1 The Mickey Mindset: Disney Animation Review 10/11: Melody Time & The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Disney Animation Review 10/11: Melody Time & The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Disney Animation Review: 10-11/53 - Melody Time and The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad

Finally, I’ve made it to the final two of Walt Disney’s unfortunate “package films” made to recoup the cost World War II took on the studio. Melody Time (1948) is the 10th Disney animated feature, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) is the 11th.

Melody Time is my least favorite of the package films by some stretch. It is dull, dull, dull all the way through. The only somewhat entertaining cartoon of the seven in the film is “Pecos Bill.” This is where the animation is the liveliest and the colors are splashiest. The rest of the shorts bore like nothing else Disney has done. There is an adaptation of the Johnny Appleseed story, which is incredibly preachy and loses any of its charm. Donald Duck and Jose Carioca return for “Blame it On the Samba” but don’t speak and thus lose all of their appeal.

Overall Melody Time is a lame, sleeper of a film. The animation in most of it lacks completely and the cartoons chosen for the piece are entirely lackluster. “Pecos Bill” is the only one that stands out even a little bit, and even that is relatively lame.

However, the eleventh animated feature, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a lovely little movie. It is made up of two stories, one inspired by “Wind and the Willows,” and the other inspired by “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The story of Mr. Toad and his motor-mania leads the film and it is the superior story. Mr. Toad is engrossing, fun, and silly. The story’s character designs are incredible. The story is a blast and the animation is really impressive. This is a true highlight of the “package film” era.

Ichabod Crane’s story is less engrossing as Toad’s, but it’s still fun. It’s narrated/sung by Bing Crosby, which adds a lot to it. The animation is stylish and the character design remains fun. You can see a lot of this film’s influence in films like Beauty and the Beast. The end is frightening and dark, but very enjoyable.

As a whole, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad works on countless more levels than the previous package films. The narrative, animation, and design all work infinitely better than the five films before it.

Melody Time - 1.5/5 Apple Trees

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad - 3.5/5 Motor Cars

The Mickey Mindset, mickeymindset@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment