Make Mine Music

Welcome Back! Make Mine Music is a Disney classic and the third package film. It is the 8th animated film from the Classic Animated Canon. It is the first American animated movie to be made after World War 2.  It was released April 20, 1946 in New York City. It was produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Make Mine Music won the Best Animation Design in 1946 from the Cannes Film Festival.

Make Mine Music has ten segments:

  • The Martins and the Coys

  • Blue Bayou

  • All the Cats Join In

  • Without You

  • Casey at the Bat

  • Two Silhouettes

  • Peter and the Wolf

  • After You’ve Gone

  • Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet

  • The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met

History:

Make Mine Music was directed by Jack Kinney (Pinocchio, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos-The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad), Clyde Geronimi (The Three Caballeros, Melody Time-101 Dalmatians), Hamilton Luske (Pinocchio, Fantasia, Saludos Amigos-Melody Time, Cinderella-Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, Mary Poppins), Joshua Meador (Snow White-Melody Time, Cinderella-Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty), and Robert Cormack (Fantasia-Bambi, The Three Caballeros, Melody Time).

Make Mine Music was written by James Bordrero (Fantasia, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros), Homer Brightman (Saludos Amigos-Cinderella), Erwin Graham, Eric Gurney (Shorts), T. Hee (Pinocchio, Fantasia, Reluctant Dragon), Sylvia Holland (Fantasia, Bambi), Dick Huemer (Fantasia, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Alice in Wonderland, Lady and the Tramp), Dick Kelsey (Pinocchio-Bambi, Melody Time, Alice in Wonderland), Jesse Marsh (Shorts), Tom Oreb (Pinocchio, Fun & Fancy Free, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians), Cap Palmer, Erdman Penner (Pinocchio, Fantasia, Melody Time-Sleeping Beauty), Harry Reeves (Saludos Amigos, Fun & Fancy Free-Cinderella), Dick Shaw (Shorts), John Walbridge (Pinocchio-Dumbo, Melody Time, Alice in Wonderland), and Roy Williams (Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Shorts).

Most of Walt Disney’s staff was drafted into World War 2, and the ones that remained were made by the U.S. government to make propaganda and training films. This caused the studio to have many unfinished stories. In order, to keep the studio afloat, they released 6 package films, including Make Mine Music (#3). They are unrelated segments set to music.

Like, the other package films, it wasn’t given a full theatrical reissue. Its segments were separated and released as separate short films. It was released on DVD in Japan in 1985. The Martins and Coys segment was removed for graphic gunplay, “which isn’t suitable for children.”

Music:

The music is by Eliot Daniel (Fun & Fancy Free, Melody Time, I Love Lucy), Ken Darby (Melody Time, Wizard of Oz), Charles Wolcott (Pinocchio, Bambi, Saludos Amigos-The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad), Oliver Wallace (Dumbo, Fun & Fancy Free-Lady & the Tramp), and Edward Plumb (Fantasia-Fun & Fancy Free, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady & the Tramp).

Cast:

  • Nelson Eddy as Narrator and the characters (The Whale who wanted to sing at the Met); Phantom of the Opera, Maytime
  • Dinah Shore as Singer (Two Silhouettes); Fun & Fancy Free
  • Benny Goodman as Musician (All the Cats Join In/After You’ve Gone); Melody Time, I Love Lucy, American Horror Story
  • The Andrews Sisters as Singers (Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet); Melody Time, Singers
  • Jerry Colonna as Narrator (Casey at the Bat); March Hare-Alice in Wonderland, Shorts
  • Sterling Holloway as Narrator (Peter and the Wolf); Mr. Stork- Dumbo, Adult Flower- Bambi, Prof. Holloway- The Three Caballeros, Narrator- Fun & Fancy Free, Cheshire Cat- Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Kaa- Jungle Book, Roquefort- The Aristocats
  • Andy Russell as Singer (Without You); Copacabana, El Mago de los Suenos
  • David Lichine as Dancer (Two Silhouettes); The Heat’s On, The North Star
  • Tania Riabouchinskaya as Dancer (Two Silhouettes); Prima Ballerina
  • The Pied Pipers as Singers; Vocalists (I Love Lucy, etc.)
  • The King’s Men as Singers (The Martins and the Coys)
  • The Ken Darby Chorus as Singers (Blue Bayou); The King and I, The Wizard of Oz, South Pacific, Porgy and Bess, Camelot

