Magical Movies Tour: Melody Time

I’ve mentioned that I’m holding everything to the standard of Fantasia and by that standard, Melody Time comes up incredibly short. It is a sort of mid century pop version of Fantasia, using vocal music, jazz and story telling in a series of shorts.

I liked a few of the shorts, “Little Toot,” performed by the Andrews Sisters is irrestiably adorable, and “Johnny Appleseed” is gorgeously felt, if not really particularly interesting. “Blame It On The Samba” reunites Donald and Jose, so, I’m happy for it to be here. (Donde esta Panchito?) And I’m also happy to have watched “Pecos Bill,” as I have very much enjoyed eating chicken tacos in his establishment in Frontier Land.

The two long pieces, “Johnny Appleseed” and “Pecos Bill,” are just both from a branch of Disney obsession that have never held much interest for me, the retelling of American myth for the sake of Americana. I never appreciated the treatment of Twain’s work by the studio (I’m a little precious about Twain though, it’s a flaw.)  But I also don’t love the Paul Bunyan stuff, and “Johnny Appleseed” and “Pecos Bill” fit into that mold. There’s a “John Henry” short that got paired with “Princess And The Frog” that I’m also meh on.

Not loving this branch of story telling from Disney, means that this movie was held together by something I’m disinterested in, which gave it a it of an uphill battle. I enjoyed it well enough but it just wasn’t going to hold me interest.

The animation is uniformly great in these shorts, again, not up to the Fantasia and Bambi standards, but still pretty good.

Next week we get back into some long form with The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, that is two stories not quite long enough to be a feature, but still just two stories.

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