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Western Animation / Melody Time

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Melody Time is the 10th Entry in the Disney Animated Canon, released in 1948.

Unlike most other Disney animated features from before the age of home video, this was never given a theatrical re-release. Sometimes, however, the individual segments were each tacked onto another Disney release. Like Make Mine Music, the movie is a music-based Animated Anthology in the style of Fantasia

The film contains 7 shorts:

  • Once Upon a Wintertime features a couple who go out skating in the wintertime. A small spat leads to trouble when thin ice gets involved.
  • Bumble Boogie is an unused Fantasia short that follows the adventures of a small bumble bee set to a jazz rendition of the classic Rimsky-Korsakov piece, Flight of the Bumblebee.
  • The Legend of Johnny Appleseed is an adaptation of the fictionalized account of the story of John Chapman, the pioneer who planted apple trees across the country, told and sung by Dennis Day.
  • Little Toot, based on the book by former Disney artist Hardie Gramatky, is the story of a small tugboat who wants to be just like his father, but always seems to cause trouble. Told and sung by The Andrews Sisters.
  • Trees is a song-version of the famous Joyce Kilmer poem, with visuals to match.
  • Blame It On the Samba is based on an idea created during the trip to South America that created Saludos Amigos. Donald Duck and his friend Joe Carioca are literally blue, when the Aracuan bird (from The Three Caballeros) invites them into the Café do Samba, where he uses the rhythm of the samba to perk up the duo and restore their colour. Once their moods have been perked up, the Aracuan mixes the two into a cocktail, and generally starts messing around with the two.
  • Pecos Bill is an adaptation of the story of the legendary cowboy who was raised by coyotes. Told by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers to Disney child-stars Luana Patten and Bobby Driscoll by a campfire.

Tropes used in this film:

