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Firecoresoft Slideshow Fairy -- Flash Slideshow Maker for Mac (Flash Slideshow Maker for Windows) is one of the greatest option for your to make splendid Christmas e-card.
Preparation: Before designing the animated Christmas cards, you need to press the download button above to download and install the Firecoresoft Christmas Flash Photo Slideshow Maker first. After you launch the Slideshow Fairy, you can add the source Christmas photos for your e-card. Now switch to the Template tab to choose a animated Christmas card template, and then the photos and songs will be made into an animated Christmas card immediately. You can enhance the animated Christmas card by cropping the photos, changing the transitions, applying special effects etc. New York, NY New, Get Introduced parties and get togethers Connecting New York City singles. New York City (or NYC) -- officially, "City of New York," and affectionately known as "The Big Apple" -- is the largest city of the state of New York and in the United States, and by many measures, one of the most important cities in the world. New York is also the location of what was, according to many experts, the most devastating act of terrorism in modern history: the September 11, 2001 attack that utterly destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and several surrounding buildings. New York has had a reputation as a crime-ridden city, partly due to the hundreds of TV and cinematic crime dramas set in it. The current mayor of New York City is Michael Bloomberg, elected in 2001 on the Republican ticket.
Although New York's harbour was first discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano during his expedition of 1524, the history of New York City properly begins with the Dutch settlement of 1624.
In 1664, British ships captured the city, with minimal resistance: the governor at the time, Peter Stuyvesant, was unpopular with the residents of the city.
Several battles were fought in New York during the Revolutionary War; the British defeated George Washington's troops, and held the city until the war ended.
New York was briefly the capital of the new United States of America, in 1789 and 1790, and George Washington was inaugurated as President in New York, then the nation's second largest city.
The building of the Erie Canal, in the 1820s, helped the city grow further by increasing river traffic upstate and to the west.
The modern city of New York -- the five boroughs -- was created in 1898, as the merger of the cities of New York (then Manhattan and the Bronx) and Brooklyn with the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island. The building of the New York subway, as the separate IRT and BMT systems, and the later IND, was a later force for population growth and development. The world-famous Grand Central Terminal[?] opened as the world's largest train station on February 1, 1913.
As of the census of 2000, there are 8,008,278 people, 3,021,588 households, and 1,852,233 families residing in the city.
The median income for a household in the city is $38,293, and the median income for a family is $41,887. I invite people using message boards saying that I prefer my guests to be 30 - 50 years old but everyone is welcome.
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DedicationWhether you call it fate or coincidence, at the age of 45 I wound up relocating from Washington State - where I've lived for most of my adult life - to living less than a mile from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. With built-in Christmas and various other slideshow templates, you can easily design your own animated Christmas cards.
Note that the guide below will show you how to make Christmas e-card based on Mac platform, but Windows users can also refer to it.
You can add as many photos as you wish, but since it is Christmas card, it'd better to include 5-8 photos. The city is probably the world's most important financial center, and one of the most important cultural centers of the Western world.
Each borough elects a Borough President, but under the current city charter, the Borough President's powers are limited--he or she has a small discretionary budget to spend on projects within the borough.
The population of the City of New York is more than eight million (2000 US Census), with the population of the entire metropolitan area at around 20 million. Residents generally refer to New York City (or just Manhattan) as "New York" or "the city". In fact, the city has a high crime rate compared to the United States of America at large, but a relatively low rate compared to other North American cities. Bloomberg had come to prominence as an expert on Wall Street, which had brought him great wealth, but the mayoralty is his first political office. His bid for United States Senator from New York State was aborted by treatment for cancer and controversy over his affair with Judith Nathan.
That town, at the southern tip of Manhattan, was called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), and was the main city of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. The British renamed the colony New York, after James II of England, who sponsored the takeover and who was at that time the Duke of York.
Patrick's Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time at the Crown and Thistle Tavern on March 17, 1756. By 1835 Manhattan overtook Philadelphia as the most populous city and established itself as the financial and mercantile capital of the western hemisphere. The song gave its name to a film directed by Martin Scorsese (see New York, New York (film)[?]).
The only thing you need to care about is to import your favorite photos and music, and then leave the Slideshow Fairy to finish the rest for you. The United Nations headquarters is in New York City, giving some credence to the city's self-designation as "capital of the world".
In addition, New York has been growing safer for most of the last decade--FBI data indicate that the murder rate in 2000 was the lowest since 1967.
