The Best of Times, the Worst of Times – Review of Melody Time

30th May, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on The Best of Times, the Worst of Times – Review of Melody Time

Disney Melody Time

As I’ve mentioned, I’m simply not a fan of the package films. Fun and Fancy Free was something of an exception, perhaps because it only has two segments and both are fairly developed. Nevertheless, Melody Time is a bit different. Some of the segments are completely boring to me, but many of them were quite entertaining. Here are my thoughts about each segment:

Once Upon a Wintertime:
My opinions aren’t too strong one way or the other with this one. It’s kind of boring to watch people ice skate and make hearts in the ice, but the climactic ending saved it somewhat. There were some rather ridiculous aspects of this, however. For example, if people are on an unstable, floating block of ice, how can they stand upright while wearing ice skates? Maybe I’m just not very good at ice skating. I also thought it was funny that suddenly there’s this rapidly moving waterfall. Where did that come from? I also liked how the men ended up being completely incompetent – animals had to do the actual saving. Probably my favorite part was the end when suddenly there’s evidence of a kiss after going through a dark tunnel. And the framework behind it, as though it is looking back on the couple’s courtship after they’ve been married, was a nice touch.

Bumble Boogie
Ironically I really liked this segment. I feel like “Flight of the Bumblebee” is so overused that has become a musical cliché. But this arrangement makes it feel fresh and exciting (another irony, since the film was released over 60 years ago). I like the fact that a bee is the star and the environment is made of bizarre piano-flowers. I also like how the flower petals become piano keys which become a snake-type creature. And the frantic attempt of escape by the bee adequately fits the musical frenzy of the song.

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed
I was surprised that Johnny was overtly religious in the film. Of course, the real Johnny Appleseed was a very religious fellow, but it still surprised me (especially considering Disney’s apparent reservations for certain religiosity in Fantasia and such). Overall, I really enjoyed this segment. I think I have a certain inclination toward folklore, so maybe that’s why. But perhaps it was just refreshing to see a character on the screen with such optimism and selflessness. I also like the moral (one of many) that shows that just because you think you don’t have an important part to play – being an orchardist in Johnny’s case – you can still be a hero in your own right.

Little Toot
Despite going on to become one of the more famous segments, “Little Toot” didn’t strike me as that great. It is a nice little story with a good moral, but I guess anthropomorphic boats just aren’t as interesting to me. One thing that I thought was interesting was that the light bent around him because of his shame. Poor Little Toot…

Okay, this was just really boring. I was just waiting for it to end. My favorite part was when the frog gets out of the water, but lightning scares it right back in.

Blame It on the Samba
José Carioca and Donald Duck’s reappearance only brings back more of the insanity that comprised The Three Caballeros. At first I was hopeful that it would be more like Saludos Amigos, but once they went into the bowl and all the weird stuff started happening, that was dashed. It seemed like just another psychedelic, hallucinatory experience.

Pecos Bill
While Pecos Bill’s wild life is in stark contrast with that of Johnny Appleseed’s, I still appreciated another tall tale being added to the mix. There were a lot more elements that stood out to me in “Pecos Bill” than in other segments, such as “Trees.” This was true right from the start when the turtle gets smacked in the head by a tumbleweed. It was a pretty entertaining piece, though I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011

Filed under: 10 - Melody Time, Reviews

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