Make Mine Music is the third Disney package film and the eighth animated feature overall. Unlike Saludos Amigos or The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music wasn’t made with any specific purpose. Other than keeping the studio alive during the war. Since Walt Disney’s plans for multiple Fantasia films fell through, Make Mine Music is the closest thing to that. With a staggering 10 animated shorts all set to music. Whether instrumental or lyrical. Unlike the previous films, it’s just the shorts without anything in between tying them together.
The Martins and the Coys – The first segment is also the hardest to find. It’s a rustic musical about feuding mountain folk families. The Martins and the Coys (a take on the Hatfields and the McCoys) are gun happy hicks with a feud that ultimately ends in the deaths of all but two. A girl Martin and a boy Coy that fall in love and end the feud. The segment was censored out for its gun based humor, but I did managed to find it.
Blue Bayou – The second segment is actually a leftover from Fantasia. It features an egret flying around a blue bayou, finding a mate, and that’s about it. You can tell its from Fantasia, because the animation is more polished. The only change was the music that was used.
All the Cats Join in – The third segment is the most modern. As it depicts the average lives of American teenagers. A “cat” actually refers to a hip person. The animation is more like a sketch book and the music is jazzy. Teens flock to their local diner just to dance. The segment was also a victim of mild censorship. This time it was because of nudity. Specifically a scene where a teen girl showers and gets dressed.
Without You – The fourth segment is a quick emotional ballad about lost love set against a rainy window which reveals lonely trees.
Casey at the Bat – The fifth segment is the most colorful, cartoony, and exaggerated. It’s a direct adaptation of the famous titular poem. This time mostly set to music. In the town of Mudville, Casey is a beloved baseball player known for his perfect winning streak. Something he definitely let’s get to his head. Until Casey ultimately strikes out. So the moral of the story is to stay humble.
Two Silhouettes – The sixth segment is simply a male and female ballet dancer performing in animated silhouettes accompanied by abstract visuals.
Peter and the Wolf – The seventh segment is probably the most memorable. As it’s a visual rendition of the famous musical story of the same name. Peter is a Russian boy who wants to prove himself to his grandfather by hunting the wolf that lives in the forest. Along the way, Peter makes friends with a bird, a duck, and a cat. Together they track down the vicious wolf and put an end to him. The segment most stands out for its use of characters represented by instruments.
After You’ve Gone – The eighth segment really plays up the music with anthropomorphic instruments playing in a musical wonderland.
Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet – The ninth segment is an adorable love story between two anthropomorphic hats. A male fedora named Johnny and a female blue bonnet named Alice. The song tells their story in full detail. They met in a department store and it was love at first sight. When separated, Johnny stops at nothing to find his sweetheart once more. I never thought animated hats would melt my heart.
Finale: The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met – The tenth and final segment is also the longest. It tells the tale of a big whale with even bigger dreams. Willie is a miracle whale who can sing opera in three different musical styles. Unfortunately, people in the city think the whale is a myth. A theater producer named Tetti-Tatti hunts the whale because he thinks he swallowed an opera singer. We then see a series of fantasies where Willie’s dreams come true, but sadly this is a bittersweet symphony.
In conclusion, Make Mine Music was also something I surprisingly saw when I was a kid. I most remember the “Peter and the Wolf” segment, because my brother and I often hummed along to the iconic tune. The rest was sort of a blur. But apparently Make Mine Music is very hard to find. It seems I was lucky to find it on DVD years later. You can’t even watch it on Disney Plus. Unlike Song of the South, there’s never been any specific reason for this. Maybe it’s the gun use, maybe it’s the implied nudity, maybe it’s an offensive song. Whatever the reason, Make Mine Music is a collection of musical treats that deserves to see the light of day.