Film #8 in the Disney Animated Marathon!
Story By: James Bodrero, Homer Brightman, Erwin Graham, Eric Gurney, T. Hee, Dick Huemer, Dick Kelsey, Dick Kinney, Jesser Marsh, Sylvia Moberly-Holland, Tom Oreb, Cap Palmer, Erdman Penner, Dick Shaw, John Walbridge & Roy Williams
Directed By: Bob Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske & Joshua Meador
There is a small possibility that my review of Make Mine Music may end up shorter than the list of story contributors and directors. That’s not to say that Make Mine Music is a movie devoid of content, but it’s along the line of The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos as far as leaving me with very little to talk about. Make Mine Music is a collection of shorts, and one’s enjoyment of Make Mine Music is dependent on whether or not you enjoy the individual shorts. Make Mine Music isn’t a whole cohesive movie, and perhaps that was my biggest problem with it, because I could have used something to tie all of the shorts together.
I don’t think I’m on the wrong path when describing Make Mine Music as another attempt at Fantasia by Disney. However, the similarities end in the conceptual stage, because as far as execution goes Fantasia is in another league. What really separates Fantasia is its overreaching theme of music and how music is a universal concept. Make Mine Music is more about the fun that can be had with music, but not even that because it does try for moments with an arty feel. The main area of difference between Fantasia and Make Mine Music is in creativity, where Fantasia had cinematic reach and animated depth, Make Mine Music feels like the same idea over and over again. Perhaps comparing Make Mine Music to one of the best animated features of all time isn’t fair, but it clearly wants to be like Fantasia, it just happens to come up short.
That’s not to say that everything in Make Mine Music falls short of the mark. I happened to be a big fan of the Benny Goodman and Andrews Sisters segments. While many others appear to be enchanted with Casey At Bat, Willie the whale or Peter and the Wolf, I wasn’t as taken with any of those segments as I was with the jazz cats or Johnnie and Alice. However, even my enjoyment of those segments speaks to the fundamental uneven nature of Make Mine Music. Those two segments stand out above all others, and the rest of the segments come across as anywhere from good to dull and boring. Make Mine Music never builds any momentum, it’s hard to fall in love with a movie that can’t sustain your interest from segment to segment. I needed to love Make Mine Music, but I had trouble even liking it in parts, just like a bad first date.