51 Days of Disney (Day 8): Make Mine Music

The year is 1946 and the Disney Studios are still in a pretty bad state and their attention is starting to shift away from animation and to the live action medium where films can be made much easier and cheaper. Walt wanted the animation to continue mostly out of tradition, but keeping the animation studio open was starting to really drain the life out of the company’s ledgers. Films like Song of the South (seriously, I’ve seen the movie, it’s not as bad as Disney makes it out to be) which was released in 1946 along with the real subject of this post, Make Mine Music, combined live action with animation and it ended up being a great economic success for the company, so that seemed like the future.

The animated features kept coming, though, and it was a very good thing that they did as the studio really had not hit it’s stride at this point in time.

Make Mine Music is (as it describes itself as) a “Musical Fantasy in 10 parts” and it is just that: a package film with 10 segments in it. The majority of the shorter ones, like the “Martins and the Coys”, are just played for laughs, but then you get segments like “Blue Bayou” which is actually the “Claire de Lune” segment that was planned for Fantasia, just slightly reworked. This segment is absolutely gorgeous to watch and would have fit perfectly in Fantasia, in fact, I really just wanted the rest of the movie to more be like this segment. Of course, right after saying that, you get the exceptionally jazzy “All the Cats Join in” and “Casey at the Bat” which are completely different from “Blue Bayou” but you wouldn’t want them any other way.

Ultimately, the film is uneven. It just doesn’t know what kind of tone take on and keep. There are parts that are funny, parts that are very moving, and parts that are downright depressing. “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met” is easily one of the saddest things ever in a Disney film.

Talking about this movie is difficult as some of the segments are just too short as to really leave any sort of lasting impression. There is a reason that only three of the segments are really remembered at all. “Blue Bayou”, “Casey at the Bat,” “Peter and the Wolf,” and “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met” are the longest and most developed segments and if you want to see this movie, it would probably just be easiest to search for them on YouTube than it would be for you to actually find this movie on DVD.

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