Original Story:

“The segment “Casey at the Bat” is based on the baseball-themed poem “Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888” (1888) by Ernest Thayer (1863-1940). It concerns an overconfident baseball player who ends up loosing the game for his team.” (IMDB)

“The romance between characters Henry Coy and Grace Martin, who belong to enemy families, is loosely based on an episode of the Hatfield-McCoy feud (1863-1891). There was an affair between Johnson “Johnse” Hatfield and Roseanna McCoy, members of the enemy families of the feud.’ (IMDB)

“The segment “Peter and the Wolf” is based on the 1936 music composition and accompanying story by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). It is the only work by a Soviet citizen included in this film.” (IMDB)

Peter and the Wolf have several changes from the original story. For example, the Disney version’s pets and hunters are given names.

“At the end, in a complete reversal of the original (and to make the story more child-friendly), it turns out that the duck has not been eaten by the wolf. (The wolf is shown chasing the duck, who hides in a tree’s trunk. The wolf attacks out of view, and returns in view with some of the duck’s feathers in his mouth and licking his jaws. Peter, Ivan, and Sasha assume Sonia has been eaten. After the wolf has been caught, Sasha is shown mourning Sonia. She comes out of the tree trunk at that point and they are happily reunited).” (DisneyWiki)

Fun Facts:

  • “The segment “Without You” consists of a series of impressionistic images set to the tune of a ballad, called “A Ballad in Blue”. Its theme is lost love.” (IMDB)
  • “Animation historian Sean Griffin believes that the images of sexy and sexualized female teens in the “All the Cats Join In” was indicative of changes in 1940s culture. The World War II years had seen the emergence of cheese-cake posters and photos as an industry, and the release of popular animated shorts with sexy images and characters pioneered by Tex Avery. Disney was being influenced by a popular trend. It would not last for long after the War.” (IMDB)
  • Ballet Dancers, David Lichine and Tatiana Riabouchinska, was their second time working in a Disney film. The first was in Fantasia.

  • The romance between Henry Coy and Grace Martin are thought to be the “hillbilly” version of Romeo and Juliet.
  • The animation for Blue Bayou was originally for Fantasia, known as Clair de Lune.
  • “The segment “All the Cats Join In” is a depiction of 1940s teen culture and its association with popular music and dancing. It is a rare subject for a Disney film of this era.”

  • Some scenes in All the Cats Join In have been censored, for brief nudity.

  • Casey at the Bat has a sequel: Casey Bats Again.

  • In the original Peter and the Wolf, most of the characters are unnamed. Disney’s characters have names.
  • Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet are named after types of hats.
  • Willie the Whale is a sperm whale.
  • The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met is an early example of a Disney film with no happy ending.

Awards/Accomplishments:

Make Mine Music won an award in 1946 for Best Animation Design from the Cannes Festival. It was nominated in 1946 for Grand Prize of the Festival from the Cannes Festival.

Controversy/Complaints:

Make Mine Music received mixed to positive reviews. The Martins and Coys segment was panned by critics for its violence.

“The Hatfield-McCoy feud (1863-1891), inspiration for “The Martins and the Coys” segment of the film, is often misremembered as typical hillbilly violence and having no real reason behind it. Actually the background for the conflict was the American Civil War. Members of the Hatfield family of West Virginia were all Confederate supporters, while the McCoy family of Kentucky had members fighting for both sides for the War. When a returning Union soldier who belonged to the McCoy family was murdered by a local Confederate militia unit, the Hatfield family was implicated. It was the first episode of a long feud.” (IMDB)

Setting:

“The area depicted in the “Blue Bayou” segment is never specified. However, several commentaries on the film suggest that the setting are the Everglades, a natural region of tropical wetlands in southern Florida. It is one of the most celebrated geographic areas of the United States.” (IMDB)

The All the Cats Join In segment is set in the 1940s and the US.

