Melody Time (USA, 1948)
Directed by Clyde Geronomi, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney & Hamilton Luske
Starring Roy Rogers, Dennis Day, Buddy Clark, Bob Nolan
You would think that all the Disney package films would have very little to choose between them, since they are all made under the same principles and time constraints, and all have the same slight nature. But as we have seen, the overall quality varies according to the content of the individual shorts, and each of the films has its own series of problems. Make Mine Music is a collection of shorts that promised much but delivered little; Fun & Fancy Free has a really good second half but struggles to get going; and The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad falls into two opposing traps regarding adaptation.
Bambi territory, complete with rabbits and antics on a frozen lake. But after setting up a jovial mood, the film takes an uncomfortable turn, devoting the best part of 2 minutes to shots of women's undergarments as Jenny stumbles on the lake. And then, having made us feel awkward, things take a darker turn as the lake becomes a flowing river, and then a raging waterfall over which our heroes just avoid falling to their deaths. There is a nice twist to the story, insofar as it's not directly the man in the relationship who saves the day, but it still leaves us scratching our heads as to its emotional intentions.
Snow White with the animal scenes and allowing its Christian message to come across in a warm, inviting way. There are a couple of mis-steps - the guardian angel's entrance and the Indians at the dance - but otherwise it's very hard to fault.
Dumbo without the emotional depth. The music is provided by The Andrews Sisters, who appeared in Make Mine Music during the segment Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet.
NEXT REVIEW: Mulholland Drive (2001)