Monthly Archives: March 2012

Fun & Fancy Free (1947)

Mickey and the Beanstalk

Mickey, trapped in the hand of a giant, lights a match.

The slow return of Walt Disney’s claim as an artist.

Fun & Fancy Free maintain’s the studio’s post-war struggle to produce feature content, packaging shorts together and marketing them as features. Lacking the funds to develop “Bongo” and “Mickey and the Beanstalk” — the two components of “Fun & Fancy Free” — into separate films, the studio packaged them together.

Jiminy Cricket, voiced by Cliff Edwards just as in Pinocchio, hosts both films and introduces the audiences to each of the stories. “Bongo”, the story of a circus bear who escapes to live in the wild and is disappointed with his choice until he wins the affections of a lady bear, leads the two films. “Bongo” demonstrates that Disney was fascinated with the circus, but doesn’t seem to have thought very highly of it.

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Make Mine Music (1946)

The Andrews Sisters sing of the journey of Johnnie Fedora as he searches for his love, Alice Bluebonnet.

Disney’s next feature installment, Make Mine Music, is another collection of animated shorts set to chart-toppers of the era. For followers of this blog, you know Disney has been crawling at a snail’s pace through the 1940s in terms of quality and it’s not surprising this film is often referred to as “the poor man’s Fantasia.” I’ll save you all a lengthy blog post on why this movie is no better than its two predecessors — seriously, some of the plot points include hats falling in love and a whale with aspirations to sing opera at the Met.

(Indeed, this post is even a little behind because we dread watching these films each week. Cinderella can’t come fast enough!) But I digress …  This era in Disney’s animated history often feels like Walt just barely remembered he also ran a studio and should probably put out a film from time to time. It’s kind of sad, even, watching the studio behind such achievements like Snow White, Pinocchio and Bambi continue to produce such drivel.

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