I was really delighted that the Disney Screen series followed up the showing of FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947) earlier this month with this week's screening of of MAKE MINE MUSIC (1946).
Can MELODY TIME (1948) be far behind? Let's hope!
Like FUN AND FANCY FREE and MELODY TIME, MAKE MINE MUSIC is one of Disney's "package" features of the '40s. While FUN AND FANCY FREE featured two main cartoons, bridged with scenes featuring Jiminy Cricket and Edgar Bergen, MAKE MINE MUSIC is simply a series of several musical cartoons with introductory title cards.
MAKE MINE MUSIC starts with another of Disney's gorgeous title sequences. The film then immediately starts the first cartoon, "Blue Bayou," described in a title card as "a Tone Poem." "Blue Bayou" was originally slated to appear in FANTASIA (1940), scored by Debussy, and happily was resurrected for this film with a new soundtrack, sung by the Ken Darby Singers. It's a lovely few minutes filled with shades of blue.
Other favorite segments were "After You've Gone," again featuring Benny Goodman music, and "Without You," sung by Andy Russell. I don't know very much about Russell but he sounded rather like Vic Damone. The animation, looking out a rainy window, was some of my favorite in the movie.
Other sequences included Dinah Shore singing "Two Silhouettes," Jerry Colonna performing "Casey at the Bat," and the Andrews Sisters singing "Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet."
The longest segments were "Peter and the Wolf," a well-known Disney classic, and Nelson Eddy singing "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met." These are good sequences, and I'm an Eddy fan, but overall it was the shorter pieces in MAKE MINE MUSIC which engaged me the most.
Though the film's actual running time is 75 minutes, I'm sorry to say that this was Disney's self-censored version omitting "The Martins and the Coys," sung by the King's Men. (A photo from that segment is shown here.) The running time of the print I saw today was thus 67 minutes. "The Martins and the Coys" has been removed due to "comic gunplay." At the moment it can be seen here, but it could disappear at any time.
MAKE MINE MUSIC is available in a Gold Edition DVD which also omits "The Martins and the Coys." It also had a release on VHS. Fingers crossed that this beautiful Technicolor film will follow FUN AND FANCY FREE in getting a release on Blu-ray...and that it will be the complete, uncensored version.
MICKEY'S DELAYED DATE (1947), with Mickey voiced by Walt Disney himself. I'm a Pluto fan so I especially enjoyed this one, as Mickey's loyal pal saves the day when Mickey takes a long nap and is late for a date with Minnie. It's available on DVD in the Disney Treasures set Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. 2.
Previous Disney Screen reviews: OLIVER & COMPANY (1988), EIGHT BELOW (2006), THE LOVE BUG (1968), THE ROCKETEER (1991), ROBIN HOOD (1973), POLLYANNA (1960), POCAHONTAS (1995), FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947), and THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH (1977).