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Melody Time

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Originally released in 1948, Melody Time is Disney's 10th full-length animated movie, just released on video for the first time. Though not the "masterpiece" Disney's marketing would indicate, it is a charming, imaginative anthology of cartoon shorts set to music by the likes of such '40s favorites as Roy Rogers and The Andrews Sisters. Though few of the segments will be unfamiliar to anyone who grew up watching The Wonderful World Of Disney, they hold up well, combining to make a nice 75-minute collection. Of the bunch, "Bumble Boogie," an elaborate fantasia based around a jazzed-up version of "Flight Of The Bumblebee," is the most visually impressive. The segments featuring folk heroes Pecos Bill and Johnny Appleseed are both fun, while "Blame It On The Samba" features a reunion of Donald Duck and the cigar-smoking parrot from Three Caballeros. The thankfully brief rendition of Joyce Kilmer's terrible, terrible poem "Trees" is the only misstep in the bunch. By no means a masterpiece—nothing here ranks among Disney's best work—Melody Time is a pleasant collection that, thanks to restoration work, looks and sounds better than ever.