ATDis #11 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Hello internet friends!

We are almost out of Lost Disney! This is the last movie of Lost Disney, and then we’re headed straight into the lovely forests of “Classic Disney,” as I will call it.

As for this movie (or rather these two combined shorts) I have a varied relationship with them.  I believe I watched the Mr. Toad portion of the film within the last two years, likely because my brother was in a play version of the Wind and the Willows with his high school.  For the Ichabod portion, I read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” for a short story class I was in during the beginning of last summer, so it was interesting to see how the movie version compared.

I really enjoyed the setup for this film.  For those of you who haven’t seen the film, the introductions to each are zooming in on a bookshelf, asking who is the most famous character of English literature and listing off a few of the greats, then claiming that Mr. Toad was the best.  Then for Ichabod, the narrator spoke about how American literature had some great characters too.  I loved it.  I loved the whole bookshelves and “whose the best literary character of …” introduction.  I thought it was an extremely clever way to introduce the two stories as they were originally written by other authors.  I was just blown away for some reason by the cleverness of it all.  Maybe I’m just easily impressed.

As for the shorts themselves, I enjoyed both.  For Mr. Toad, I was bothered by the issues of scaling between humans and …….. animals, I guess would be how to describe them.  The doors for Toad Hall are normal sized, but the animals are short so the doorknobs are low, but the doorknobs are also giant (human sized?) so why aren’t they the right height for a human? Anyways.  I also was slightly questioning the society in which a toad can be tried in a human-sized court room.  I mean, come on, even the Bee Movie during the courtroom scene Barry has his own little baby desk on top of the real desk.  I will let the whole “oh humans and animals talking to each other thing” because it is a children’s book and a Disney movie.  I just want the scale of the doorknobs to be fixed.

For Ichabod, I thought it was a good G-rated version of the story.  I won’t go into what makes the original version not G-rated, because its easily found on the internet and you can read it yourself, if you find it all that interesting 🙂  I also thought it was very true to the story.  Also, I will say that Katrina was Cinderella.  Actually though.  They could be twins.  Seriously it was freaking me out.

As for Walt’s Legacy, I think these two short films were a way of easing back into the full length feature film category of movies.  These allowed for him to have two separate, well known stories complete with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  They were contained, well adapted, and a good pushing off point to continue doing what he did best.

Tune in next time for “the sweetest story ever told!” But don’t forget your slippers 😉

ATDis #10 Melody Time

Hello Internet Friends!

For this blog, I watched Melody Time.  It was my first time watching all the shorts together as a whole, but I was definitely familiar with some of them (as will be discussed later).

This movie was one of the last to be made up of shorts.  The reason for this (as discussed in previous blogs) is that World War II was happening and a lot of Walt’s animators were out of office.  We are still in Lost Disney, but only for one more movie.

Of the shorts, I have a few favorites and a few I thought were pretty cute and then there were some I didn’t care for.

The first short was “Once Upon a Winter Time” and I loved the whole bunny-human parallel.  It was the story of a bunny couple and a human couple ice skating and the shenanigans that happen there.  I thought it was super cute.

The next short was Bumble Boogie (Flight of the Bumblebee animated) and I liked it, it was cute, but it isn’t the gold of this movie.

Then came Johnny Appleseed.  So I have a story with this one.  My momma grew up in south Georgia and with that comes a sort of Georgia charm.  We always prayed before we ate, and so whenever it was just my brother and I (or whenever we weren’t sitting down to a family meal) we would sing the “Johnny Appleseed prayer” (“The Lord is good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed, the Lord is good to me! Hallelujah Amen).  We added the “Hallelujah Amen” part but other than that, this short is where that came from.  I didn’t know that until watching this movie here.  But now I know and I also loved this short.  The Guardian Angel and Johnny and all the “apple sass.”  It was a lot of fun.

Little Toot was adorable as well.  Andrew sisters singing about a trouble-making baby tug boat.  Go watch it.  It’s cute.  Trees was fine, I was bored but it was pretty.  Blame it on the Samba was cute with the complicate-name bird and Donald and Brazilian bird whose name escapes me.  Pecos bill was good because it gave me a story to associate with the restaurant in Magic Kingdom, but also the story was cute too.

