Make Mine Music (1946)

Here’s another one of Disney’s early collections of shorts they strung together and called a feature film. Yay. It’s half “ho hum” dross, half “um, what?” Even so, Disney, never one to disappoint, comes through with a few mainstays—T and A, VD, voyeurism, cutting…well, you get the idea. Here we go:

Make Mine Music features a cavalcade of 1940s musical stars including; Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters and Dinah Shore; which begs the question, ‘why is the intro music so awful with so much talent involved? Lame. M3 is a craphouse version of Fantasia for 1940s pop music; think 40s MTV.

The first segment, Blue Bayou, was yawn, lame, please get better. Need we say more? Ok, uninteresting animation set to uninteresting music. *yawn*

6 ½ minutes in—All the Cats Join In. Benny Goodman saves the day! Finally, some interesting music. There’s also some interesting animation. Much of this segment is animated with an animated pencil drawing the characters, props, etc. as they’re needed. It’s pretty neat. Plus, you get to see a topless teenage girl post-shower and Disney lets you voyeuristically watch her from behind as she dons a sweater, sans brassiere.

There is also some severe child shaking… *shudder*

Next, we see all the cool cats dancing. Oh, but what’s this? A guy refuses to dance with a girl because the pencil’s drawn her as a tubby with a big derriere?

Quick erase…there that’s better. Now he’ll dance with her. Disney apparently does not like Big Butts.

Disney: Sir Mix-A-Lot's arch nemesis.

Later, a short guy gets to dance with tall women.

Lesson: Short guys = ok. Curvy girls = not ok.

11 minutes in–Oh, we didn’t realize there was an intermission. Wait, it’s not? Oh. We were confused because it turned into dull crap again with somebody (Andy Russell) crooning out some song (Without You) that’s completely forgettable.

15 minutes in—Casey at the Bat. It’s a musical recitative full of subtle stuff that could easily go unnoticed. To the untrained eye, this short is about, Casey, a great baseball player who becomes unable to hit homeruns. Not so. It’s actually about Casey, the sleazy moose of a man, whom the women fawn over and…well Casey’s probably contracted a VD or two in his time.

Of course he's reading Police Gazette.

Here’s a sampling of some verses:

The ladies don’t understand baseball a bit
They don’t know a strike from a hit
But when they see Casey the game has got it
Casey, the pride of them all

Oh, Casey’s the guy with his eye on the ball
But mostly the ladies
Casey’s the guy who’s the idol of all
But mostly the ladies
Casey is mighty and manly
Casey’s a dangerous gent

Egad, when he goes to bat hang on to your hat
He’s batting a thousand percent with the ladies
Oh, Casey has nerve and he knows every curve
He’s no hokey-pokey
He gets away with that old double play
He’s sure okey-dokey

Supposedly this is about how Casey’s cockiness was his undoing, but his being a playa and losing his game aren’t really connected in the short. Or perhaps they were and we were just a little too preoccupied with rewinding and searching on the internet to try to find the lyrics that we were pretty sure we were hearing.

23 minutes in—Yawn. Two Silhouettes—seriously? They can’t even animate crap ballet? Good ballet exists, and this is not it.

27 minutes in—Peter and the Wolf. It’s a classic Disney short and pretty ok by us. Plus, they did a good job of making the wolf scary.

42 minutes in—Benny Goodman and his Orchestra again! M3 would be much suckier if it was void of the BG and his OG O. After You’ve Gone is a lively piece set to imaginative animation with colorful anthropomorphized instruments. It’s a great Disney short and arguably the best part of the whole movie.

45 minutes in—there’s some hot, hot hat love. The Andrews Sisters spend seven minutes telling us about Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet. They met in a department store window, fell in love, and were separated when someone bought Alice. What a shock. Johnny searches for her, in the process, cringing at the homeless (really, is that necessary?), and finally finds her…only to lose sight of her. He’s about to be washed down a gutter when a man picks him up, cuts two holes in him and sets him atop his horse’s head. Who’s on the head of the other horse?

No, not Don Rickles. Silly.

It’s Alice! Yay! Aww.

Lesson: Love is wonderful even if it results in having two holes cut in you to be with the one you love.

53 minutes in—The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met. All the voices (speaking and singing) are done by Nelson Eddy, so it’s pretty awesome if for no other reason. The title is pretty self explanatory: there’s this sperm whale that can sing tenor, baritone and bass and he wants to sing at the Met. This opera dude, the impresario Tetti-Tatti, doesn’t believe such a creature can exist and thus concludes that the whale should be killed to rescue the opera singers inside it. So, he kills the whale. What a smelly jockstrap. What is up with this theme of not realizing the beauty of natural anomalies, like the flying donkey in The Three Caballeros? For Shame.

But wait! There’s more…

In the original feature film, M3 doesn’t begin with Blue Bayou, but with The Martins and the Coys; Disney’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Scary Like Corn.

The King’s Men quartet explain through the majesty of a ‘rustic ballad’ how all the Martins and the Coys shoot each other dead until there’s only one left on each side. The fighting started, by the way, when Grandpa Coy, completely tanked on “mountain dew”, tried to steal some Martin chickens. This is what happens when you drink too much soda pop.

See the terrifying apparitions recently severed from their bodies...

...as they ascend to their cumulus hang outs.

Left alive on the Coy side, a burly toe-headed man, on the Martin side…

…the only female Martin or Coy shown in the whole cartoon–it’s a Smurfette thing. She’s also a bit of a hussy.

The last Martin and the last Coy fall in love and get married…and then fight like Hatfields and McCoys. What a shock.

Even with all the shoot ’em upness and bad backwoods stereotypes, we still think this is a better beginning to M3 than that yawn fest, Blue Bayou.

Ratings:

MLE:
Rating:  9/17
Rating versus Joe versus the Volcano: Thumbs down.

Ricktopher:
Rating:  12/24
Rating versus Joe versus the Volcano: Thumbs down.

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