Link to Previous Part: The Disneyathon – Part 3: The Wartime Age
Back to the Package films now and this one is called Fun and Fancy Free a title, I imagine the people who made this movie kept telling themselves their audience would feel. This movie consists of two shorter movies but since they lacked the budget at the time they put them together and which I think was a smart move.
This movie sees the return of Jiminy Cricket but sadly his appearance feels more like an afterthought. Jiminy’s purpose in this movie is to awkwardly introduce the famous stars of the past as they’re the narrators of the two movies. I have already voiced my opinion on this so, long story short, the over arching plotline sucks and even famous people can’t compensate for how annoyingly overused these narrators are.
The first short is surprisingly longer than other shorts in this era and that’s a bad thing because it’s really boring. The short tries to be original by saying ‘This isn’t the Three Bears story you’re familiar with’ but it doesn’t take long to figure out exactly what is going to happen. This one is probably the worst of the two as it isn’t very original and it really drags on way too long.
The other one is Jack and the Beanstalk but with Micky Mouse and friends. This one is slightly better as it doesn’t really drag as much. Donald and Willie the Giant make good comedic reliefs. It isn’t that bad although I would like it better if the stupid live action cutaways were taken out entirely.
There isn’t very much to say about this one as I don’t see the point of this movie existing. The only really good thing about it is the music which I found quite memorable. A big old 4/10 and I think you’re better off skipping this one entirely.
Next up is Melody Time and I think I’m starting to suffer from repetitive sameness syndrome. Melody Time is a bit of a sequel to Make Mine Music but it seems like they just used the leftover segments that they forgot about and then went let’s make a movie out of it.
I think my way of watching these is not really paying off too well because I’m starting to feel fatigued as all of these shorts are blending into one. Every one of these shorts has an element previously featured in one of the other four Package movies.
Once again there isn’t too much to say because I have been repeating my complaints over and over again with these Package movies. The main issue with this one is the lack of originality as, if you have watched any of the other Package films, then you have seen everything this movie has to offer.
On the positive side this probably has the most unique animation style out of all of them and the music offers a good variety. But that’s literally it! Most of the shorts are alright, but seriously these just feel like scrapped ideas from Make Mine Music and Fantasia.
Sorry I don’t feel as enthused as I was when I started, thanks to Melody Time. 3/10. It’s an inferior copy of Make Mime Music, it makes Fantasia look good and even Three Caballeros was more original than this.
Finally, the last Package film! This one is kind of a tease for what’s to come or perhaps even a reminder of before they made these cheap Package movies as this one feels the closest to an actual Disney movie. So in this pack we get the retelling of The Wind in the Willows and The Legends of Sleepy Hollow.
Disney’s The Wind in the Willows is probably my favourite in this movie and maybe even my favourite short of all these Package movies. I am not familiar with the story of the Wind in the Willows (same with Sleepy Hollow) but I found the story much more engaging than any of the other Package movies. Mr Toad is probably the most interesting and entertaining main character in this series thus far. I very much enjoyed the cartoony, fun style this movie went for. I don’t have many complaints but I wish it could have been longer as I barely had any grasp on this world. Whenever Mr Toad disappeared from the movie I kind of lost interest.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was also pretty good though the narrating is again overused to the extreme. I understand why Disney keeps bringing in famous people to narrate their movies but that won’t stop me from complaining. This might be one of the worst examples as Bing Crosby is the narrator and he plays every single character and it just doesn’t work. I think getting a voice cast like for Wind in the Willows instead of a guy explaining the movie while voicing all of the characters would have been a much better idea.
Ironically this one should have been shorter as most of the movie is pretty standard for this era with some nice slapstick in between. The best part of this short is when the Headless Horseman shows up as the narrator was gone and the movie just let you experience the scene and that’s great. It reminded me of the scary dark scenes from Pinocchio or even Fantasia.
Overall a more competent package compared to previous works with one great short and one okay short with a great ending. I’ll go with a 7 or 8 out of 10. This is definitely one of the better Package movies.
That about wraps up the Package era and the end of the 1940’s, an interesting part of Disney’s history and one worth reminiscing on. So stay tuned for Part 5 when we get back to the Disney movies you remember and to celebrate the end of the Package era have a giggle at some of these alternate titles I came up with.
And finally the most obvious alternate title….
Link to Part 5 Coming Soon.