Overall, this was a super cute movie, and I suggest it to anyone for sure.  It is (to me) the best of the “Lost Disney” so far (and probably in total).  As for Walt’s legacy, I think this movie is just further strengthening Walt’s storytelling ability.  It also reached out into some folklore that it hadn’t before.  In the last movie, we had a Jack and the Beanstalk story.  In this one we have Johnny Appleseed, a more American folktale.  I wonder if Walt knew that his version would become the most well-known in the future… Just goes to show the affect of his efforts.

Bring your pumpkins and your motorcars, we’re headed out to our next movie!

ATDis #9 Fun and Fancy Free

Hi Friends!

Ok so I’d never seen this movie but I love it.  Narrated for the most part by Jiminy Cricket, it is super cute and the music is super fun and I really enjoy the two little stories they have in them.

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This is not necessarily from Bongo, but it could be the villain bear.  I found it at Magic Kingdom in Storybook Circus, outside of Barnstormers.

Bongo is the story about a little circus bear but he escapes and tries to survive in the wild.  He meets a cute little girl bear and they hang out and its super cute.  I love the whole little story and his unicycle and his little suit and hat and just yes.  I also love the whole “bear likes to say it with a slap!” type thing, (what they like to say, you’ll just have to watch or send me a message asking).  He’s the cutest little thing, plus I’m a sucker for  Golden-age Hollywood accents.

The Jack and the Beanstalk story (or Mickey and the Giant, if you prefer) was also super adorable.  I had watched this story on Netflix somewhat recently (Netflix has a movie of this and a few other cartoons, I forget what it is titled, but it exists) and the version in the full movie is much different.  It is introduced as a story told at a little girl’s birthday party.  The peculiar thing about this party, however, is that she is one of two humans that exist at the party.  All the other guests are ventriloquist dummies……… yeah.  So on Netflix, its narrated by someone else (I’m relatively certain), and is a more continuous story, rather than being interrupted by the dummies (namely, Charley).  So, this story was much different than I remembered.  Also, the little girl is adorable.

As for Walt’s legacy, I think this just goes to show the storytelling abilities of the crew.  In addition to what I’ve been saying so far, I think this movie focuses more on the storytelling abilities than the past few of the Lost Years of Disney.  Also, an interesting note, this was the last time that Mickey was voiced by Walt.  After this point, Walt was too busy with other things to continue voicing him.

Come with us next time for a musical moment you won’t want to miss!

ATDis #8 Make Mine Music

Hello Disney friends!

We are still in the thick of the lost years of Disney movies.  This week, I watched a very little known Make Mine Music.  This movie is comprised of a handful of short films, all set to music of course.  I had never seen this movie before, and I didn’t really know what to expect.

In researching the film, I saw that the reason for the last two movies (and the next three movies) being comprised of shorts is because of World War II.  Most of Walt’s staff of animators were out fighting and so the ideas were made into small pieces instead of full-length feature films so that each could take a little less work to create.

Looking at these shorts, I was entirely bored through about half of them.  They were very pretty, (Bayou Blue, specifically was very pretty), but I couldn’t just sit and watch them.  Blame it on my generation, or my upbringing, or anything else you like, but I was just very bored.

The ones that I wasn’t bored in, however, were the ones with a storyline.   Blame that on my major in creative writing or my love of television and books but that’s how it was.  Casey at the bat was hilarious.  Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet was an adorable feel-good story (That reminded me of the Pixar short, The Blue Umbrella).  Peter and the Wolf was an adorable interpretation of the music voiced by Winnie the Pooh (Sterling Holloway, I know, I know, but to me he’ll always be Winnie the Pooh).  And, kind of my personal favorite, the Martins and the Coys.  It was so cute.  I also loved the strong female and I just thought it was so clever to have all of the family die before the story began, so to speak, and have the feud be carried on by the couple.  The whole story just made me want to dance and clap along.

