Thursday, September 8, 2011

It’s Film Strip Friday! ~ Make Mine Music

It’s Film Strip Friday!

Make Mine Music

Release Date August 15th, 1946

 

SYNOPSIS:

An enchanting anthology of animated tales, each centered on music. From the Whale Who Sang at the Met to the celebrated Peter and the Wolf, you'll find your toes tapping and your heart filled with delight.

The eighth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, Make Mine Music was released in 1946. The ten segments which comprise Make Mine Music are unrelated, other than having music as their basis.

The ten segments are: "A Rustic Ballad", the story of a feud between two "hillbilly" families; "A Tone Poem", featuring a peaceful bayou; "A Jazz Interlude" follows teenage bobby-soxers dancing at a malt shop; "A Ballad in Blue", a somber homage to lost love; "A Musical Recitation" which tells the classic story of "Casey At the Bat"; "Ballade Ballet", featuring ballet dancers in silhouette; another classic, "Peter and the Wolf" is the foundation of "A Fairy Tale with Music"; "After You've Gone" a lively short starring four musical instruments racing across a jazzy, surreal playground; "A Love Story", an amusing tale of two hats falling in love while on display in a department store window; and the final segment, "Opera Pathetique", which follows Willie the Whale, whose aspiration is to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.

FUN FACTS:

Make Mine Music is an animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on August 15, 1946. It is the eighth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series.

During the Second World War, much of Walt Disney's staff was drafted into the army, and those that remained were called upon by the U.S. government to make training and propaganda films. As a result, the studio was littered with unfinished story ideas. In order to keep the feature film division alive during this difficult time, the studio released four package films including this one, made up of various unrelated segments set to music. This is the fourth package film, following Fantasia, Saludos Amigos and the Three Caballeros.

The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.

Film Segments:

This particular film has ten such segments.

The Martins and the Coys

This segment featured popular radio vocal group, King’s Men singing the story of a Hatfields and McCoys-style feud in the mountains broken up when two young people from each side fell in love. This segment was later cut from the film's video release due to comic gunplay.

Blue Bayou

This segment featured animation originally intended for Fantasia using the Claude Debussy musical composition Clair de Lune. However, by the time Make Mine Music was released Clair de Lune was replaced by the new song Blue Bayou, performed by the Ken Darby Singers. However, the original version of the segment still survives.

All the Cats Join In

This segment was one of two segments to which Benny Goodman contributed: an innovative shot in which a pencil drew the action as it was happening, and in which 1940s teens were swept away by popular music.

Without You

This segment was a ballad of lost love, sung by Andy Russell.

Casey at the Bat

This segment featured Jerry Colonna, reciting the poem also titled "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Thayer, about the arrogant ballplayer whose cockiness was his undoing.

Two Silhouettes

This segment featured two live-action ballet dancers, David Lichine and Tania Riabouchinskaya, moving in silhouette with animated backgrounds and characters. Diana Shore sang the title song.

Peter and the Wolf

This segment was an animated dramatization of the 1936 musical composition by Sergei Prokofiev, with narration by actor Sterling Holloway. A Russian boy named Peter set off into the forest to hunt the wolf with his animal friends: a bird named Sasha, a duck named Sonia, and a cat named Ivan.

After You’ve Gone

This segment again featured Benny Goodman and his orchestra as four anthropomorphized instruments who paraded through a musical playground.

Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet

This segment told the romantic story of two hats who fell in love in a department store window. When Alice was sold, Johnny devoted himself to finding her again. The Andrews Sisters provided the vocals. Like the other segments, it was later released theatrically. It was released as such on May 21, 1954.

The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met

      The bittersweet finale about a Sperm Whale with incredible musical talent and his dreams of singing Grand Opera. However, short-sighted impressario Tetti-Tatti believed that the whale has simply swallowed an opera singer, and chased him with a harpoon. Nelson Eddy narrated and performed all the voices in this segment. As Willie the Whale, Eddy sang all three male voices in the first part of the Sextet from Donizetti's opera, Lucia di Lammermoor. In the end Willie was harpooned and killed, but the narrator softened the blow by telling the viewers that he sang on in heaven.



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