Bloomberg had been a Democrat until only a short time earlier, but switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor, in order to avoid a crowded Democratic primary.
He handled the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster well, providing much-needed leadership, and greatly increased his popularity. The Dutch origins can still be seen in many names in New York City, such as Brooklyn (from Breukelen), Harlem (from Haarlem), The Bronx (from Pieter Bronck) and Staten Island. The city grew northward, and remained the largest and most important city in the colony of New York. This holiday has since become a yearly city-wide celebration that is famous around the world as the St. A nearly pure form of capitalism created a large upper-middle and upper class, but its need for manpower encouraged immigration on an unprecedented scale, with mixed results. With the exception of THREE CABALLEROS, none the these mothballed films have seen re-release in any commercial format that I'm aware of since their original theatrical releases.
I've already tried that from some Christmas e-card websites, but the cards I got are often cookie-cutter versions of the same thing! Holiday Party, Office Party, Christmas Party, Divorce Party, Cast Party, Many Types Of Events And Parties.
The island of Manhattan was in some measure self-selected as a future metropolis by its extraordinary natural harbor formed by New York Bay (actually an arm of the Atlantic Ocean), the East River (actually a tidal strait) and the Hudson River, all of which are confluent at the southern tip, from which all later development spread.
The famed melting pot was brought into being, from which multitudes have since arisen in the successful pursuit of the "American Dream". To be sure, they have been chopped up and reformatted for TV (primarily the Disneyland TV series - later renamed The Wonderful World Of Disney). You can also directly publish the animated Christmas cards on your own website or blog, etc. Have The Jellin Girls Introduce You To Other Great People In New York City's Top Night Clubs.
Also of prime importance was the presence of deep fresh water aquifers near the southern tip, especially the Collect Pond[?]. But countless others failed to rise, or entire generations were forced to plough themselves under for their children or grandchildren to rise. Some found themselves as part of Disney's endless video compilations throughout the decades, but this is the first time we can see them in the original cinematic form. Holiday Party, Office Party, Christmas Party, Divorce Party, Cast Party, Many Types Of Events And N.Y. In the mid-1800s these antipodes could be found in the fabulously rich stretches of lower Broadway (wealth that would later take up residence on Fifth Avenue[?]) and the almost unbelievably squalid enclave of Five Points (abject poverty later to take up residence in the Lower East Side[?]). If you're expecting more DIY e-card options, or you're just tired of the same old Christmas card, this article will enable you to create personalized and animated Christmas cards using your own photos and favorite Christmas songs. All four of those films gained popularity and status with re-releases over the decades and are regarded as the finest of Walt's output. However, SNOW WHITE was the only real smash of the bunch at that time, PINOCCHIO and especially FANTASIA were comparative flops.
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The Disney studio was facing the harsh realities of the second world war in addition to the box-office failure of his masterwork FANTASIA.
The loss of overseas markets due to World War Two just made the studios' outlook on DUMBO and BAMBI even worse. A To top it all, in 1941 Disney faced his first labor strike of the animators, who complained of the draconian working conditions at the studio (note the Reluctant Dragon banner behind the masked strikers):It's natural to reflect on the greatness of those four films, but how many people remember that THE RELUCTANT DRAGON was sandwiched between them? And the first three films that followed 1942's BAMBI (SALUDOS AMIGOS, VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER & THREE CABALLEROS) were pre-war, propaganda films (two of them subtly so, the other overtly so). Once the United States became embroiled in the war, Disney could not afford the preparation time and costs to make full length animated films, so they packaged shorts together with vague themes of fun and melody and travel. None of them met with boffo success at the box office, but they did OK considering.After the war ended, and the US military relinquished its 'partnership' with the Disney studios, things were very uncertain for the future of the animated feature film.
The forties came to a close and the lukewarm performance of these films, which gave Walt pause to keep the animation unit running in the future.
The studio was gearing up with its creation of live-action films, which were much cheaper to produce, and hence more profitable. Though Walt was very close to shuttering the doors on the animated features, CINDERELLA did quite well at the box office, the unit was saved. Throughout the fifties, Walt expanded his empire with live-action movies, television, his Disneyland park and an occasional animated feature, and that empire has been growing (and stagnating) ever since his death in mid-sixties.So why do I call these Disney's "weird years"?