“Mudville, the home city of Casey’s team, is most likely fictional. However the name is not, a creation of Ernest Lawrence Thayer (1863-1940). Thayer grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. The neighboring town of Holliston, Massachusetts had an area called Mudville. In later life, Thayer worked in California. The local city of Stockton, had various informal names. One of them was also Mudville.”

Peter and the Wolf is set in Russia in the 1930s/1940s.

The Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet segment takes place in New York. (Statue of Liberty is seen)

The Willie the Whale might be set in Italy. Since, Willie the Whale is a sperm whale and the focus is opera. Along, with Willie singing in Italian and Tetti’s accent sounding Italian; it resembles Italy, but this isn’t confirmed. It’s just my estimate.

Characters:

  • Grace Martin- Falls in love with Henry Coy.
  • Henry Coy- Falls in love with Grace Martin.
  • Blake- One of the Baseball Players in Mudville Nine.
  • Casey- Main baseball player, arrogant, but nice.
  • Cooney- One of the Baseball Players in Mudville Nine.
  • Jimmy Flynn- One of the Baseball Players in Mudville Nine.
  • Pitcher- Throws the ball to Baseball Players.
  • Umpire- Decides the fate of the Baseball game.
  • Peter- An adventurous boy who wants to go wolf-hunting.
  • Sascha- An over-excited bird who is forgetful at times.
  • Sonia- A friendly, funny Duck.
  • Ivan- Sneaky and fearful cat.
  • Peter’s Grandfather- Loves his grandson, tough.
  • Misha, Yasha, and Vladimer- Three Wolf Hunters
  • Wolf- Villain of the segment, wants to eat everything.
  • Johnny Fedora- Grey Fedora hat who loves Alice Bluebonnet.
  • Alice Bluebonnet- Blue Bonnet that loves Johnny Fedora.
  • Willie the Whale- Opera-singing sperm whale
  • Whitey- Seagull; Willie’s mentor and side-kick
  • Tetti-Tatti- The antagonist of the segment, believes Willie swallowed an opera singer and tries to rescue him.
  • Tetti-Tatti’s Sailors- Helps Tetti-Tatti hunt down Willie.
  • Minor Characters: Martins, Coys, Egret Couple, Girls and Boys from the All Cats Join In, ballerinas

Make Mine Music.png

Songs:

  1. Make Mine Music: The title song; plays over the introduction credits of the movie.
  2. The Martins and the Coys: The song plays over the segment in the beginning of the film. It starts off really up-beat and then slows down once everyone dies. Then it picks up again once Henry and Grace start fighting.
  3. Blue Bayou: A very pretty and slow song, which plays while the egrets look for someone to love.
  4. All the Cats Join In: This song is more of a jazz-piece. It has a few lyrics, but its instruments are what are mainly used in this segment. The movie uses the song to tell the story, rather it be them talking or dancing.
  5. Without You: The song doesn’t really have a point. It just shows the abstract art.
  6. Casey at the Bat: The song is used to tell the greatness of Casey.
  7. Two Silhouettes: The song is shown with the ballerinas dancing and their love for each other.
  8. Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet: A beautiful love song that shows the love between two hats.
  9. The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met: Tetti’s Tatti sings his disbelief that a whale can sing opera. Songs that Willie sings: Shortnin’ Bread, Figaro, Tristan und Isolde, and Mefistofele.

Before the Movie:

I’ve seen the movie, but it was a really long time ago. I was a little girl. So, I don’t remember much of this movie. I already own the DVD, but if anyone wants to watch the movie. It is on YouTube, but it’s in a small format.

Also, that link and neither my DVD has the Martins and the Coys segment, but here is a link that does. I believe it is in Italian or French though:

Plot:

  • The Martins and the Coys: Basically, the Martins and the Coys hate each other; so they shoot at each other and you can see their spirits when they die. They end up in the clouds and urge Henry and Grace to shoot each other. Henry and Grace see each other, and instantly fall in love. Their family groans. Then Grace and Henry get married, and dance with their friends and family. They drive off to their new home. Grace throws Henry out, and every time he tries to enter, she hits him. The spirits laugh at them. In the end, you can see the house moving caused by the fighting.

