Since the film is full of different segments, I'll be reviewing them individually.
After the films theme song (Which is nothing special but it does bring you into the film) is our first Segment...
THE MARTINS AND THE COYS
Now I know what most of you are thinking, "This wasn't in the film, this didn't start off the film, it was Blue Bayou". Well some of you are going to be completely shocked because this segment was cut out of most releases of the film because people find it too intense and violent for children. Is it, well lets take a look at it.
For most of you, this is the first segment of the film. Before reviewing it, here's a bit of a history lesson for you. This animated segment was originally going to be in "Fantasia" called the "Clair De Lune" sequence and even though the footage of it in "Fantasia" still exist, Disney cut it out and decided to put it in "Make Mine Music" and actually have a song called "Blue Bayou" play instead. Is it a good idea or bad idea?
To be perfectly honest, I think Disney should have kept it the way it was before they changed it. While having some beautiful animation for what ever version you prefer, the "Clair De Lune" sequence actually brings more mood and atmosphere with it's music. The song "Blue Bayou" sung by the Ken Darby choir feels very boring and bland and just puts me to sleep. To be fair, even if you did keep the sequence in it's originality and used it to start the film, it wouldn't really pull me into the film either, at least as a kid for that matter.
CLAIR DE LUNE SEQUENCE
BLUE BAYOU SEQUENCE
ALL THE CATS JOIN IN
With music from the Benny Goodmen Orchestra, this segment is just about a pencil drawing teens from the 40's and showing them having a good time. While the music is swinging and the concept is funny, I still found myself a bit bored and not really as engaged as I should be with this segment. However, the segment is good enough to be the start of the film because I did fine myself more drawn into the film then what the previous segments gave me.
CASEY AT THE BAT
This segment is a poem recited by Jerry Colonna and it tells the story about a baseball player who's so cocky and full of himself that he knows that he's going to win. This is Disney comedy at it's best. It's so over the top and cartoonish that everything they throw at you is just laugh out loud funny. The story is not only good but it does indeed have a good moral. The balance between song and narration works really well here and it does bring a lot of fun to the segments tone.
As we hear the title song sung by Dinah Shore, we see two silhouettes of ballet dancers David Lichine and Tania Riabouchinskaya. This whole sequence is just jaw dropping. The mixture between live action and animation is amazing, the song is beautiful and the imagery is just beautiful, artsy and spectacular. You just have to see it to believe it, because words cannot describe how beautiful this segment is.
PETER AND THE WOLF
Based on the musical composition by Sergei Prokofiev and narrated by Sterling Holloway, "Peter And The Wolf" tells the story about a young Russian boy named Peter who goes out to hunt a wolf along with his animal friends. First off, I love the music in this and how each instrument represents one of the characters. The characters are all fun and likable and our antagonist the Wolf is scary as hell. The cartoon also has a great amount of comedy and suspense along with it's colorful animation. Some people find Sterling Holloway's narration out of place and would rather have the music tell the story but personally I think he fit and is also a lot of fun. Another great and fun segment with some really great music.
AFTER YOU'VE GONE
Once again with music from the Benny Goodmen Orchestra, this segment just shows instruments coming to life as the title song plays. The music is catchy and toe tappin, the animation is creative, colorful and surreal and words can't explain how great it is. See it for yourself!
JOHNNY FEDORA AND ALICE BLUEBONNET
Sung by The Andrew Sisters, the segment tells the story of a Fedora Hat named Johnny and a Blue Bonnet named Alice who are in love with each other but get separated and Johnny tries to find her. With a very odd, surreal and unusual premise, Disney sure knows how to sell it out and make it sound normal. Our main characters are just cute and adorable and the love between them is beautiful. The story while being a cute love story, it can also be funny, sad and dark and this story juggles all those aspects well. The Andrew Sisters are great at singing and telling the story and really give it it's fun, cute and sad feel. It's all just a really cute and creative love story.
THE WHALE WHO WANTED TO SING AT THE MET
Well here it is, my Grandma's favorite Disney short! It tells the story about an operatic whale named Willie who dreams of singing at the met. A impresario named Tetti-Tatti goes out on a search for the whale but plans to kill Willie thinking that he swallowed an opera singer. While having great and marvelous animation and fun characters, the story while also being funny is very tragic and while the ending is sad there's still a bit of light to it. In the words of Bugs Bunny "What do you expect in an opera, a happy ending?". What truly amazes me about the whole segment is it's all done by Nelson Eddy and his singing voice is just beautiful and a gift from God. The music really takes it's toll in this segment and believe me it's beautiful, it's sad, it's dramatic, it's funny, it's just incredible! This is a great finale to the film!
You know how Disney films like "Fantasia", "The Three Caballeros" and "The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr.Toad" have different segments that can be easily chopped into shorts but do well when they're all featured together, this film doesn't bring the same magic as the films I just mentioned. Don't get me wrong, most of the shorts in this film are really great but when watching them back to back, I don't know I would have loved to have seen them better off on their own then put together as a big film. With the films I just mentioned, they had a style and narrative structure to put the shorts together. Here, it feels very bland with no style, it just feels like watching a complication video that you can find at any store. Even the order of shorts don't really flow well with the film either. Overall, while not being a bad film and having a lot of amazing segments, the way it's presented as a film with different segments really doesn't work.
Now for the two bonus cartoons that were part of the tape with Willie The Whale.
FERDINAND THE BULL
This is Disney's Oscar winning short cartoon about a Bull who loves to sit under his favorite tree, relax and smell the flowers. This cartoon is really funny. The concept and premise is funny, the characters are funny, it's over the top but the best part in the whole story is when Ferdinand meets the matador. While being a funny cartoon, it still manages to bring some nice and subtle animation and knows when to take a break between all this over the top things happening. The narrator Don Wilson also does a great job at bringing this story to life and balancing the humor and sutbleness to the story. It's a very fun cartoon and I think it did deserve the Oscar.
LAMBERT THE SHEEPISH LION
The cartoon tells the story about a lion cub who accidentally is taken to be part of a sheep family then a lion family and is sadly considered a misfit by the other sheep. The story is basically your typical "Ugly Duckling" story and it really works. Our main character is really cute and is a character you feel pity for. While also being a cute cartoon, there's also plenty of humor and a dark and suspenseful climax. The title song to the cartoon is very cute and very catchy and still holds up. Our narrator is Sterling Holloway and as always he's fun. Speaking of Sterling Holloway there's a lot references and cross over characters from previous Disney films and shorts. The Wolf at the ending is the same Wolf from "Peter and The Wolf", the Goofy yell is used in this cartoon and on top of it, the stork from "Dumbo" is the one who deliverers Lambert. It's a cute and fun cartoon and is indeed very enjoyable.
DEDICATED TO MY LOVING GRANDMA!