Saturday, 18 December 2010

COLD BUT BRIGHT!

Regular Sibley blog comment-maker, Gill, responded (through her tears) to yesterday's posting of Disney's The Little Match Girl to ask for something a tad more in keeping with traditional notions of joviality associated with the Christmas season.

So, here, is 'Once Upon a Wintertime': another snowy tale – but, this time, with a happier outcome – from Disney's 1948 animated feature, Melody Time, which like its predecessor, Make Mine Music, was a Fantasia-esque compilation using popular songs rather than classical music.

Be patient with the opening title sequence and you can enjoy a delightful little animated story brought to life in a stunning graphic style typifying the popular art of the late 'forties and early 'fifties (today, so very 'retro') and which was the design work of Mary Blair, one of the few female artists to dramatically affect the look of the Disney studio's films...

Oh, yes, and by the way, if the delicate tracery of those falling snowflakes at the beginning of 'Once Upon a Wintertime' look familiar, that's probably because the animators of The Little Match Girl re-used them 58 years later!




11 comments:

Brian Sibley said...

GILL e-mails to say....

"Thank you! Delightful, though it reminded me of the reasons I have always avoided the wearing of crinoline hoops!"

Suzanne said...

Looking at the opening credits, I thought it was lovely that "Fred Waring & his Pennsylvanians" were cast as the "Trees"!

Steven Hartley said...

Ah yes "Once Upon a Wintertime" - directed by Ham Luske, from the film "Melody Time".

My favourite segment from Melody Time is probably "Pecos Bill".

Brian Sibley said...

I like 'Pecos Bill', too, although I hate the fact that, in the interests of political correctness, the Disney company have now removed Bill's ubiquitous cigarette from all scenes on the DVD version.

Boll Weavil said...

I love that whole film although its rarely ever shown in full nowadays.I don't think I'd have understood Bradbury's homage in 'The Martian Chrinicles' if I hadn't seen this rendition of Johny Appleseed.

Brian Sibley said...

Johnny Appleseed! More of the wonderful Mary Blair's design work and Dennis Day singing his little heart out! I love the way life is full of overlapping circles: I am a HUGE fan of the old radio Jack Benny shows and, for many years, Dennis Day was resident singer on the show – and Jack's 'idiot boy' foil!

But, as you say, so many great little gems in that film, such as the idiosyncratic and totally anarchic 'Blame it on the Samba'!

Steven Hartley said...

I don't like how the censors changed the cigarette scenes as well; they're just TOO sensitive; and what annoys me is that during the cyclone sequence; and the smoking scenes were cut out! There is a bad jump to the music; and the audience can tell that something isn't right.

I like "Johnny Appleseed", too; particularly the scenes with the Guardian Angel and Johnny deciding if he should go out west or not - that was animated by Milt Kahl.

Boll Weavil said...

I always associate that sort of 'thinking outside the box' animation with Chuck Jones but Disney pioneered it too - creating visual illusions to trick the eye during sequences that are, as you say, totally anarchic.Great fun but beautiful and majestic artwork also !

Andy J. Latham said...

Beautiful! Love the designs (well except for the rabbits if I'm completely honest - not that I could do better!).

Nothing quite like an animated dance is there? Hypnotic :)

Wendy(GoodBooks4YoungSouls) said...

My daughter and I are in love with Mary Blair's design work! And her horses are a little reminiscent of some Russian paintings I've seen... http://www.paleks.com/troyka.htm

Brian Sibley said...

You are right! Thanks for pointing this out! I love Mary Blair, too!