Simply because their like has never been seen before or since this curious period of the 1940s. If there is a thread that unites these seven films together, it's that they are all in some way or another "package features", which is Disney-speak for films which contain multiple segments, held together with a simple concept. However, none of them has a traditional storyline that flows through the entire film, only vague themes or situations that unite the movie's content. Viewed with the jaundiced eye of history, these movies are kind of the lost lambs of Disney's output, kept hidden in the vaults until for over a half-century.
I can only suppose that studio execs figured they were not worth the expense of preparation and release on video, and feared the Disney buying public would greet them with the same indifference that they did at the box office in the forties. I also consider of some of the experimentation being done in these titles, and I lament the passing of that spirit with the animated films of the fifties and beyond. When the studio packaged short subjects, they were not afraid to dabble in pure animation here and there, which was rarely seen in thier features (save FANTASIA). With visual heights come troughs, and some of the material discussed below is among their most underwhelming output. A Others have been excised as short subjects (Mickey & The Beanstalk with different narration, Mr. A In all cases a smattering of shorts have been added into the bargain, but it's really just a case of the old business maxim "If it moves, sell it"However, it was not just repackaging. A Out of curiosity I purchased the Wind In The Willows edition and since I've watched the original so many times I noticed a few short scenes were missing.
It was the first primarily live-action film the studio did, shot in black & white (changing ala WIZARD OF OZ in the middle of the film to Technicolor) and is the first in a long series of package-features that are the focus of this humble broadsheet. It's understandable that the public was less that enchanted with this film, as the studio's misleading promotion lead them to think it was another full-length cartoon movie.
So neither audiences nor critics were kind to it, and as such, it didn't fulfill Disney's hope to get a needed infusion of lucre.In a nutshell we have a wafer-thin plot of humorist Robert Benchley meandering around the Disney studios, trying to find Walt to convince him to make a movie out of Kenneth Grahame's short tale "The Reluctant Dragon", only to attend a screening where the film has already been completed. What makes the film still enjoyable today is the scenes of various steps in making animated cartoons (music, sound effects, storyboard, paint-shop, etc). The film mixes real Disney animators (like Fred Moore & Ward Kimball) and actors (like Alan Ladd and Frances Gifford) playing animators.


Ironically, most of the live-action segments are more entertaining than the animated bits.Sprinkled between the bumbling adventures of Mr.
The "Casey Junior" sound-effects segment is something of a preview of DUMBO, and is one of the most engaging parts of the movie. Using simplified animation, and a pencil-sketch style, this charming story of a super-smart baby is designed to look like cartoon storyboards. But it's a told with panache and style, and predates the minimalist style of animation in the 1950s.
The film's anti-climax is the based on Kenneth Grahamea€™s story, and clocks around 20 minutes.
I've never read the original story, but the screen version is lacks tension, and leaves you feeling disappointed.
The foppish dragon is is rather funny to start with, but Sir Giles is colorless and the young boy is equally bland (and just like PINOCCHIO, the little boy speaks in an American accent, despite being in a non-American country). So there's not much going on and one wishes they'd go back to Benchley and see some more backstage stuff.Taken as a whole package the film is enjoyable and documents a time when animation was a purely mechanical process, before automation and computerization. All of the live action parts were obviously glamorized versions of life and work in the Disney studios, well-scripted and designed to be as entertaining as informative. Disney wanted to make a film that was relatively inexpensive to generate income, and what better way than to use your own studio as the focus of the film, as well as your own staff to act in it (Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, Les Clark, Norm Fergeson are all great Disney animators given a few moments of on-screen fame in the movie.) So THE RELUCTANT DRAGON was quickly forgotten, given the films that proceeded and immediately follow it.
But it was the template for the films of the mid and late forties, a tidy package of short segments strung together with a meager plot.
It was clear by the poor box office performance of THE RELUCTANT DRAGON and all the Disney package-films that followed in its footsteps, that the public would only accept Disney as a maker full-length animated stories.
Though the motivation for this sojourn was an attempt to promote good relations with Central & South America during World War II.
You'd never know it while watching SALUDOS AMIGOS, which is an uneven travelogue of various countries, alternating between location footage and animation.
Office of Inter-American Affairs, and one can only wonder if it achieved it's purpose to the extent it was designed to.
