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Having had musical success with the first two package-era films, "Saludos Amigos" and "The Three Caballeros," Disney continued that orientation but dropped their Latin orientation, which was no longer was necessary due to the war's end and was played out by those two films anyway. There was a decided gravitation toward popular music of the day, with no pretense of educating the audience about foreign cultures as in the earlier two package films. The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met - A whale is a great singer (Nelson Eddy, singing from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor), and wants to sing in the city's opera, but the townspeople misunderstand and try to kill him.
That some of the artists were at the top of their games, while others were about to embark on the slow road to oblivion, didn't help in terms of generating enduring appeal. And below, Benny Goodman and his crew do "After You've Gone" to the accompaniment of some artful animated juggling. 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. Many people don't even know about the Walt Disney Productions animated feature films of the "Package Era," which lasted for most of the 1940s. Instead, the focus shifted to domestic big bands and crooners of the era - basically, singers and classical music accompanied by vivid animation. Artfully done, the film thus was insubstantial, but it has saved this moment of popular music history for posterity when it otherwise would have been lost. In "Saludos Amigos" and "The Three Caballeros," there at least had been the structure of having Donald Duck learning about Latin America with the help of his friends. The animation is great as you would expect, and, quite frankly, the concept of music videos actually made during the big band swing era is so unique that the film is of interest for that reason alone, for that curiosity factor. It also shows repeated tendencies toward aspiring to "culture," which is deadly when trying to appeal to modern audiences. But after a while, it's easy to get like John McEnroe and stand up and yell "Are you serious?" unless you're really, truly a fan of these artists and the era and the visual tropes that made sense to audiences of the time. However, it was a period of great creativity and well worth the attention of any animation fan. In "Make Mine Music" it was more like going down to the local vaudeville hall and taking in whatever happened to be going on. A few years later, audiences could get as good a collection of music on an average "Ed Sullivan Show." So, it's no wonder that "Make Mine Music" quickly faded from view, and Disney hasn't even bothered to release the film in new formats in some major markets. Also, some of the segments, such as the one featuring the Andrews Sisters, absolutely were top grade and were later released individually.
It can be a bit hallucinatory, and whether that's good or bad depends on what you bring to the film. 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. Our award-winning, festival loving horror short MASSACRE AT FEMUR CREEK is now available for purchase on DVD for a great low price. Among other things, the studio basically invented the music video, though it wouldn't be called that for another forty years.
It's a shame for "Make Mine Music" that Glenn Miller didn't survive the war, because he and his band would have made a fine addition to this collection. If you are interested, we discuss the sexual imagery of "Make Mine Music" a bit further here, with additional images from the film.
To be sure, they have been chopped up and reformatted for TV (primarily the Disneyland TV series - later renamed The Wonderful World Of Disney).
But considering it's an homage to 80's slasher movies, we are proud to announce the film will also be getting a release on VHS format, which is the perfect way to commemorate our little film. The animators were experienced and ready to go, and, with international markets closed due to the war and its after-effects, it wasn't the proper time for grand projects such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." In baseball terms, it was time for "small ball," and nobody was better at that than the veteran Disney crew. The Goodman people sure knew how to blow that clarinet, tickle those ivories and beat those drums, daddio!
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. 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. The Disney studio was facing the harsh realities of the second world war in addition to the box-office failure of his masterwork FANTASIA. We are incredibly proud of the film and are hoping it will match (if not surpass) the success of its predecessor, the mutiple-award winning ARCHON DEFENDER. The loss of overseas markets due to World War Two just made the studios' outlook on DUMBO and BAMBI even worse. The official DVD artwork is below, along with some of the links where you can either rent or purchase the film.
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. It's been a while but we've returned with plenty of activity over the last few months and a big apology to our fans for our tardiness in updating the website since the summer. The studio was gearing up with its creation of live-action films, which were much cheaper to produce, and hence more profitable. This will change in the coming months as we have a few new projects in release and upcoming projects that will surely generate much buzz as we aim to unleash them onto the unsuspecting world.
