Tonight, we are back on the Disney movie list watching Melody Time. This movie was released in 1948 and may be the last feature-length movie of Disney “shorts” on our list (fingers crossed!). It includes “Johnny Appleseed” – which, I didn’t realize, is where the Girl Scout grace with the same name came from! It’s another Disney movie in which the main character prays – this time worshiping God for providing apples. Johnny’s guardian angel tells him that all he needs is his apple seeds, his Book (the Bible), and a bonnet (a metal saucepan to use as a hat)! When Johnny dies, he leaves his “husk” behind and goes with the angel up to Heaven to plant more apple trees… so when you see the puffy white clouds that look like apple blossoms on trees, you should remember Johnny and his apple trees.
K-Cat liked “Little Toot” – the story of a little tugboat; she giggled a lot during that one! It helped that his name was Little Toot and his dad was Big Toot! The Andrews Sisters sang the song for this one – maybe I can find some more Andrews Sisters music to listen to; they have very pretty voices. They were pretty sad during the “Grow Up Little Toot” song – Toot was put in chains and dragged 12 miles out of the harbor where he could not cause any trouble. It then gets a little scary with a storm and evil buoys. Just so you are not worried about how things turn out for Little Toot, I’ll let you know that, although things look quite perilous at one point, Toot ends up saving another ship and being a hero and making his daddy proud!
Before watching several of these movies, I thought that Fantasia was the only Disney movie where Walt explored animating music. On the contrary, this seems to have been a passion of his! As I look back at all of the movies we’ve seen so far, I have to admit that there are some that have had great images of the music, but, for the most part, I don’t think Walt and I share this passion. I know we all could have lived without the “Blame It on the Samba” short in this one – it caused flashbacks to The Three Caballeros!
In my opinion, the whole movie was saved by ending with Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers narrating and singing “Pecos Bill.” Also, the little girl and boy from Song of the South and So Dear to My Heart are both in this short, not to mention Roy and his horse, Trigger! They are dear to my heart – in case you haven’t heard the story, I’ll share – I met Roy in 1978. My mom tells this story much better, but it goes something like this… we were traveling across country and stopped at the Roy Rogers museum (somewhere in Southern California?). We were told that Roy sometimes came by the museum but that he wouldn’t be there that day (or was it that he had already been there?). Anyway, long-story-short, when we were getting ready to leave, Roy came in! He was about the same age as my grandfather who was with us and they got to visiting about “the good ol’ days.” Before Roy left, my mom asked if he would sign my cast (my right arm was broken so I was in a full cast from finger tips to almost shoulder). So, Roy told my mom that he didn’t typically give autographs, but, because it was a cast, he would sign it! He signed “Roy Rogers and Trigger” – and, when it was time to get the cast cut off, my mom made the doctor cut around the autograph and save it! Yes, we still have it! I know, not an exciting story, but it made quite an impact on an eight-year-old girl, and I’ve liked anything related to Roy Rogers since then.
Okay, enough rambling and reviewing for tonight. The bottom line is that we probably would not recommend sitting and watching the whole movie – it gets a little long, but we would recommend watching “Johnny Appleseed,” “Little Toot,” (that one just for a giggle), and “Pecos Bill.” Thanks for coming along on our Disney movie journey – we are headed into 1949 next and another movie we’ve heard a lot about but never seen, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.