Disney at the Movies – Day 8

Make Mine Music

  1. Cartoon Shorts    Three Little Wolves and Mickey’s Amateurs
  2. Main Feature      Make Mine Music
  3. Live Action          The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band

In the aftermath of World War II, the Studio continued to produce compilation animated films as it strove to regain its financial footing.  One such film, Make Mine Music (1946), is a collection of ten distinct stories inspired by  musical themes.  Think of it as Fantasia-lite, not groundbreaking, not phenomenal, but undeniably charming.  Instead of Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, you will hear some of the formidable pop music talents of the day including Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters and Dinah Shore.  Fans of Mickey’s Philharmagic in Disney World will appreciate the segment titled “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met,” because the titular whale is featured in one of the humorous lobby posters adorning the queue for the Philharmagic (I Pagliacci performed by Willy the Whale). It is a reminder that Imagineers cleverly decorate the parks with images and references from a wide range of Disney films.  At the time of this writing, Make Mine Music is not streaming on Disney+, Netflix, nor Amazon Prime.  It can, however, be inexpensively purchased on Amazon. We watched on an old videocassette.

Our Silly Symphony selection is Three Little Wolves (1936).  This next installment is loaded with surprises.  It begins with the Big Bad Wolf lecturing his three sons on the finer points of cooking pork (in German no less). Elements of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Little Bo Peep will be tossed into the mix and before it’s through, the Big Bad Wolf will receive an imaginatively rendered thrashing.

The next short will be Mickey’s Amateurs (1937). Mickey Mouse hosts a radio variety show that features the “talents” of familiar Disney stars such as Donald Duck and Goofy, as well as some lesser known characters such as Clarabelle Cow. The musical offerings are dubious at best, but that’s the fun of it.  No surprise here, only lots of laughs.

We’ll end the evening with another musically themed offering, The One and Only Genuine, Original Family Band.  Leave it to Walt Disney to make an endearing family movie set in the context of the hotly contested presidential election between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison (and you thought we were a divided nation today).  It centers around the musical Bower family, staunch democrats poised to perform at the Democratic convention. Things get complicated when Alice Bower falls in love with a Republican newspaperman (Heavens!).  Can politics, love and family mix?  Maybe with the help of music. This forgotten gem features music by the Sherman Brothers and an outstanding cast including Walter Brennan, Wally Cox, Buddy Ebsen, Leslie-Anne Warren, John Davidson and Kurt Russel.  Here is a great tidbit of movie trivia:  A young lady named Goldie Jean Hawn had a small role in the film. This is where Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell met, although they wouldn’t begin their storied relationship for almost two decades.

The corn is popped, and we are ready to embark on Day 8 of Disney at the Movies.  Hope you enjoy this! #sillysymphony #disneymovienight #mickeymouse #who’safraidofthebigbadwolf #thethreelittlepigs #makeminemusic #theoneandonlygenuineoriginalfamilyband #goldiehawn #kurtrussell

Sources:

Disney A to Z The Official Encyclopedia Fourth Edition Dave Smith c. 2015 Disney Editions

The Disney Films Leonard Maltin c. 1978 Popular Library

c. Martin Blanco, Kathryn Blanco, and Disney at Home May 22, 2020

 

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