Disney Swings with "Make Mine Music"
|"Make Mine Music" (1946).|
Among other things, the studio basically invented the music video, though it wouldn't be called that for another forty years. The animators were experienced and ready to go, and, with international markets closed due to the war and its after-effects, it wasn't the proper time for grand projects such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." In baseball terms, it was time for "small ball," and nobody was better at that than the veteran Disney crew.
|Jitterbugging to Benny Goodman, doing the Lindy Hop.|
Instead, the focus shifted to domestic big bands and crooners of the era - basically, singers and classical music accompanied by vivid animation. If some theatergoers found "Make Mine Music" a bit too similar to "Fantasia" for their liking, they weren't being unreasonable: some of the material originally had been intended for "Fantasia" but had been cut.
|Drawing in the girl.|
|All the Cats Join In!|
- The Martins and the Coys - King's Men, a radio vocal group typical of the '40s, sings about love among feuding mountain families
- Blue Bayou - Egrets fly through the Florida swamps at night to the strains of Claude Debussy's "Claire de Lune."
- All the Cats Join In - Benny Goodman entertains some teens with his big band sound as dancing teens are drawn in by the animator's pen
- Without You - Singer Andy Russell sings about love
- Casey at the Bat - Bob Hope sidekick Jerry Colonna recites the classic poem by Ernest Thayer
- Two Silhouettes - Dancers David Lichine and Tania Riabouchinskaya do their thing as Dinah Shore sings
- Peter and the Wolf - Sergei Prokofiev had just written his musical suite a decade earlier, and Sterling Holloway narrates.
- After You've Gone - Benny Goodman returns with the Goodman Octet, instruments that come to life in a musical wonderland
- Johnnie Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet - Two department store hats fall in love, to the accompaniment of the Andrews Sisters
- The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met - A whale is a great singer (Nelson Eddy, singing from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor), and wants to sing in the city's opera, but the townspeople misunderstand and try to kill him.
|Casey at the Bat.|
|A whale with dreams.|
So, it's no wonder that "Make Mine Music" quickly faded from view, and Disney hasn't even bothered to release the film in new formats in some major markets. It's a shame for "Make Mine Music" that Glenn Miller didn't survive the war because he and his band would have made a fine addition to this collection.
|True love in the mountains.|
Also, some of the segments, such as the one featuring the Andrews Sisters, absolutely were top grade and were later released individually. The dancing teens in "All the Cats Join In" are swingin' it, hep cat! The Goodman people sure knew how to blow that clarinet, tickle those ivories and beat those drums, daddio!
|Hats in love, with spats on the side.|
|There's a fun, youthful vibe in "Make Mine Music."|
Below is the trailer for "Make Mine Music" from when it was shown on the Disney Channel.