Disney’s “Make Mine Music” (1946) Review

Image: Disney, Wikipedia.org

The third of the Package Films in the Disney Animated Canon, and personally one of the best. Seeing as there are ten shorts in this one, please indulge me as I rate them on sort of a mini-grading system for each short, 10% maximum for each.

“Martins and the Coys” – Based off the feuding families ‘The Hatfields and McCoys’, this short is just terrible. It is the worst of anything I have seen Disney do, and it rightfully was stricken from the DVD re-release of the film. I only will need to watch this once to see that it has no redeeming qualities: A predictable and unsatisfying plot, no real strong characters, stereotypical dialogue, lazy and repeating animation, gun violence galore, and a death count to rival ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (well, not really). The music is just okay, but that’s the only positive.

My RATING for THE MARTINS AND THE COYS is 2%.

“Blue Bayou” – Beautiful and haunting, this song shows the murky, serene swamplands lit by moonlight as we follow a heron. It’s just a normal heron doing normal heron things, and that’s all this needs. It’s just some peaceful eye candy. There isn’t much meat to the song, there aren’t any characters aside from the heron, the dialogue is already in the lyrics, the animation is gorgeous, and the music is slow and somber.

My RATING for BLUE BAYOU is 8%.

“All the Cats Join In” – This is fire. Seriously good. The animation is very ‘UPA’. Minimalistic, simple, and focused on the movement of the characters rather than the detail. Backgrounds are focused on coloring the scene behind the characters and imagination is king. I also love how the animators get in on the action, drawing a stop sign just so they can finish the rear wheels on the car? Genius. The plot is a fun, fast, and snappy night out with friends, the characters are varied and colorful, the dialogue is short and simple, the animation is amazing and fluid, and the music is catchy as anything. Jazz, baby, jazz.

My RATING for ALL THE CATS JOIN IN is 10%.

“Without You” – Incredibly depressing, as song about lost love with beautiful visuals, many of which would work as a screensaver. The most literal and figurative blue I have seen onscreen. The plot, characters, and dialogue are all sad to an almost boring degree, but the music and visuals are done very well.

My RATING for WITHOUT YOU is 6%.

“Casey at the Bat” – I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, having not remembered ever seeing it. It’s great. A tale of hubris and over-confidence, set to animation. Very funny, well-animated, and beginning with some beautiful painted stills, to boot. Some reused animation sure, but the reuse makes fun of the monotony and repetition of baseball. Honestly, one of the few baseball games I can rewatch! The plot is succinct, the characters are easily identifiable, the dialogue is intricate, but sadly drowned out by the music, the animation has a lot of great squash-and-stretch, and the music is full of bravado and horns.

My RATING for CASEY AT THE BAT is 9%.

“Two Silhouettes” – Similar to ‘Without You’ but without the severe depression. Beautiful backgrounds, and rotoscoped dancers amongst scenery of blues, pinks, and purples. A calming song with intricate swathes of color and clever uses of layers and meshing live action with animation. There may be no plot, and a few characters, and little dialogue, but this is just breathtaking and fascinating to watch.

My RATING for TWO SILHOUETTES is 7%.

“Peter and the Wolf” – A childhood classic of mine. I legitimately felt for the characters in this one, in sadness, fear, and happiness. This is a fairy tale story perfectly set up with characters that whimsically use orchestral instruments as their calling cards. Wonderful animation with gorgeous backgrounds and colors, and all the dialogue is done by some guy named…

Sterling Holloway.

(Seriously though, this is legitimately great and worth the watch and rewatch for years to come.)

My RATING for PETER AND THE WOLF is 10%.

“After You’ve Gone” – A catchy jazzy song with musical instruments as characters. No story to tell with no dialogue, with great lighting effects and animation.

My RATING for AFTER YOU’VE GONE is 6%.

“Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet” – A beautiful song about the love story of a fedora and a bonnet in a department store window. It’s corny, sweet, and cute, and it tugs at the heartstrings. Strangely enough, it’s a seriously good love story.

My RATING for JOHNNY FEDORA AND ALICE BLUEBONNET is 10%

“The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met” – This was another one I was looking forward to, and while it wasn’t disappointing, it didn’t quite live up to expectation. The story relies on characters not knowing information, and that is frustrating to me. The music is some amazing opera, and the dialogue is short and sweet. The characters are somewhat lackluster but the animation is amazing. This one is pretty good, but doesn’t hit the mark character or story-wise.

My RATING for THE WHALE WHO WANTED TO SING AT THE MET” is 7%.

OVERALL –

While this is a mixed bag of vignettes, there are a lot of winners here. Thankfully, only a few of them falter, and even then the animation is always really good at minimum, and the music is stellar. I enjoyed this more than the other packaged films previous, and I can only hope that the rest will be as good, if not better, than this film.

Image: Disney, Wikipedia.org

My OVERALL Rating for MAKE MINE MUSIC is 75%.

Next time, we’re going to be free…

Fun and Fancy Free!

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