  • Action Girl: Slue-foot Sue from the Pecos Bill segment, who can ride a giant catfish standing up. It's her danger-loving nature along with a bouncing bustle that leads to her demise in the end, when she insists on riding the angry Widowmaker.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite being mad at him, the lady rabbit can't help but giggle at the guy rabbit kicking their hearts etched in the log and clutching at his foot in pain afterward.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The mountain lion in Johnny Appleseed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Johnny Appleseed dies, and is heartbroken at leaving his animal friends behind. His guardian angel, however, says that he did a lot of good on Earth and on heaven he can keep planting apples.
  • Bowdlerise: The original American VHS and DVD releases edited the Pecos Bill scene. They cut a scene of Bill rolling a smoke and lighting it with a lightning bolt while riding a tornado and digitally removed all other shots of the offending cigarette hanging from his lips. The cigarette was edited out in each case resulting in the removal of almost the entire tornado sequence and some odd hand and mouth movements for Bill throughout. They left in a quite racist scene of Bill terrorizing a group of Hollywood Natives, however. Disney+ and the Disney Movie Club-exclusive Blu-ray restored all the tobacco use to the film, as did the Japanese Laserdisc and the DVD release in England.
  • Broken Ace: Pecos Bill becomes this after losing Slue-foot Sue.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Pecos Bill.
  • Circling Vultures: In the Pecos Bill segment, Bill meets his horse Widowmaker when rescuing him from a group of these.
  • Color Failure: The girl rabbit upon looking over the waterfall in Once Upon a Wintertime.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Sue in her white long bloomers or pantalets, as she's getting dressed for the big wedding day.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: Pecos Bill uses a lightning bolt to light a cigarette.
  • Crowd Song: "The Pioneer Song."
  • Danger Thin Ice: Joe and Jenny go on a date, where presumably no one knows where they are, and she walks onto thin ice. When it cracks, Joe is frantic to keep her from falling into the water and getting her back to shore, especially after they had a fight.
  • Death by Adaptation: Slue-Foot Sue, sort of. Whether or not Bill manages to save her from her bouncing bustle varies from version to version of the original legend: this adaptation opts for the Downer Ending. She ends up bouncing so high, she crashes into the moon.
  • Determinator: Despite being banished, disgraced, and sunken by the storm, Little Toot will not give up on the boat that sent the SOS.
  • Digital Destruction: The Blu-ray compresses the Dolby Digital 1.0 audio to a bitrate half as small as that of the DVD, or even the three bonus shorts.note 
  • Discovering Your Own Dead Body: The "Johnny Appleseed" segment ends with Johnny, now an old man, dying quietly in his sleep. His guardian angel summons his soul to Heaven, but first Johnny pauses to stare at the strange man lying under a tree. Johnny is shocked when the angel tells him he's "just your husk, Johnny, your mortal husk."
    Johnny: My husk?! You mean to say I...I passed away?
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Blame It on the Samba. After all, most of the action is taking place in a giant wine glass.
    • "Bumble Boogie" too. And how.
  • Disney Death: There is a brief moment where Little Toot appears to have sunk.
  • Disneyfication: The Johnny Appleseed story adaptation. His life was originally much harder than it was presented in the film. It also plays up his positive qualities more and glosses over the fact that in real life, Johnny was a shrewd businessman and promoted his own religion. Subverted, however, by "Pecos Bill".
  • Distaff Counterpart: Sue for Bill.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The bumblebee just wants to get some nectar and pollen from flowers. They all attack him when he tries. In response, the bee dive-bombs them. Unfortunately, their petals fuse into a piano monster.
  • Downer Ending: Pecos Bill gets one after the loss of Sue, so much so that he decides to return to the coyotes, where he laments his lost love by howling at the moon, and the coyotes join in howling with him (thus explaining why coyotes howl at the moon). As this is the final section of the film, this trope could apply for the film as a whole.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Pecos Bill features a map of Texas covering more than half of the continental U.S., the other states crowded around it.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The bee in Bumble Boogie is a victim of this.
  • Freak Out: Johnny Appleseed initially has one when he realizes that he walked away and left his dead body behind. He doesn't want to die and leave behind all of his work and animal friends. His guardian angel calms him down by saying that his work on Earth is finished, and that heaven needs apple trees too.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Johnny Appleseed, even managing to befriend a Smelly Skunk that he accidentally kicks by accident.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Widowmaker becomes quite jealous of Slue-Foot Sue. And causes Bill to miss catching her, although Bill doesn't know it.
  • Grimmification: Pecos Bill doesn't save Slue Foot Sue in this version of the story, not for lack of trying anyway.
  • Guns Akimbo: Pecos Bill, occasionally.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Sue and Jenny are redheads.
  • Hope Spot:
    • When Jenny and the female rabbit get trapped on the ice, Joe rushes over and tries to Take My Hand! as she passes under the bridge. Instead, he gets her glove and futilely tries to use its fraying threads to pull her to safety. Then when he and the rabbit use the horse carriage to catch up with the floating iceberg, a wrong turn sends them headfirst into the snowbank. The horses and other forest animals need to step in to mount a rescue.
    • Slue-Foot Sue decides to ride on Widowmaker on her wedding day. She actually fares better than the men holding the angry horse, sitting calmly as Widowmaker tries to unseat her. Unfortunately, Sue makes the mistake of wearing a bustle that day, which makes her bounce up and down in her seat and allows Widowmaker to gain an edge in tossing her off and onto the ground.