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"?
Producer Morgan Muscat supplied us with this cool picture of his trek through Cinema 1 at Burlington Mall and the discovery of ARCHON sitting within some pretty good company. 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. The first official trailer from our latest short film, MASSACRE AT FEMUR CREEK, has been unveiled online via writer-director Kyle Hytonen's You Tube channel. 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.
We are excited to be collaborating with award-winning filmmaker Kyle Hytonen and his A Henry Krinkle Production company on this fun little short film. 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.
Enjoy the picture below of actor John Migloire in character as The Shape and keep checking back for more updates on the film's completion and release date. 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.
Filming has commenced in Hamilton, Ontario and Burlington, Ontario under the direction of Hytonen and starring John Migliore and Heather Dicke. A Others have been excised as short subjects (Mickey & The Beanstalk with different narration, Mr. Recently, the film launched a campaign on Indiegogo to raise $1100 and wound up (to date) collecting a surprising $2414. 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. Check out the teaser poster below and visit the Indiegogo campaign for more info about the film. 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. As we continue to develop short and feature films, as well as promote our new demo reel feature, we are hard at work promoting local artists and community events.
Such is the case with the upcoming June 8th Car-Free street festival happening on Palladium Way in Alton Village.
We are proud to be a part of this amazing community event and are happy to finally unveil our freshly completed new video to help raise awareness of said event. We were approached a few weeks back to create this video by local artists and have done so using footage from last year's event. 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. Enjoy the world exclusive premiere of the promotional video by visiting this link or check it out via our WELCOME page.
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. We are excited to formally announce thatA Moonlit Road Entertainment has the privilege of being among the many talented artists and vendors at the Ward 6, North Burlington festival. 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 event will be held on Palladium Way, between Walkera€™s and Appleby Lines, in Alton Village. Please feel free to visit the Ward 6 Car-Free Street Festival page on Facebook for more information about the event. 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. Our tiny horror-film noir short film THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU recently added another festival date to its successful roster, this time for the 2014 edition of the Sudden Impulse Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We are excited to promote our award-winning title yet again and hope that people turn out to support great independent films such as this one. The "Casey Junior" sound-effects segment is something of a preview of DUMBO, and is one of the most engaging parts of the movie.
The screening happens on Saturday May 10th at the Big Picture Cinema on Gerard Street East at 8:30pm.
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.
Not only are we focused on inspired filmmaking and photography opportunities, we are how branching out into offering services for Demo Reels. I've never read the original story, but the screen version is lacks tension, and leaves you feeling disappointed. We understand just how important a demo reel is to emerging and talented filmmakers and actors, so we are offering top-notch, professional service along with affordable prices to help showcase what you have to offer the world. 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). If you are looking to have us create your demo reel or are merely wanting to browse around, we invite you to check out our newly added DEMO REELS page where you can look into our rates and what we can offer you.
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. With ARCHON DEFENDER currently in distribution around the world, distirbution plans ramping up for ORIGIN: A CALL TO MINDS and production underway onA COLD DARK MIRRORA along with a slew of short film projects in development, we trust that 2014 will be our busiest year yet. 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.
And we hope for your continued support as we grow and expand into different areas, which will be announced soon. 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.
From all of us at Moonlit Road Entertainment, we welcome 2014 and wish you all a very Happy New Year.
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. Also, Morgan was featured in the 2013 edition of the Burlington community guide, which he also spoke about his humbling beginnings as a student filmmaker and to where he is today. Office of Inter-American Affairs, and one can only wonder if it achieved it's purpose to the extent it was designed to. The article and photo are available only in print, but a photograph has been made available below.
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.
