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 😉

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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 🙂

ATDis #5 Bambi

Hello Internet Friends!

Yesterday my roommate (picture to the right) and I watched Bambi.  IMG_4316I have seen Bambi in my life, I am pretty sure that my family owned it on VHS, but I have not seen it in a very very long time.  I have quoted it many times (everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime) and one of the quotes was a rule in our home (if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all) but I haven’t ever watched this movie as an adult-like-person until now.

Bambi was a very beautiful movie.  The multi-plane camera that Walt Disney invented was definitely put to good use here, and it led to some beautiful scenes.  Also, the score for the movie was so beautiful.  My roommate and I kept talking about all the cymbal crashes and violin sweeps as the movie progressed.  I love the song “Little April Shower” and it holds a place on my “rain” playlist, which means I listen to it semi-often, living in Florida where it rains at around 2pm every day over the summer.

Ok…. I tried really hard not to write this paragraph.  I really did.  But I can’t help it.  Bambi twerks throughout the entire film.  Even as an adult, he twerks.  He sticks his little white tail in the air and wiggles it around in  the cutest way, but he twerks.  After seeing it (and commenting on it) the first time, I said “but I’m not going to write about that” and then it happened again.  And again.  And again.  So I mentioned it.

One other thing I will mention, is that I really like how the movie watches all of the forest creatures.  We truly get a picture of everyone, rather than just the main characters.  When Bambi is born, we see all the little animals welcoming him.  As we continue through his life, we still get to stop and see how everyone else is doing.  This “stop and smell the roses” type approach was really cool to see.

In terms of Walt’s legacy, something I really like about the movie that we haven’t seen from Walt Disney so far in this adventure, is the full-circle-ness of the movie.  We start with Bambi being born and end with his children.  We start with his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, looking over him and end with him looking over his children.  It truly showed the life of Bambi, with all its ups and downs, heartbreaks and twitterpated-ness, in a beautiful and satisfying way.  While in the other movies we see a beautiful story, none are so… complete, as this one.  I don’t know there was something very cathartic about this movie that I normally don’t experience in the whole “full circle” endings (I’m looking at you Gilmore Girls, a year in the life.  You too season 6 finale of Once Upon a Time).  I think Walt and his team did an excellent job.

¡Amigos de Internet! Join us in our next episode for a special, and not very well known, treat.

ATDis #4: Dumbo

Hello Internet Friends,

Dumbo has a very special place in my heart.  Even though I would’t call it a “staple” in

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My friend, Amanda, and her boyfriend Nick on Dumbo (circa March 2016)

my house as a child (I never really saw it, in my memory, until I watched it on Netflix in high school), I have always loved the characters and music, and the ride at Disney World.  I think I also love the fact that the “Winter Quarters” for the Circus was in Florida, my home state, and there is an entire little moment of Casey Jr. rolling up through Florida to its next destination.

Something I wanted to finally figure out, 100%, was the gender of Dumbo.  As a  child, I had always thought Dumbo was a “he.”  Then, when I got older, a book called “The Kingdom Keepers” had a scene where the characters watched Dumbo to look for clues.  One of the descriptions they use is “mother-daughter relationships.”   So I watched the movie.  Dumbo’s “real” name is “Jumbo Jr.”   And, as his mother is named “Mrs. Jumbo” I assumed he was a “she.”  But I was still quite confused.

When I watched this time, this was one of my hidden goals.  And I have to say, I’ve finally done it.  While watching, the other characters call Dumbo “he” and “him.”  This should have been enough for me to be satisfied, but of course it wasn’t.  I had to figure out the name.  And I didn’t like “oh, Jumbo is a name for both boys and girls” as an answer.  So, what I’ve concluded is this.  Jumbo is the last name.  I think Mrs. Jumbo actually has a first name, but it is never revealed.  I also think Jumbo Jr. is the name of Dumbo after his father, but I can’t give you any more information to support this theory.  Maybe its as if his name is “Junior,” which is a thing, but instead they call him “Dumbo.”  Poor thing.

Also, I had never really cried in this movie, but when I watched it this time I balled my eyes out.  Yay.

Also, the Stork is OG Mary Poppins.  He does the “bag falling through the cloud while I’m sitting on it” way before she does.  (I checked the dates and everything.)

Also, I love Timothy Q. Mouse way more than Jiminy Cricket.  Timothy is a way better spokesman and also has a lot more sass.  If you disagree with me on this, or anything else, let me know why in the comments.

Also, Timothy is the OG Inception.

