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Old 07-12-2018, 12:12   #41
LeftHandedGuitarist
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#10: Melody Time (1948)

I can't take much more of these package films. Fortunately there's only one more to go.

I don't have much to say about this one. Once again it features gorgeous and creative animation, but it's a haphazard mix of short pieces that don't join together. Johnny Appleseed's story was probably the best part even though it kind of bored me senseless and I really didn't like the song(s). The final section with Pecos Bill goes on far too long and isn't a particularly nice story either with some horribly blasé racism. More random live action stuff with kids hanging out with adults.

Side note: reading up, it looks like the UK has an uncut version of this. In the USA, the Pecos Bill section had his cigarette digitally removed for home releases which meant a sequence had to be entirely cut out.



My current ranking:
  1. Pinocchio
  2. Bambi
  3. Dumbo
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  5. Fun and Fancy Free
  6. Saludos Amigos
  7. Melody Time
  8. Fantasia
  9. Make Mine Music
  10. The Three Caballeros
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:58   #42
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Aye, whilst a few of the classics has stood the test of time, it's not unsurprising why nobody has heard of this one. I guess you need to remember that these were made when people were still impressed with the novelty of watching a long cartoon at the pictures.
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Old 07-12-2018, 16:15   #43
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I don't think it was so much that they were impressed, as that people didn't yet have television, so why not?

I doubt anyone was under any illusions that these films were on the level of Pinocchio, Bambi or Fantasia (which I would personally rank far higher than LHG does in terms of enjoyment, and which regardless of personal taste is undeniably stunningly ambitious). The existence of these movies is entirely a testament to the money troubles Disney was facing at the time.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:07   #44
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Absolutely, I was blown away the amount of work and level of skill that went into Fantasia, even though it didn't click with me.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:12   #45
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#11: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

At last, I've reached the end of the 1940s "package" era of Disney films. These were all made as money-saving exercises to help fund upcoming projects, so in that respect I'm glad they exist. But they were not easy to sit through, being a jumble of mismatched animation experiments, storytelling and art ideas.

This final one is among the better ones. Like Fun and Fancy Free, it tells only two stories and they are both fully developed ideas. Unfortunately, I didn't really fall in love with either of them.

The first story is a re-telling of The Wind in the Willows. This is a story which I feel like I've been exposed to multiple times over while growing up, and yet I'm not overly familiar with it because I never really liked it and never paid all that much attention. I also always thought the character of Toad was a total dick.

The ending fight in the house is the best part with some delightful creativity. I also really liked all of the weasel characters, they just look fantastic and move really well.

The second story adapts Sleepy Hollow, and while my only exposure to this previously is the Tim Burton film I have to say I was expecting something very different to this. Most of it tells of the central character, Ichabod Crane, messing up the plans of the town bully. This wouldn't be so bad if Ichabod himself wasn't one of the most hateful characters I've seen so far in any Disney piece. There's a weird crossing of wires in that he's supposed to be a good guy but doesn't act that way at all. He also looks horrific.

The ending of the piece introduces the more familiar spooky elements and the Headless Horseman. This segment is quite well put together and becomes really frantic. Unfortunately by this point I had completely checked-out storywise.

These package films have been mostly forgotten to time for a reason - I had certainly never heard of any of them before starting this project. I'm so ready to watch some proper Disney films now.



My current ranking:
  1. Pinocchio
  2. Bambi
  3. Dumbo
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  5. Fun and Fancy Free
  6. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  7. Saludos Amigos
  8. Melody Time
  9. Fantasia
  10. Make Mine Music
  11. The Three Caballeros
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