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Also, the Whale who Wanted to Sing at the Met was one that caught my eye, besides being  very sad (spoiler alert: the whale is harpooned), it was very cute and musical.  I also found in Disney World, more specifically the ride “Philharmagic” in Magic Kingdom, a reference to this (pictured here)

 

As for the Disney Legacy, this movie shows that in the face of a global tragedy, there will always be fun and laughter somewhere, and I’m very happy that Walt Disney was instrumental in the bringing of happiness to a dark time.

(Also, excuse my slightly different voice/writing style, I’ve been binge-watching Downton Abbey, and the fancy shmancy speaking style sometimes oozes into my own voice)

Be sure to join in next time for an amusing and elegant liberty!

ATDis #7 The Three Caballeros

Hey Friends!

Writing this today, I really don’t have much to say.  I watched this movie for the first time the same day I watched Saludos Amigos, but I didn’t type it up because I couldn’t think of much else to say, but it has been long enough so I’m just going to post what little I have to say about it.  It was a fun movie, I watched with friends, but I’m not sure what I can add from this movie that I haven’t already covered in the Saludos Amigos post.

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I enjoyed the intro story line, Donald getting a present from his friends down in South America.  I thought the penguin story from Sterling Holloway was adorable.  I also loved the flying donkey.  When we saw the Brazilian parrot, it was just as fun as the last time. When looking at the Mexican rooster, it was just as cute as I expected, and a lot more similar to the ride in Epcot than I imagined, (see left for a pinata from the Mexico Pavilion that I was given as a Christmas present from my dear friend Cassie).  When we got to Mexico City and the lady started singing, it got weird.  But overall it was a good movie.

 

 

 

Looking at this from a “Disney Legacy” standpoint, I think the same things as I did for Saludos Amigos.  In fact, I think it almost impossible to talk about The Three Caballeros without talking about Saludos Amigos.  So if you want a more in-depth look at what I think, see that post here.

 

 

Be sure to Tune in next time for a magical Musical journey!

ATDis #6 Saludos Amigos

¡Hola Internet Friends!

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This is really wrong, its a picture of Don Quijote from the Mexico section of Its a Small World in Magic Kingdom.  Its not from South America, but its close enough…..

Welcome once again to Adventuring Through Disney! We have now exited “Beginning Disney” and are now entering “Lost Disney.”  This titling of sections is entirely arbitrary and completely unofficial, but I like them anyways.  Beginning Disney would be considered Snow White through Bambi, and Lost Disney would be considered Saludos Amigos through The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.  Welcome to the most obscure and little-known movies on this list.

I had never seen Saludos Amigos until today, but in doing so I really enjoyed it.  I think it was a beautiful film, with lots of fun music.  Being half Cuban (but very white) myself, I try to soak up as much Latin American culture as I can, so I was looking forward to watching this one and the next one (The Three Caballeros).  I was not disappointed.

Something I noticed throughout the film was how different the times were.  They showed spurs in the Gaucho Goofy segment (a big no-no from PETA).  Goofy also smokes a cigarette.  Later, Donald drinks a spicy alcohol and the flames from his mouth light his friends cigar.  Also, the animators weren’t allowed to bring cameras on the plane trip that inspired the Pedro segment, but they were allowed to smoke on the plane.  How times have changed….

Something interesting about this movie and the next is that they were basically propaganda films.  World War II was going on and Disney and his team were hired as an ambassador to make countries in South America be better friends with America.  Characters from Disney’s cartoons were already popular, and so to have the characters set in the countries of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and other Latin American countries (who were a little too buddy-buddy with Nazi Germany) helped to spread good feelings.

This film reminded me a lot of my post about Fantasia.  To me, this movie was about art, not politics.  It was sort of a testimony to inspiration and art.  Walt took the opportunity and went down below the equator and learned about other countries.  He was inspired by their culture, music, and llamas.  He took his team down and let the inspiration take hold and create four little cartoons showcasing the talent of his team.  Walt took the initial political motives and created something fun and colorful and bright.  It makes me sad that it isn’t as well-known today.

Join me next time not uno, not dos, but tres characters who will steal your heart.

Thanks for coming along 🙂