 14, and Susie, 11. He is trying to save his ranch from a greedy banker and himself from the banker's daughter Alice.
Abraham spots a campfire and, believing it's squatters, goes to investigate. He comes onto Hester's cousins Boris and Bert, who are mistreating Boris' widowed daughter-in-law Elizabeth and are on their way to help Hester. Abraham trades his horse for Elizabeth and takes her home to work as his housekeeper, which leads to romance, despite Alice's interference.
Danny lands on Abraham's ranch and befriends Charlie and Susie. Charlie tells the county sheriff about the stolen children. The sheriff reluctantly investigates, but he finds no evidence at Hester's and believes the story a fantasy.
Danny finds he has more magic than flying and talking. His ear flops move things. His tail switch sends bits of lightning. Reggie the Bird drops do-do on the greedy banker's snobbish daughter's hair. Danny scares mean children that pick on Susie.Danny with Charlie, on his back, and Reggie, tries to find the stolen children and save them. He flies over the land, startling prospectors. The banker's son Howie is stolen. The sheriff, Abraham and a tracker pursue.
Hester and her men use a steamer/paddle tug to takes the stolen children via the slough to San Francisco Bay with Danny and Charlie hidden behind huge boxes used to disguise the purpose of the tug. Hester doesn't know they are full of firecrackers.
At the schooner, Danny's fiery tail explodes fireworks on the steamer tug in spectacular display. It sets the schooner on fire, frees more children and brings Abraham, the sheriff and the police. When Hester is killed, the spell is broken and Danny is a boy again, without magic powers, and will live with the Jensens. Rewards save the ranch. The bird again becomes a dog, which just before fade out, starts talking.