Directed by: Jack Kinney/Clyde Geronimi/Hamilton Luske/Joshua Meador/Robert Cormack
Written by: James Bordrero/Homer Brightman/Erwin Graham/Eric Gurney/T. Hee/Sylvia Holland/Dick Huemer/Dick Kelsey/Jesse Marsh/Tom Oreb/Cap Palmer/Erdman Penner/Harry Reeves/Dick Shaw/John Walbridge/Roy Williams
Two years after Three Caballeros and one year after WWII, Disney was still hurting. They still needed to get the cheapest product out to make the most money. So, back to the package film.
The format is actually pretty close to Fantasia, just without an MC. It’s ten music based shorts strung together to make a feature length film.
The Martins And The Coys: This one is cut from most modern versions because of “humorous gun violence.” I guess I can see that…especially since just about everyone dies at the end. It’s a funny version of the Hatfields and McCoys feud. Then, Romeo and Juliet breaks out. The story is sung by The King’s Men (a contemporary radio singing group). It’s a pretty fun short, but we had to look it up online. The version on YouTube was blurry and had been dubbed in Italian with no subtitles. So, yeah. I didn’t really get the full effect.
Blue Bayou: This was originally meant to be a part of Fantasia and you can kind of tell. It’s kind of surreal and not a story, per se. Initially, it was set to Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Because Make Mine Music was supposed to be more pop-music centered, they changed it to a new track: Blue Bayou by The Ken Darby Singers. It shows two egrets flying through the Everglades at night. It’s very pretty, but pretty unsubstantial.
All The Cats Join In: This is probably the most fun of all of the shorts. It’s about a bunch of teenagers getting ready to go out to a party. Benny Goodman did the music and it’s, of course, jazzy and awesome. The short was cut by a few seconds to cut out some incredibly mild female nudity. Like, side-boob as the girl jumps out of the shower and gets dressed. Because kids can’t handle a round body part. But, whatever.
Without You: This one is an incredibly sad film set to an incredibly sad song. It’s vaguely still images of a broken love. Honestly, I don’t have a great recollection of it except a feeling of morose sadness.
Casey At The Bat: Casey is an arrogant batter in Muddville. You’ve all heard the story. This is Disney’s version of it. It’s a lot of fun and Casey is kind of a dick.
Two Silhouettes: Two ballet dancers are rotoscoped as they dance to a Dinah Shore song. Interesting animation, but fairly forgettable, overall.
Peter And The Wolf: This is the one everyone remembers, and it’s definitely the best one. Prokofiev’s piece is the perfect soundtrack to a Disney cartoon. The characters are cute and the story was changed just enough to be fun for everybody. If you only watch one of the shorts in this film, make it this one. But, honestly, you’ve probably already seen it even if you’ve never heard of Make Mine Music.
After You’ve Gone: The second Benny Goodman track. Anthropomorphized musical instruments dance across your screen. It’s pretty good, but really nothing too special.
Johnnie Fedora And Alice Bluebonnet: A fedora and a bluebonnet fall in love in a hat shop. They’re bought by two different people and have to go their separate ways. Johnnie keeps looking out for his Alice, but it takes years and the loss of his owner in a windstorm for him to find her. This is a pretty heartwarming little story with music by The Andrew Sisters. It was basically remade a couple of years ago by Pixar as The Blue Umbrella.
The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met: God. This one is just…blurgh. It’s kinda heartbreaking. Lots of laughs until the end where you’re just crushed. Nelson Eddy does all of the voices in this one.
That’s all ten of them. Make Mine Music is a lot of fun, but it’s no Fantasia. Definitely worth checking out if you can find it. Wikipedia says that it’s available (unedited, even), but it doesn’t say how. Maybe it’s just that the rights have reverted back to Disney? Or something? I’m not sure what this means: “Since Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International re-acquired Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment from Walt Disney Studios on March 14, 2018, the entire ‘The Martins and the Coys’ segment and the ‘All the Cats Join In’ segment features some mild female nudity were uncensored.”