I think when looking at this from a “Disney Legacy” standpoint, this movie solidified the relationship/character aspect of Disney.   As discussed in prior blogs, Snow White created the legacy, Pinocchio solidified wishes, Fantasia solidified magic, and now Dumbo solidified family.  We have two characters, who never speak, and yet their love for one another is shown throughout the entire film.  I find it very telling that the characters with the most love speak the least.  I think Walt Disney was trying to use Dumbo’s story and characters to show how deep the relationships can be in life, and how these relationships can be shown in animated movies the same way as in other movies. I think he did a really good job.

Don’t be a deer in the headlights.  Tune in next time!

ATDis #3: Fantasia

Hello Internet Friends!

I would first like to apologize for the lack of activity.  Since the last post, I’ve been through finals, graduation, and starting summer routines.   A lot has gone on, but now I’m back on track.

Last night, I watched Fantasia for the very first time.  In my life, I remember seeing clips of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the ice-skating fairies in The Nutcracker. I also remember seeing pictures or pins or images somewhere of the little mushrooms in The Nutcracker as well.  I had about as much exposure to the hippos and ostriches and unicorns as anyone.  (But no one told me there were DINOSAURS! So I was very interested to see them).

Overall, I found the entire thing thought provoking, if not a little boring.  By the last number, with Chernabog, I was supposed to be excited.  I was an avid reader of The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson in my youth, and so I really wanted to see the origins of “the worst evil ever imagined.”  But by the end I was just not very interested.

The one thing I thought about most was how brave it was for Walt Disney to come out with a movie so… experimental.  But here’s the other thing, I almost feel like it was a step backwards in movie-technology.  Think about it: for a long time, many movies didn’t have sound.  In the pit of the theater, there was a pianist, orchestra, or other live music.  For this, Walt was trying to do the same thing.  He had “live” music being played along with images that related to it.  He was going backwards to go forwards.  None of the characters really talked (besides the Master of Ceremonies) and it just reminded me of what a silent film must have been like.  But in this stepping backwards, he is also stepping forwards.

Everyone who listens to music imagines what is going on in images.  Walt just decided to draw what he and his team imagined.  I really enjoyed how artistic this made the movie. This movie was comprised of one interpretation of the music.  There are many other images that could have been drawn, and many that have been drawn.  None are more right, nor more wrong, than any other.  I think that’s the whole point of this movie, and of art in general.  It’s supposed to inspire people to create things.  To combine science, music, art, mythology, history, language, and creativity into something to be shared with the world.

IMG_4200In the overall scheme of “Disney” and the brand Walt was creating, I think Fantasia solidified his footing in Magic.  Snow White and Pinocchio both showed how important wishing was.  Both of those movies were pretty focused on wishing.  Fantasia showed the magic of Disney.  While the other movies did (obviously) have magic, the fairies, unicorns, centaurs (and centaurettes), pegasi. ballerina ostriches and hippos, brooms, and even the dark demons of Bald Mountain showed just how magic Disney could be.

Don’t be a dummy, join us for our next adventure!

Thanks for coming along 🙂

ATDis #2: Pinocchio

Hello Internet Friends!

A few days ago I watched Pinocchio for the first time in my whole life.  Sorry for not posting at the time, Finals are crazy.  But yes, for the first time.  At the very least, the first time all the way through in my memory, as I may have been shown various clips or whatever in my life or watched it when I was too small to remember.

I really like how sassy Jiminy Cricket is, asking for a badge (a nice Gold one), asking to be his conscience (the little voice in your head nobody listens to), etc.  He is also very real.  He scolds himself, he makes mistakes, he yells and apologizes.  I sort of expected him to be “perfect conscience character” (like Fairy Godmother from Cinderella).  This is how he is portrayed when he makes cameos in things like “Mickey’s House of Mouse” (the Christmas episode). So I definitely did not expect how he was in real life.

The whole first half of the movie (the half in Geppetto’s house) just made me think about It’s a Small World at Disney.  I don’t know if its the repetitive motions of the wood-carved clocks and music boxes, or the German atmosphere, or the style of the music in this half.  I just couldn’t stop thinking about the “Happiest Cruise that Ever Sailed Around the World.”

Looking at the movies in Chronological Order, I see one parallel so far: Wishing.  From wishing wells, to wishing stars, to wishing apples, it seems like Walt Disney was very interested in Wishing.

This is making me sad now, because Magic Kingdom’s traditional fireworks show, “Wishes,” is ending at the end of next month.  I’ve seen it many times, of course, but its ending.  I am excited for the new show “Happy Endings” (or “Happily Ever After” or something like that), but I am sad for the passing of the tradition.  Jiminy was the narrator for “Wishes” and for it to change makes me sad, now that I see the history of Wishing in original Disney Classics.

Stay tuned for the next movie! It will be fantastic!

Thanks for coming along 🙂