  • Blue Bayou: Basically, it’s about an Egret couple looking for companionship. And, they find each other.

  • All the Cats Join In: This segment is more of the “modern-day” segment. Its set in the 1940s. It’s about an older sister who gets a call from her friends to go to the shop, and she gets ready. Her little sister wants to be like her older sister, and tries to do the same things she sees her sister does. Then they all go to the ice cream shop and dance. Then the piece ends with a jukebox exploding and music flying everywhere.

  • Without You: It’s just abstract art set to music.

  • Casey at the Bat: Basically, it’s about a baseball team who have no luck. They count on their star player, Casey, to win the game. Casey is a very confident, arrogant baseball player and lets his cockiness get in the way, resulting in them losing the game to everyone’s shock. Casey, upset, by this stays in the rain, trying to hit the ball, but failing.

  • Two Silhouettes: It’s basically about two ballerinas dancing with each other.

  • Peter and the Wolf: Basically, it is about a little boy named Peter who wants to go hunt the wolf. His grandfather won’t let him, scolding him and then spanking him when Peter tries to go hunt the wolf. His Grandpa falls asleep and Peter sneaks out. He is joined by Sascha, Sonia, and Ivan. They meet the wolf where a chase scene happens. That is until, the wolf eats Sonia. Peter and the gang cry after their fallen comrade. Sascha gets angry and tries to beat up the wolf. As the wolf is about to eat Sascha, Ivan and Peter tie him up and bring him up to the tree. Misha, Yasha, and Vladimer are wolf hunters. They spot Peter’s things and believe the wolf got to him first. They weep for Peter, but Peter is alright. He ties up the wolf and saves the day. It turns out Sonia isn’t dead. He’s alright, and both he and Sascha run to go be with Peter and the others.

  • After You’ve Gone: Another abstract art piece that seems to be inspired by Picasso. For example, it shows just legs in a tutu dancing on a piano’s keys. Then a “clarinet” tries to have a boxing match with a “violin.” The instruments swim away.

  • Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet: The segment is basically about two hats that love each other, but are then separated. In the end, they find each other and are happily in love.

  • The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met: Basically, it is about a sperm whale who loves to sing opera. Tetti-tatti doesn’t believe that Willie can sing, but that an opera singer is in the belly of the whale. Tetti-tatti tries to save the “opera singer” and kills Willie only to find out, that it was really Willie singing. In the end, Willie might be in heaven, but he is doing what he loves which is singing, and selling out shows.

Positive:

The Blue Bayou was originally meant for Fantasia, and you can see the influence. It is of course beautifully animated. The song is really pretty and does fit well with the piece.

The All the Cats join in piece is the one I remember the most from when I was little. It is vibrant, exciting, and fun. And, I think this segment proves that Disney can do modern. While, it doesn’t have an actual story, it isn’t really meant to have one. It’s meant to be fun and exciting, and showcase the music and animation. It’s similar to Fantasia in that way, but more of a modern twist.

The man who voices the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland is the narrator for Casey at the Bat. His voice is always great, and fits the part. Casey at the Bat did have a great lesson to it. Basically, you should always try your best even if you think you are the best, because if you become too arrogant, then you might not be the best anymore.

Two Silhouettes is a Fantasia mixed with Bambi sort of segment. It’s very pretty animated. It’s not only beautifully animated, but the way they combined the rotoscoping of the ballerinas and the animation is great. It looks almost real. I really like ballet. I think it’s beautiful, and when it’s combined with art, it’s just brilliant. My only complaint is the song choice.

Peter and the Wolf is probably the most memorable segment of the movie, and for good reason. It has great animation, great characters, and a great story. It isn’t too long where you get bored of it, but keeps you entertained the entire time. Also, Sterling Holloway is an excellent choice for the narrator.

The After You’re Gone Segment has a great score.

Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet is a great segment. While, some might find it weird (including me) that two hats fall in love, and that’s basically the story. It’s charming and sweet. It’s also really unique where even to this day, no one has tried to make something like that story. The song is fantastic and the animation is beautiful.