Certainly South America was not a big player in WWII, so I suppose it might have helped.One of the most curious aspects about the film is its length - a whopping 42 minutes! That puts it in the featurette frame, not the "full-length feature" that the DVD box boasts. There is a certain charm to the period clothing and the picture-postcard views of Latin American life. The high spot of the live action parts is the scenes from the Brazilian carnival, which segues to the "Aquarela Do Brasil" piece that finishes the film. On the spot artist sketches are interspersed with the live footage and provides a classic demonstration of how Disney's artists can quickly whip out sketches that instantly stylize their surroundings into patented Disney images. Of course the rather quaint look of all of these South American scenes of 60+ years ago offer a glimpse of a world long gone - not to mention unseen. Disney's standard paint-as-it-goes motif creates some wonderful visual elements, mostly floral settings with a smattering of abstract movement.
The segment kind of breaks down into run-of-the-mill comedy as Donald meets Joe Carioca, until they "Tico Tico" to a cafe, leading him on to some underwhelming jitterbugging in the night-spots of Rio. The sudden pull-out over the city makes for a weak ending and has the flavor of 'just finish the damn thing!'Light comedy is the leitmotiv for the rest of animated scenes.
Donald Duck's adventures amongst the llamas on Lake Titicaca along with Goofy's Pampas gaucho are pretty prosaic bits of physical comedy, with the emphasis on horse-play (and llama-play).
Somewhat better is the story of the infant mail-plane "Pedro", a cute character which has to cross the Andes mountains to deliver the post, running into a violent storm and facing the dread mountain, Aconcagua, anthropomorphized for dramatic effect.
Pedro's tale is bolstered by dramtic layout and one is left to wonder if the other segments had been as developed as this, that the live action portions would have been not been necessaryWhat gives the film even more historical perspective is the 30-minute, in-house newsreel called "South Of the Border With Disney".
Narrated by an unknown member of the Disney entourage(?), has lots of behind-the-scenes parts detailing the making of the film. In some ways I could imagine that they could re-cut the film to include more of that documentary material, but it might alter the mood of the movie, er, featurette.
Certainly you can hear several references to the military might of the South American powers (which does more to betray the true intent of the film than the actual featurette does), but mostly it's just novel to see the period clothing, architecture and transportation.Simply taken as a film, SALUDOS AMIGOS is a bit underdeveloped and underlong (which is not the case with its sibling film THREE CABALLEROS), which can't conceal the fact that it's essentially a quickie produced to satisfy US Government policy, and will probably just remain a historical curiosity from the studio.
When you set aside the historical context of the film, it is a direct, no-frills statement, with a small dose of entertainment thrown into the bargain.
As much as one might expect this film to be embraced by the American public, it was a flop for the studio, not even seen by President Rooseveldt. Winston Churchill changed Rooseveldt's mind and this signaled a shift in US policy by increasing the air forces for World War II. I suppose there are not too Disney movies that affected national policy, but as it was funded by the US Government, what other end could it have had in mind? But that's the context of history, and how does it fit into this series of Disney films, taken purely as movie, and not overt military propaganda? Well, it's a known fact that the the film that preceded it (SALUDOS AMIGOS) and the one that followed it (THE THREE CABALLEROS) were motivated by national policy, not purely for entertainment.The film opens with a montage of newspaper headlines about the importance of aircraft in warfare, and then jags a bit with a lighthearted look at the history of flight (which is the only part of the film to be shown after the film's release, on television). This segment begins with a comical look at the early flying machines and then soon focuses on the military potential of airplanes, with lots of animated dogfights.
Human characters have a narrow, angular look that I've never seen in any other Disney animated film. After a brief introduction by the Major, we see a segment of minimal animation about the airwar in the early phases of World War Two in Europe and in the Pacific.
This is followed by a extended series of animated scenarios presented by Seversky about how the war on both fronts can be won by new aircraft with extended range and power. But during Major Seversky's monologues, one gets the feeling that you are watching a film that was intended only for government officials. I do not have the knowledge to say how much of the ideas presented in the film were actually used in the war, but it certainly seems that some of them did get implemented. Finally there is the patriotic climax, with an eagle combating the tentacles of the axis powers, fading to a waving American flag.
All that was missing was an entreaty to buy war bonds.But I keep getting away from the emphasis of this monograph, what's the entertainment value of this film, ignoring the historical perspective that hangs over it. It has a distinct style, mostly a commitment to realism and melodrama, with lots of stark contrasts via usage of character silhouettes.
