Adventures in Music: Melody (1953)
Article 5717 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ward Kimball and Charles A. Nichols
Featuring the voices of Loulie Jean Norman, Harry Stanton and Bill Thompson
What it is: Meditation on Music
An owl holds a class on the subject of Melody.
I’m making something of a judgment call on this Disney animated short in terms of including it on the strength of its fantastic content; though there isn’t a particular element that I can point to, the cartoon as a whole has a level of abstraction and unreality that makes it qualify. It has definite Disney touches, but it’s also full of stylistic moments that recall the work of UPA at the time, as well as that of the various abstract animation works I’ve viewed over the years. It really doesn’t have a plot to speak of; it’s mostly an exploration of how music pervades our life, and in its own way, it’s as loosely focused as was the short in my previous review, ACTION ANTICS, albeit the owl-teaching-class setup gives it a center that one didn’t have. It’s interesting, but I’m not really sure it’s effective; I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about it all when it’s finally over. It is, however, an interesting experiment.