Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Melody Time {1948}

{Animated Disney Film #10 of 52}

Melody Time is the final Fantasia-ish package Disney film of the 40s. Though I did enjoy it for the most part, I'm rather glad to see the end of these films that consist of a bunch of musical shorts. :)

Melody Time is made up of seven shorts. The first one is Once Upon a Wintertime. It was cute enough...it's a love story set in the winter. The imagery was really gorgeous, though the animation wasn't that great. Mary Blair had a big part in the look of this short, and you can definitely see her style here. But what was up with the girl's face? Both the girl and boy's faces were oddly colored, but the girl's was almost blue. Like she's been outside in the snow just a bit too long. :) The male character was rather bumbling, and when catastrophe strikes, it's the horses and woodland animals who save the day instead of him.

The second section was Bumble Boogie...I was more focused on my knitting than the animation during this part, but I did love the jazzed up version of Flight of the Bumblebee.

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed is the third part. The story was pretty good. I remember enjoying reading about Johnny Appleseed in elementary school. I think Mary Blair had a hand in this section, too- I loved the colors and gorgeous backgrounds and animation.

The next short was called Little Toot. It was kind of depressing, to be honest, and just about the only redeeming part was The Andrews Sisters singing. Little Toot is definitely aimed towards kids, which  makes it feel a bit strange when the next section is so solemn and basically the opposite of Little Toot. Trees is the fifth short, and it definitely has a Bambi-ish look to it. It reminded me of the Little April Showers scene in Bambi. The animation was really pretty, and the animals and natural elements are much more realistic-looking than any of the other animation in this film. I wasn't too crazy about the music, though...it was sort of dull.

Blame It on the Samba was probably my least favorite segment. It reunites some characters from The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos, including Donald Duck and Jose Carioca. This whole section was kind of weird. There is a bit of live action mixed in, and at one point a girl is playing a samba rhythm on an organ. (I associate organs with funerals and solemn occasions, so that felt really bizarre to me.) Some of the imagery looks like it was directly copied from the train sequence in The Three Caballeros.

The final part of Melody Time was the story of Pecos Bill. There is live action, because the section starts off with Roy Rogers (and Trigger) telling the story of Pecos Bill to some kids. (Was Roy Rogers wearing make up? Because it sure looked like it :). I liked how he drew Texas in the map of the US...Texas is huge and all of the other states are jumbled up and tiny because they're obviously not as important. :) It changes from live action to animation when he tells the story. This section was pretty good. I liked how Pecos Bill's adventures just happen to explain so many natural occurrences. :)

Up next on the list is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Looking forward to that ! :) I think Bing Crosby is the narrator for part of it?

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading your thoughts! This is one we have on VHS; as a kid I didn't like it much, for the reasons you mention. Clips from Once Upon a Wintertime are also used in the old Disney singalong Christmas, so that was probably my favorite part. :)


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