Certainly the animation is effective in communicating its message, but there the visual style is sometimes too close to reality. Metaphors are certainly thick, as in all good propaganda, none more-so than the climax of the movie featuring a bald eagle attacking the 'octopus of fascism'. Save a few moments in the opening part about the history of flight, there are few lighthearted moments, and despite the promise of victory via aircraft, there is a grim realism of the time that this was made. All in all, this is much more a historical reflection of a dark time America's history, and can't be faulted for not bristling with groundbreaking animation. And some sixty years later the film still does pack a dramatic punch, and might cynically be called a relic of wartime, but it succeeds at its purpose and can arguably be called the most unique animated feature the studio ever produced.
A And in a way, Victory Though Air Power served as the template for some of the Disneyland TV show's Tomorrowland segments, mixing animated comedy with coldly realistic portrayals of technological concepts (in Disneyland TV's case, man's future in space) . A Before that it enjoyed cult-film status on college campuses in the 1960s, due to it's 'psychedelic' segments. It is certainly dated, a bit too episodic, and even guilty of ethnic stereotyping in places.
However, it was the first time Disney combined live action and animation in a feature film, via a technique called rotoscoping. Sixty years after it's initial release, the reason behind this films existence is happily obscure. A Along with SALUDOS AMIGOS, it was commissioned by the wartime government to promote good relations with Latin America. I say "happily obscure" because you wouldn't know this was a subtle propaganda film while watching it. Whereas SALUDOS AMIGOS had a more newsreel-eque feel to it, THE THREE CABALLEROS simply presents animated episodes and some pre-staged live-action performances, with little actual Latin locations or commentary. The film was directed by Norman Fergeson, who is best known for his Pluto animations.Despite all the visual wonders of the film, it's episodic quality makes the film weaker.
For example, the first story about Pablo the Penguin could easily have been a Disney short (perhaps it was originally intended as one?).
It is only tenuously connected to the films theme - if I recall my high-school geography, Antarctica is not really a part of Latin America. Anyway it's a pleasant little story about a penguin who is never warm enough and sets sail for the tropical isle of his dreams (only to be marooned there).
A The rest of the film is divided up into the Brazil segment, the Mexico segment and a quick climax in the form of a mock bullfight.Donald Duck begins his Latin American adventures by watching some home movies, then gets reunited with Jose Caricoa. After the lovely musical bit "Baia", Jose drags Donald around some visually charming scenes of Brazil, complete with live action dancers and musicians in the "Ya Ya" sequence, which features Aurora Miranda (Carmen's sister). The "Baia" sequence is filled with lovely impressionistic views of Brazil; views of architecture, sailboats on the bay and cooing doves flying over the city.
What makes the segment so captivating is Ary Baroso's mesmerizing standard "Baia" (with gringo-ized lyrics by Ray Gilbert). A It's the only part of the film to feature location footage of Latin America.After Donald continues to Mexico in the company of Ponchito the film degenerates into foolish sex-comedy with Donald chasing after Latin lovelies on a beach (that looks a lot more like the Burbank backlot than Acapulco).
Thankfully the film takes a curious turn with the "You Belong To My Heart", which begins as a simple ballad sung buy Carmen Molina's face floating with the stars in space, then turns into a mixture of purely abstract animation and dancing vegetation. This is one of the reasons I find this film so endearing, it's willingness to make visual segments for their own sake, something that happens all too infrequently in Disney films.
These qualities were later regarded as 'psychedelic' and contributed to the film's cult status. Certainly the first time I watched this film I was quite enchanted, and to this day, it is the Disney film I watch most often. It has many the qualities I desire in a Disney film, from the novel visuals to the enchanting tunes.As with it's predecessor, the films weakest moment is the climax, but at least THE THREE CABALLEROS gives a hearty try at a memorable ending. The bullfight (with Donald as the bull) has the feeling of being tacked on to provide an upbeat ending, but it's not drawn out and is an tidy, if uninspired, ending to one of the studios most unique movies.
It's worth noting that the studio planned a third Latin American-themed film, featuring Cuba, called Cuban Carnival. Please visit Mouse Planet's The Lost Caballero for some excellent details on the project.Taken as part of these 'weird years', THREE CABALLEROS and it's predecessor are an odd pair of flicks, and one can only guess what effect they had upon American policy during the 40s, but no matter, they have a style and charm that has not ever been seen in a Disney feature film since. The DVD release adds a couple of shorts, non worth bothering over.The throws of World War II would halt the studio's commercial output for a few years. A Of course the Disney studio created a great deal of training and support films for the military during the war.