The film gets an exclusive digital engagement with Google Play starting tomorrow, October 1, 2013. 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. Since 2008, the film has been turning heads and it has been nominated and has won several awards for is achievement in special effects and production design. Congratulations to the directors and cast who combined to make a special type of film that continues to wow audiences. Disney's standard paint-as-it-goes motif creates some wonderful visual elements, mostly floral settings with a smattering of abstract movement.


Dates and specifics will be released as soon as they are available.A September 25, 2013 - Hamilton Film Festival selects ARCHON DEFENDER and ORIGINA The city of Hamilton appears to have taken a liking to Moonlit Road Entertainment productions. 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.
Both films will screen as a double bill during the festival, which runs from November 4th to the 10th at the Staircase Theatre (27 Dundurn St. 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).
While ARCHON has had a fairly successful festival run over the years leading up to its upcoming DVD release, ORIGIN: A CALL TO MINDS will be making its exclusive world premiere during the festival. 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. Just yesterday, the film screened at the 2013 Hamilton Music and Film Festival at the Factory Media Centre (227 James Street North in Hamilton). 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. Earlier in the month (on September 13th), the film was selected to screen at the 2013 Supercrawl event held in Hamilton.
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. Expect more festival announcements in the next little while.A A August 28, 2013 - Pre-order ARCHON DEFENDER on DVD now at Amazon!!! 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. Here is your exclusive first look at a pair of colourful teaser posters for our upcoming animated feature film COLD DARK MIRROR, currently in production under the direction of David Krupicz.The film is expected to continue production throughout 2013 and the early part of 2014, with a release expected for later next year.
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? 2013 - THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU is an Official Selection at HMFF 2013!More great news for our horror film noir hybrid THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU.
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). The award-winning short has become an Official Selection at the 2013 Hamilton Music and Film Festival, taking place in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on September 22nd.
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. This will mark the third time that the film has screened in Hamilton as part of the film festival circuit, following the 2012 edition of the Hamilton Film Festival as well as earlier this year as part of the Little Nightmares Canadian Horror Shorts Festival. Human characters have a narrow, angular look that I've never seen in any other Disney animated film. We announced earlier this year that ARCHON DEFENDER, our first animated feature film, is scheduled to premiere on DVD and VOD during the fourth quarter of 2013. 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.
Today comes word that the film will indeed premiere this fall and in the United States on October 22nd.A Furthermore, we are excited to bring you the exclusive world premiere of the DVD cover art for the film, to be distributed by Ytinifni Films.
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. Morgan was one of eleven people nominated, which ranged from enviromental, community, heritage as well as senior, junior and citizen of the year. This marks Morgan's second award win for his contributions to the community as a filmmaker, following his 2010 MARTY Award win for Emerging Media Arts. 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. Below is a photograph of the Burlington's Best Award and Certificate presented to Morgan Muscat last week as well as the Burlington Post photograph from the event, printed in Wednesday May 15th's edition.A May 16, 2013 - More THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU and SEVERANCE Movie Reviews!!!The reviews continue to trickle in for Moonlit Road Entertainment productions. The first is a positively glowing one from Bleeding Dead Film Reviews for THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU, which once again praises the performances of stars Robert Nolan and Sandra da Costa, as well as the production design and direction. 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.
Andrews will be among the guests lined up to heavily promote some top notch Canadian content. 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. The festival takes place between May 31st and June 2nd at the Best Western Hotel (173 - Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre, NY 11570). 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) . April 19, 2013 - Morgan Muscat featured in Mississauga magazine MISSISSAUGA ARTSThe promotion continues for busy producer-writer Morgan Muscat, who is now featured in the Spring edition of MISSISSAUGA ARTS, a magazine published quarterly that recognizes talents who have contributed to the arts in Mississauga.
