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Walt Disney's Melody Time

Walt Disney, The Andrews Sisters

It's well known that I'm a big fan of ol' Walt's smaller films/segments. Disney cartoons that are intended to be beautiful and are less than a half hour in length are wondrous. If you happen to get your hands on one of walt's retellings of folk fiction, hoo boy. It's great.

Melody Time is a mishmash of musical cartoons. Whereas Fantasia was intended to illustrate the music as it sounded, melody time was made in the old cartoon fashion- music made to fit the animation (and some fantasia-esque structuring of a cartoon around music), plus storytelling. The real trick here is the storytelling, in which Walt takes a couple of tall tales and yarns from america's history and illustrates them in animation. Johnny Appleseed and Pecos Bill are here, and goodness- they're amazing. Johnny Appleseed's my favorite, mostly for the background paintings of apple trees as far as the eye can see. What wonderful stories.

The musical segments, also excellent, are bumble boogie, blame it on the samba ("that lady's one fast organist"... and she was.), and a winter/ice skating themed cartoon whose name i've forgotten. There are more, but damned if i can remember. I say, you only remember the stuff worth remembering. Why appreciate what you forget?

At any rate, melody time is a fine item for your vcr if you happen to have burned yourself out on Fantasia. It's not as good as Fantasia, but that same magic's there, and you'll be reminded of disney's genius once more.

GRADE: A

If you loved Fantasia, you'll love Melody Time.

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