A After WWII ended, the studio's foundations had been shaken, so for the sake of economy and expediency, Disney chose to continue the package-feature format for the next four years and films. A The studio also released "Song Of The South in 1946, a primarily live-action film with animated segments, and then "So Dear To My Heart" a totally live action film.
The studio had produced an enormous volume of films for the war effort, and so therefore took time to gear up the feature unit. Given the high cost and time required to get a feature film completed, Walt made a shrewd move to simply bundle a series of shorts together into a single package feature.
Unlike the package features that proceeded it, these were necessitated by economics, not government pressure or to gain some time. But this lower-than-expected standard was reflected at the box-office, and these string of films marginal success almost grounded the animated features unit for good.One thing worth mentioning is the marginal quality of the film-transfer to DVD. During several segments you can see lots of dust and scratches on the screen, and it looks like Disneycorp didn't bother to "Fully Restore" this film, as they have with other titles.
To top it off, the entire segment "The Martins & The Coys" has been snipped away by Disney's politically correct shears, supposedly because of all of the gunplay or the its unflattering portayal of hillbillies (!?).
A The 8-minute segment is just a boring bit of hillbillies shooting off guns and guzzling moonshine with a cornball romance thrown in. A But you can now decide for yourself, thanks to You Tube, it's posted here.Hillbillies aside, there are two kinds of segments in the film, animated music and short stories with a musical theme. Of this former type, we have the beautiful tone poem, "Blue Bayou", which was originally slated for FANTASIA, in a segment called "Clare De Lune". The sumptuous backdrops are perfectly suited to the music, portraying a lovely night in an idyllic bayou. Then is the utterly soporific "Without You", a mournful torch song, that features some undewhelming backgrounds.


I skip over it every time - snore.The two remaining bits of animated music are are pair of jazz tunes. The characters in this celebration of 40's youth are pure Fred Moore, an animator was known for his appealing personalities. A plotless clip, that just features a hubbub of jitterbuggin' youth in various settings, utilizing a Disney trademark of drawing the background as the scene progresses. For my eyes, the most fun part of the film is "After You've Gone", which is an enjoyable bit of sonic abstraction. If you could image the pop music equivalent of FANTASIA's "Tocatta & Fugue", then you have "After You've Gone". The theme wa repeated in MELODY TIME with "Bumblebee Boogie".That's leaves the longer bits, and the most enjoyable to me, as well as being the only truely comical segment, is "Casey At Bat", narrated by Jerry Colonna, who later provided the voice of the March Hare in ALICE IN WONDERLAND. The over-the-top baseball characters are fun to watch, and give a frantic pace to Theyer's classic poem. Probably the goofiest part of the movie is "Johnnie Fedora And Alice Bluebonnet", which as you might guess, is a love story between two hats. It's almost too weird to watch this tale of a chapeau that falls on hard times, longing for his long lost love, only to find her on a horse.
The animation is pretty predictable, with little to recommend it, save the strange concept of the story.
There's a nice character about the segment, as the layout and backgrounds have a pleasant storybook feel, instead of the naturalistic look of similar tales. After setting the scene it becomes an exaggerated chase tale, and has kind of a flat ending. Not being an aficionado of opera, I found the segment too long, and it was pretty much a one-joke bit with little interesting animation or character development. Jiminny Cricket is the glue that holds the two unrelated stories together, and the bouncy title theme song (originally slated to be in PINOCCHIO) is one of the films better attributes.
As one watches the two mini-features, you are left to ponder if they would have made good full-length films.
Sometimes each segment seems too long in their current form."Bongo" is a throwaway tale (based on Sinclair Lewis' story) about a circus bear called, uh, Bongo, that escapes his unhappy existence in the big top and finds life, love and conflict in the great wide open forest. Sometimes the narration seems to intrude on the story, but that's not really a bad thing, since the segment feels about 15 minutes too long.
The falling in love sequence with Lulabelle gets dragged out to absurd lengths and seems to flaunt its blandness. The dull story would be acceptable if there were a few memorable scenes or any style in the film, but it looks a lot like many of Disney's shorts, undistinguished and unmemorable. The made-to-order baddie, Lunkjaw, is about the only thing fun to watch (and I found myself rooting for him to smite the too-cute Bongo).
