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Melody Time

Melody Time(1948)

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Melody Time Segments: "Once Upon a... MORE > $13.95 Regularly $16.99 Buy Now


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Melody Time Segments: "Once Upon a... MORE > $13.95
Regularly $16.99
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After an offscreen master of ceremonies describes the abundance of entertainment to be found in "Melody Time," the scene changes to a Currier-and-Ives-style winter landscape. A young man and a male bunny escort their girl friends onto an ice skating pond, and after the girls narrowly escape being drowned when the ice breaks, they reward their clumsy beaux with kisses. The emcee then introduces an animated interpretation of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble Bee," during which a bewildered bee is seen trying to escape "an instrumental nightmare." The bee is chased by flowers, fireflies and other tormentors, as well as musical notes and piano keys. The bee takes his revenge by stomping on the keys. The then emcee sets the tone for the next story by listing some of the great characters in American folklore, including Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman, who lived from 1774 to 1845: In 1806, Johnny tends his farm, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Despite his slight build, Johnny works hard and is grateful for the bounty he receives, especially his beloved apples. When Johnny sees a wagon train going West, he wishes he could go, but knows that he is not strong enough to be a pioneer. Johnny's guardian angel appears and encourages the young man to have faith and courage, and to plant his apples in the West. Armed with his bible, some apple seeds and a tin pan for a hat, Johnny treks through the wilderness alone. As Johnny travels, planting his seeds, he is befriended by wild animals, and the seasons pass as the pioneers grow to love the kindly wanderer. After a long, fruitful life, Johnny again meets his guardian angel, who takes him "up yonder" to plant more trees. The next story concerns a young tugboat named Little Toot, who rarely succeeds in his attempts to behave and not indulge his high spirits. One afternoon, Little Toot is arrested by two police boats after his misguided effort to help his father ends in disaster. Banished to beyond the twelve-mile limit, Little Toot gets caught in a storm and is the only tug to see the distress signal of a foundering oceanliner. Little Toot sends an s.o.s., then helps the liner safely reach the harbor, where his proud father awaits him. The emcee then promises a combined tribute to nature by "poem, picture and melody," and a choral rendition of Joyce Kilmer's poem "Trees" is sung, as the seasonal changes experienced by a tree are depicted through animation. In the next segment, Donald Duck and Joe Carioca are depressed and go to the Café do Samba for some entertainment. There, they meet the eccentric Aracuan Bird, who plays tricks on the pals as they enjoy a lively samba. After Donald, Joe and their new acquaintance disappear, the emcee introduces Pecos Bill, the "rootin'est, tootin'est" cowboy ever to roam the West. The story of Pecos Bill is narrated by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, who relate Bill's adventures to their little friends, Luana Patten and Bobby Driscoll: As Bill's family travels West, their wagon hits a bump and baby Bill is tossed out into the Texas desert. Ma Coyote takes pity on the orphan and lets him join her brood, and soon Bill becomes the toughest cub of all. One day, Bill spots a colt being attacked by vultures and rescues the lost animal, which he names Widowmaker. As Bill and Widowmaker grow to adulthood, they become the best of friends and gain a fiercesome reputation. Bill's many exploits are described, including how he dug the Rio Grande River. Widowmaker is baffled, however, when Bill falls in love with Slue Foot Sue, a beautiful, wild cowgirl, and begins to ignore his old pal. On the day of Bill and Sue's wedding, Bill fulfills his promises to buy Sue a fancy bustle and to let her ride Widowmaker. The cantakerous horse has other ideas, however, and the combination of his bucking and Sue's bustle propel her high into the sky. Bill is devastated when Widowmaker interferes with his attempt to lasso Sue back to Earth, and she bounces up to the moon. The grief-stricken Bill then returns to the coyotes, who howl their sympathy for Bill when he cries at the full moon.