Morgan is featured on Page 4 as part of the 2013 MARTY Award nominees and again on Page 15, which is the press release about his involvement in the upcoming June 27th Media Arts Mash Up. A Before that it enjoyed cult-film status on college campuses in the 1960s, due to it's 'psychedelic' segments. The cover page for MISSISSAUGA ARTS is below, pick up your copy at the Mississauga Arts Council office.April 17, 2013 - THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU movie review!A positive, spoiler-free review of THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU from Horror Movie Diary has made it online and it rocks. It is certainly dated, a bit too episodic, and even guilty of ethnic stereotyping in places. The reviewer praises actor Robert Nolan's performances as Devil, as well as goes on to say that the film itself is "hellishly great" and supported by a great cast. 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. The ever busy producer will be on hand discussing his past films as well as current productions including the soon-to-be-released ORIGIN: A CALL TO MINDS and the currently in development COLD DARK MIRROR. A Along with SALUDOS AMIGOS, it was commissioned by the wartime government to promote good relations with Latin America. Additionally, the filmmaker will be screening a never-before-seen 10 minute clip from ORIGIN as well as discuss the making of the film. 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 event will be held at the Art Gallery of Mississauga (300 City Centre Drive) and will begin at 7:00pm. 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. Just today, Mike Haberfelner over at the website Search My Trash recently conducted two interviews, one with CDM producer Morgan Muscat and the other with David Krupicz himself about the making of the film. 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). Click below to check out the interviews where both filmmakers talk about CDM, as well as other upcoming projects from Moonlit Road Entertainment and Original Sine Productions. 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. Additionally, an article conducted by Mississauga journalist Louise Peacock for the Film Annex website made it online today.
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). That article, entitled "Glimpse in the Mirror", features an on-set journal and behind-the-scenes photos of the cast and crew in action. 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.
Click on the respective links below to check out the interviews.A Morgan Muscat "Cold Dark Mirror" Interview (Search My Trash - Mike Haberfelner) David T. What makes the segment so captivating is Ary Baroso's mesmerizing standard "Baia" (with gringo-ized lyrics by Ray Gilbert).
Today we are proud to report that Morgan has once again been nominated, this time for a 2013 Burlington's Best award nomination, which honours citizen in Burlington who have contributed to the arts within the city.
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). Morgan is proud to call Burlington is new home town and is honoured that he and his work has been recognized by the community collectively.
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. Today we are proud to announce the cast for our upcoming sci-fi animated epic COLD DARK MIRROR, which is being produced by Morgan Muscat and will once again be directed by David T.
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.
The cast includes Sandra da Costa (Sick), Caleigh Le Grand (Inspiration), Daniel Wyse (Origin: A Call to Minds), Morgan Muscat (Archon Defender), Paul Nicholls (A Cry in the Dark), Ryan Barrett (Neverlost), Astrida Auza (Sick), Christopher Lee Grant (Dead Genesis), Neil Green (Black Eve) and Laura Collu (Severance). 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. COLD DARK MIRROR follows young Witch-Hunter Lydia (Sandra DaCosta), who stumbles upon the dark secret of the Unseen World; a shadow world of dreams and nightmares which lies just beyond the mirror's edge. 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.
A dark and ancient power, the Time Shadow (Neil Green), seeks entry into the corporeal world, a power some on the Alchemic Council are in league with, and whose existence they seek to keep secret above all else. It's worth noting that the studio planned a third Latin American-themed film, featuring Cuba, called Cuban Carnival.
Together with her Cat Familiar Callista (Caleigh La Grand), Lydia must face the Shadow Council, and avenge the death of her mentor, the Maegis Acheroni»?.A A In addition to the casting announcement, we are also today releasing the first couple of production stills from COLD DARK MIRROR. New Moonlit Road business cards!A Earlier this year we reported that ARCHON DEFENDER would be getting a DVD and VOD release later this year.
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. In addition to the Facebook group released a few months ago, you can now follow ARCHON DEFENDER on Twitter for all the most up-to-date information surrounding the film. 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.
Simply click on the links above to visit the respective pages.A In other news, we are proud to report that for the first time in five years we have new business cards that are hot off the presses and about ready for distribution to the masses. 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.