Even the DVD packaging features one tiny image from the "Bongo" segment, which was no doubt for marketing reasons, but also that there's not much to shout about visually in the film. After 'Bongo' concludes, we are treated to a reprise of the theme as Jiminny invites himself across the way to Edgar Bergan's house, who's hosting a party for Luana Patten. We get some pretty funny bits with Mortemer Snerd and Charlie McCarthy, and then segue to the second half of the film."Mickey and the Beanstalk" is a fair shade better than "Bongo", but that's not too much of an accomplishment.
Not that Bergan isn't funny, but all those years on radio must have allowed his method to slacken, as his mouth moves more than his dummies do. Anyway, he tells the tale of Mickey and the Beanstalk with goofy asides from his dummies Charlie and Mortemer . Personally it's the cynical jibes from Charlie McCarthy that keep the segment going for me, as his wisecracks are still funny today. The story runs over some familiar ground for Disney, as there's some similarity to the old Mickey short, "The Brave Little Tailor", but their are some memorable scenes and good characterization. This segment also feels more thought out, as Bergan and Patton intermingle with the story (and especially at the humorus climax when the giant rips the roof from Bergan's house).
It also marks the last time the Walt supplied the voice of Mickey.The opening montage of Happy Valley turned to a dust-bowl, because the giant steals a singing harp, is dramatic and doubles its impact with the starving main characters slicing beans for their dinner. This is a probably the most memorable scene in the whole movie, perhaps save the wonderful part when the beanstalk grows and grows, taking Goofy, Donald and Mickey with it.
Once we get to the land of the giant, the featurette slows somewhat, as much of it is devoted to getting the singing harp back. But on the up side we have Billy Gilbert who's quite good as the giant (he was also the voice of Sneezy in SNOW WHITE). With a lot of predictable hi-jinx as they attempt to escape the giant's wrath, this film comes to a predictable happy ending, which a nice twist at the end with the giant walking thru nighttime Hollywood wearing the Brown Derby for a hat.Taken together they make passable fare, but I find myself skipping the "Bongo" segment and think this would have been better served as a simple short of "Mickey and the Beanstalk". And like the other films of this period, mark a time of indecision and compromise for the studio. It pretty much repeats the formula of MAKE MINE MUSIC, simply a collection of animated musical numbers. As with the other crop of post-war titles, some bits are good, others forgettable, but it makes for a nice way to pass the time.
Disney second thoughts about continuing the features unit, given their high cost over live action films.
Yet Walt could not blame the public so much as his choice of subject matter for sub-par showings at the box office. As you had in MAKE MINE MUSIC, there are two basic kinds of bits, animated songs and stories with music.The musical songs bit starts with "Once Upon A Wintertime" is the first and worst of the bunch. A Its a simply drawn piece of romantic puffery concerning a pair of humans and bunny rabbits' adventures upon a frozen pond. The animation is appealing by its very simplicity, but the segment is hampered by the fact that it has little time to tell a story, so it comes off as a series of cute cliches. Quite a bit better is the "Bumble Boogie" part, which is a slice of abstractia via a jazzed up version of "Flight Of The Bumblebee". Stylistically following closely on the heels of the "After You've Gone" segment of MAKE MINE MUSIC, the segments frenetic pace, and musical visuals, are quick fun, but not anything that lingers in the mind too long.
Looking like an out-take from THREE CABALLEROS or SALUDOS AMIGOS, "Blame It On The Samba" features Donald Duck and Jose Carioca in non-speaking rolls as they dance through latin-style landscapes to a (I presume) samba beat.
But the highlight is the quirky portion featuring Ethel Smith, dressed up ala Miranda, wailing away on her Hammond Organ appearing in the swirl of a brandy snifter.
This is followed by the charming "Little Toot", about a mischievous tugboat, has some interesting animation and a peppy Andrews Sisters soundtrack. Because it has some good characterization, and even some interesting animation, its probably the best of the animated songs in the film.The remainder of the movie concerns two polar-opposite American folk heros.
The first, "Johnny Appleseed", is a light morality tale about the famous historical figure John Chapman, who planted apple trees throughout the midwest. Of course most of the characterizations of Chapman (tin-pot hat, bare feet, etc) are romantic nonsense, but are pretty harmless.
