Raggedy Ann and Andy's musical adventure came and went quickly in theaters, if it played at all; it was considered too young in tone for older viewers and too mature for tykes; it was a "doll" movie ostensibly made for girls but advertised to draw boys in with all the creatures and the "adventure" angle (I'm always hesitant to draw distinctions like that lest I offend; *I* didn't market it that way, that's how *Hollywood* thinks about these things!).
It wasn't a cheap film to make and lost money which is never a good thing in show business; it didn't do too well when it eventually played on commercial television, as some films that were saved from obscurity have done. It can be a hard film to watch if you don't know what to expect, and even after seeing it several times I find myself amazed at how visually dizzying it is, not in a particularly good way.
But is it all that bad? Is it so bad it's "good?"
As I said, I like the score a lot. Had they cut the songs by half and attached them to a more conservative film it might have been more successful. Or maybe not!
Chuck Jones (he did a lot of the cuter Warner Brothers cartoons like the one where the bulldog adopts a little kitty cat) did some Raggedy Ann cartoons for TV a few years later and they were very sweet, very cute...and fairly forgettable.
One of the main reasons the film IS remembered to this day by some of us is because of its audacity. Animation fans argue whether the character work in the film is genius, madness, a success, a failure or a combination of all of the above.
Hand-drawn animation is petering out as a respected, on-going (and financially lucrative) art form; "Raggedy Ann" is certainly an example of artistry, whether or not you believe that art is good or bad.
Personally I find the film mesmerizing and even enjoyable, but I'm weird, I make no bones about it!
I like to watch the film occasionally and imagine what it might have been in other hands...I like the way it sprawls out of control and becomes a sort of fever-dream after beginning as typical children's pabulum.
I particularly like the sequence with the "Camel With The Wrinkled Knees" by legendary Disney animator Art Babbitt. The sequence, and the song (the aforementioned "Blue") are sad, sweet, sentimental, attractively colored and above all QUIET.
I don't know why the film isn't available--perhaps the music is tied up in royalty disputes or, as often happens, Fox studios simply doesn't see enough demand for a failed, old film to spend the money and effort to trot it out again.
One thing is clear; there has never been, and never will again be, a film quite like this one and for that alone I feel it deserves a place in cinema history. If you are even remotely intrigued, try to track the film down and check it out and decide for yourself--you certainly won't forget it once you've seen it!