The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met is a great story and has a great message. Basically, the message is that some “people” are unique, and that they have special gifts. There will be people that don’t recognize your special gifts, because they aren’t used to miracles. But, it is alright, because others will recognize your greatness. The animation is great and the songs are great. The villain isn’t even evil in this story, because he honestly believes he is saving someone.

Negative:

The Martins and Coys segment isn’t included in the DVD release. I think they should put it back on the DVD. Although, I do dislike this segment. I found it to be pretty boring and pointless. Basically, their families kill each other. They fall in love at first sight, get married, and then beat each other up until the end. I found the segment to be senseless. Also, I don’t really like the song. It seems weird hearing a more “modern” song from a Disney movie. The animation isn’t bad, but it isn’t Disney’s greatest.

The Blue Bayou is extremely boring. It doesn’t really have a story or characters. It’s similar to Fantasia, but not as interesting as any of the Fantasia pieces. While, the song goes with the segment, it is as boring as the segment it was made for.

Without You is an abstract art piece, and I’m not really a fan of abstract art. It is pretty, but pretty boring. There are no characters, story, and the song is boring. At least, when Fantasia did abstract art, it had a great song.

I don’t think the music choice for the Two Silhouettes was a great choice. It doesn’t seem to fit the piece. I think more of a classical type would’ve been a better choice.

The After You’re Gone segment is abstract art which I’m not fond of, but this abstract art is really creepy. For example, it literally shows just legs dancing on a piano’s keys and other similar things. It’s strange and boring. It’s my least favorite segment of the movie.

https://whenyouwishuponastarblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/66566-043-makemine-j.jpg?w=768

Overall Opinion:

Make Mine Music is an interesting movie, but it’s not really a movie. It’s similar to Fantasia in a way, but doesn’t have Fantasia’s elegance or charm to it. While, the first two package films (Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros) had segments. Their segments sort of blended together, and worked well together; while, Make Mine Music doesn’t do that. Some are great pieces, but none of them go together. Make Mine Music starts off with a hillbilly version of Romeo and Juliet, an egret longing to be loved, a jazzy piece of teenagers dancing, two abstract art pieces, a baseball short, ballerinas, a Russian story, a love story between hats, and a singing whale. Some pieces are really great while some aren’t that great. Most of the music is amazing and the animation is great. I recommend at least seeing it once and its fine for children. Overall, I rate it as a B-.

Favorite Character:

My favorite character is Willie the Whale. He has a great voice and an awesome design. I love his personality though, even though he gets killed; he still doesn’t let that get him down. He keeps his chin up and keeps living his dream.

Favorite Song:

My favorite song is Johnny Fedora and Alice Fedora. It is a catchy song. It is sung by three beautifully voiced sisters. While, it is a simple story, the music is beautiful and very memorable.

Favorite Scene:

My favorite segment is The Peter and the Wolf segment. It has great characters and great animation. The story is adorable. The story is simple, but very entertaining.

What did you think of the movie? What was your favorite scene?

Next, up is the controversial Disney film, Song of the South. It is a Disney classic, but isn’t part of their canon. Song of the South was released in 1946. It is half-live action and half-traditional. I have never seen the movie, but I have heard tons about it, mostly negative. So, I guess we’ll see how the negative reviews are actually against the movie.

(I do not own pictures, videos, etc. My information came from my own knowledge of the film, Make Mine Music DVD, Wikipedia, IMDB, and DisneyWiki.)

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Make Mine Music

  1. I love Peter and the Wolf! But then, it is the only part I already knew as a child.

    What always bothered me a little bit about the package movies: I think they could have actually made at least one or two good movies out of them just by rearranging the segments of the first ones a little bit. Put all the pieces related to American folklore and culture together and you have one movie which is thematically sound, for example.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I quite enjoy this film and I think even more than the forthcoming, Melody Time, which you should be reviewing sometime soon.

    My fave song is also the Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet ballad and I feel bad that it’s not more well-known. It’s so sweet and sad, lol!

    And there are multiple scenes that I love. I love the Casey and the Bat scene as I love the poem and The Whale at the Met is fun to watch and sing!

    Liked by 1 person

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