Movie Review: Melody Time (1948)

TitleMelody Time
Release Date: May 27, 1948
Director: Jack Kinney, Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and Wilfred Jackson
Production Company: Walt Disney Productions

This package film from Disney is meant to be the popular and folk music companion to Fantasia.  It contains seven segments and visually they animation has a greater continuity than other package films I’ve watched.  The shifts in music and storytelling styles are jarring though.  Two of the segments are interpretations of American folk tales, while others include a children’s story, experimental film, and an outtake from The Three Caballeros.

“Once Upon a Wintertime” is a romantic postcard of a man and a woman (as well as a pair of rabbits) ice skating, with vocals from the Andrews Sisters.

“Bumble Boogie” features a swing interpretation of “Flight of the Bumblebee” as a bee finds himself trapped in swirling, surrealistic visions of flowers and musical instruments.

“The Legend of Johnny Appleseed” set the tall tales of John Chapman to music and includes the most overt religiosity I’ve ever seen in a Disney film.

“Little Toot” tells the story of a mischievous tugboat in New York Harbor who has to learn to take responsibility.

“Trees” is a visual interpretation of the Joyce Kilmer poem set to music.

“Blame it on the Samba” reunites Donald Duck with José Carioca. They attempt to dance the samba while Aracuan Bird causes mischief.  Organist Ethel Smith appears in live action and Donald does NOT lust over her at all!

“Pecos Bill” is another tall tale about a man raised by coyotes who becomes the best cowboy and falling in love with the cowgirl Slue Foot Sue.  The story is narrated by Roy Rogers and his crew with live action scenes of them gathered around the campfire.

I haven’t watched all the package films yet, but this is the most enjoyable one so far.

Rating: ***

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