There's a nice storybook-look to the tale, and Dennis Day does a good job of providing the voices of Johnny, Johnny's angel and the narrator. The gentle ballad "Blue Shadows On The Trail" opens the finale, sung by Roy Rogers and his Sons Of The Pioneers gang. After Roy introduces the story, we're treated to traditional Disney novel storytelling and entertainment. The larger-than-life Pacos Bill is fun to watch as he his horse Widowmaker do the stuff that tall-tales are made of. Disney chose to edit out some scenes of Bill smoking, and perhaps some other things for fear of politically correct reprisals. A On balance MELODY TIME is quite a bit better than it's partner-piece, MAKE MINE MUSIC, since the segments are better developed and more entertaining visually. But one can image a superior version by taking the best bits from each film and making a film that has a better claim to Disney greatness.
Not surprisingly, given the lukewarm box office for these films, the studio never returned to the 'package-feature' format. However, I would not be surprised if the reanimated the format given the studios current desire to cannibalize it's past for maximum financial gain.THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR.
Unlike FUN AND FANCY FREE, they chose more interesting subject matter - two old tales from Washington Irving & Kenneth Grahame. Also the linking segments between the featurettes are minimal, comprising only a theme song and narration by Basil Rathbone and Bing Crosby, contrasting with the more elaborate sketches in FUN AND FANCY FREE.Based on Grahame's novel "Wind In The Willows", "Toad of Toad Hall" begins with Basil Rathbone's appropriate narration and excellent voice casting for the characters. Certainly the books' dreamy quality is missing from the segment, and Disney-fied characters are less complex then the orignial story, but at the very worst, one is inspired to read the book by it. The manor of Toad Hall is one of the films more interesting settings, stately and cavernous, which makes perfect fodder for its undoing by the weasel gang. The pacing of the tale is quite brisk, which it has to be to tell its' story in a short time.
It is still charming to watch a tiny toad recklessly running about the countryside with his cockney companion, Cyril the horse (who was not in the original story, by the way).
Other highlights include the courtroom scene where an accused toad is charged with stealing a motorcar.
Toad's escape from prison relies on movie cliches of the era, like showing newspaper headlines to punctuate the escape, but gives a nice dark edge to it. Still, it's quite lighthearted (certainly more so than the following segment) and remains charming to this day. What's mostly missing is Irving's vivid descriptions of the setting of the story, which weaves a more sombre, queer atmosphere than this animated version. But this is not surprising for Disney, who made a career of subtle whitewashing of original stories for film treatment.
If one irksome fault can be found with it, I would nominate Bing Crosby's soporific (par for the course with Mr. The segments dialogue is loosely drawn from the original story, but occasionally strays into 40's jive-talk. With all the voices left to Bing (who lacks the ability to do vocal characterization like Dennis Day or Nelson Eddy did in previous 'one-man-shows'), with an occasional female in there somewhere, and perhaps should have followed the method of the 'Toad Hall' segment, with a series of excellent character voices. But some much of SLEEPY HOLLOW fades away too quickly when compared to the famous climax chase through the forest.
The excellent pacing keeps one on the edge of their seat as Ichabod tries to outrun the headless-horseman. Of course Disney tries to lighten things a little with Ichabod and his horse, but they can't fail to dim the impact of the Headless-Horseman's sublime menace.
The ending of SLEEPY HOLLOW is marred by the sub-par, and inappropriate refrain sung by Bing and the gang "You can't argue with a headless man!".
Kinda dopey.I find the "Toad Of Toad Hall" more enjoyable, though "Legend Of Sleepy Hollow" is more memorable, thanks its dramatic climax. Taken as a pair of featurettes, this is one of the best of the six titles during these weird years, and it's good to have them put back as they were originally presented. Both titles have been shown on TV as independent shorts, or as part of holiday compilations. One can't fault the studio, faced with economic uncertainty, to 'hedge its bets' and produce these seven movies of disunited portions. And so the subsequent feature, CINDERELLA, (1950) was the do-or-die film for the animation unit, much like THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE was 36 years later. And if you look at the twenty-eight films that the studio released in the 1950s, only five were animated features, which proved that Disney was keen on diversifying his output to include films that had a greater profit potential than animated features. So the studios shift toward live action only films (which took less time and money to make) also helped keep income into the studio.
And from CINDERELLA on, the studio was on a pretty good roll throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s, despite the increasingly high costs and time required for animated features.
Fortunately, Walt created a humble little project called Disneyland, which gave the studio a steady stream of income that has yet to cease.
But as I look back as this group of seven almost-forgotten features, I'm rather glad to see the studios more humble and curious output. Certainly none of these films are seminal Disney features like FANTASIA or PINCCHIO, but they have their moments, and it's a minor miracle that the Disney cooperation has let these weird films see the light of day again.



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