Our multiple award-winning short film is now an Official Selection at the 3rd Macabre Faire Film Festival in Long Island, New York, honouring films within the genres of Horror, Thrillers, Suspense and Sci-Fi. 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.
While there are no concrete showtimes or dates as of yet, please feel free to visit the festival's Facebook page, which will make a more formal announcement closer to the festival date this summer. The studio had produced an enormous volume of films for the war effort, and so therefore took time to gear up the feature unit.
As we keep you in anticipation with our casting, we are proud to present the first official production still from the film.
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.
We now have a Facebook group were you will be able to keep up to date on the developments of our films as they move through production. 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.
Please note that press releases and latest news will appear on here first, and then make their way onto our new Facebook group.
Keep it here, there's lots happening.A March 6, 2013 - Morgan Muscat 2013 MARTY Award nomination and interviews Having stepped back to focus on his family last year, Moonlit Road Entertainment founder Morgan Muscat is gearing up for what is looking like a very busy year ahead. 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 (!?).
The talented writer-producer is releasing the animated feature ORIGIN: A CALL TO MINDS as well as producing a new animated film (COLD DARK MIRROR), which starts production this month. Amidst all that, Morgan is seeking funding for his long awaited Stephen King adaptation SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN as well as developing some other short film projects.


A The 8-minute segment is just a boring bit of hillbillies shooting off guns and guzzling moonshine with a cornball romance thrown in. In the meantime, we would like to congratulate Morgan and his fourth MARTY award nomination since 2009, this one for Established Media Arts for the 2013 awards ceremony. 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. More information about the MARTYs can be found by visiting the Mississauga Arts Council link. 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".
We would also like to congratulate SEVERANCE crew members David O'Hearn and Alvin Campana for their MARTY nominations also; David is nominated for Established Performing Arts while Alvin is in the running for Established Media Arts.
The sumptuous backdrops are perfectly suited to the music, portraying a lovely night in an idyllic bayou.
In the interview, he speaks about his early career as a filmmaker to some of his recent producing projects, specifically SEVERANCE and THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU.
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 episode aired on Rogers TV at the end of February.A February 25, 2013 - THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU gets another Hamilton screening!!!We are proud to report that THE DEVIL WALKS AMONG YOU will once again be gracing screens in Hamilton, as it is an Official Selection at the 2013 Little Nightmares Canadian Horror Shorts Festival.
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". COLD DARK MIRROR is slated to go into production in the next few weeks and is tentatively set for release in late 2014.
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. A dark and ancient power, the Time Shadow, seeks entry into the corporeal world, a power some on the Alchemic Council are in league with, and whose existence they seek to keep secret above all else. Together with her Cat Familiar Callista, Lydia must face the Shadow Council, and avenge the death of her mentor, the Maegis Acheron.i»?January 27, 2013 - ARCHON DEFENDER signed to US Distribution dealBig news to start the new year off. 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. ARCHON DEFENDER, our 2009 multiple award-winning animated feature film (written and directed by David T. 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. Krupicz and produced by Morgan Muscat) has been signed to a US distribution deal with Ytinifni Pictures. The animation is pretty predictable, with little to recommend it, save the strange concept of the story. The deal will provide North American DVD and US Video on Demand (VOD) distribution in late 2013. While an official date has yet to be announced, expect the film to be released sometime in the fourth quarter.
The film follows the path of a young woman, Colette, as she seeks her way through adversity to redemption, as the world she once knew is torn apart by war and tyranny. 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).
The first official trailer from our latest short film, MASSACRE AT FEMUR CREEK, has been unveiled online via writer-director Kyle Hytonen's You Tube channel. 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.
Enjoy the picture below of actor John Migloire in character as The Shape and keep checking back for more updates on the film's completion and release date. 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". We were approached a few weeks back to create this video by local artists and have done so using footage from last year's event. 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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