    • Pecos Bill has a moment where he can catch Sue with his lassoing skills. Unfortunately, he misses Widowmaker stepping on the rope and messing with it.
  • Horsing Around: The segment where Slue-Foot Sue tries to ride Pecos's horse Widowmaker. She does quite well for herself in the first few minutes. And then that bustle...
  • Howl of Sorrow: In the "Pecos Bill" sequence, the coyotes howl at the moon out of sympathy with Bill, who howls for sorrow at losing Slue-Foot Sue, thus explaining why coyotes howl at the moon.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Slue-Foot Sue. After donning a bustle and corset on her wedding day, she's drawn with a ridiculously slender waist and an oversized butt.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Once Upon a Wintertime. Not the best choice for a skating area.
  • "Just So" Story:
    • Whenever the clouds in the sky look like apple blossoms, it's because the trees Johnny Appleseed has planted in heaven are in bloom.
    • According to his song, Pecos Bill dug the Rio Grande, knocked the gold into "them thar hills," painted the Painted Desert, and shot out all the stars in the sky but one (for the "Lone Star Texas state"). Coyotes howl at the moon out of sympathy for him, because he howled at the moon every night after Slue-Foot Sue was launched into the sky and never came down.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Widowmaker, Pecos Bill's horse, seems to get off scot-free for killing Slue-foot Sue. Though he appears to have regret it afterwards due to how it utterly ruins Bill's life, making it something of a Pyrrhic Victory for him.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Subverted. Slue-foot Sue tries to ride Widowmaker in the bustled dress she was wearing for the wedding. It was a bad idea.
  • Killed Off for Real: Slue-Foot Sue is launched to the moon and never comes down. Johnny Appleseed also dies of old age in the woods.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The horses team up with the forest animals to toss their reins toward the iceberg. As the other rabbit faints, the squirrels tether the ice with the reins and signal for the horses to pull it to shore, while making sure none of the unconscious inhabitants fall into the water. The endeavor is successful.
  • List Song: "The Apple Song," with all kinds of food that can be made from apples.
  • Moody Mount: Widowmaker in "Pecos Bill", especially when Slue-Foot Sue intends to ride him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Slue-Foot Sue. Bright red hair and lips? Check. Big blue eyes? Double check. Gratuitous panty shots aplenty? Oh yeah. Ridiculously tiny waist paired with an absurdly big and round...bustle? You bet.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Widowmaker effectively does this to Slue-Foot Sue.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Oddly enough for a "Western Superman", Pecos Bill is depicted with a build near-identical to Ichabod Crane's, even when he's rolling up his sleeves to beat the tar out of a pack of rustlers.
  • Never Say "Die": "Pecos Bill" never outright says that Slue-Foot Sue died, only that she landed on the moon and never came down. The fate this implies is Fridge Horror.
    • Averted, however, near the end of "Johnny Appleseed", when, as he goes with his angel to heaven, Johnny learns that that is his mortal husk and, shocked, exclaims, "You mean to say I... I passed away?"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The boy rabbit tries to warn Jenny and his miffed girlfriend about the Thin Ice sign he's carrying. When they ignore him, he sets it in the ice angrily...only to crack it and cause the other two to get trapped on a floating iceberg. Whoops!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It's prevalent in "Blame It On The Samba":
    • Why are Donald Duck and Jose Carioca sad?? What's more, where is Donald's usual temper? He's so happy to be dancing the samba with Jose and a beautiful lady that not even the Aracuan Bird's tricks upset him.
    • When the Aracuan Bird actually looks concerned for Donald and Jose's depression, you know that he wants to do more than mess with them for a good time. He cheers them up with Samba music before engaging in trippy antics.
  • Passed in Their Sleep: Happens to Johnny Appleseed, by now an old man whose soul is being summoned into heaven as he dies in his sleep.
  • Pet the Dog: The Aracuan Bird, known normally for being a Troll, sincerely cheers up Donald and Jose before scooping them up in a cocktail glass for trippy antics. Even as he messes with them, they all have a lot of fun dancing.
  • Phallic Weapon / Something Else Also Rises: When Slue-Foot Sue kisses Pecos Bill, Bill's guns start going off by themselves.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Pecos Bill, due to Values Dissonance, turns into this due to the scene where he shoots at Native Americans, whom the narrator refers to as "redskins". This is today considered a pretty bad racial slur.
  • Pretty in Mink: Jenny in the "Wintertime" segment has a white fur muff, as do a few other ladies skating on a pond the couple passes by. To help show her daintiness, she puts the muff over her face when blushing. She also keeps her hands in the muff until the sleigh stops, where she delicately removes one hand from her muff, for her boyfriend to take.
  • Production Foreshadowing: In the intro to "Johnny Appleseed", the Master of Ceremonies mentions some iconic items in folk tales, such as Paul Bunyan's ax, John Henry's hammer, and Davy Crockett's rifle. Disney would later adapt the Paul Bunyan story in 1958 and the Davy Crockett stories in 1954. It wouldn't be until 2001 when Disney would adapt the story of John Henry.
  • Raised by Wolves: Pecos Bill. Coyotes, actually. He goes back to them in the end.
  • Recycled Animation: They did need to save money after all. Some of Joe and Donald's dancing in Blame it on the Samba is taken from either Saludos Amigos or The Three Caballeros. Also, much of the square dancing in "Johnny Appleseed" was reused from "The Martins and the Coys" segment of Make Mine Music.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Slue-Foot Sue intends to ride Widowmaker, his angry eyes are visibly red as he expresses his jealousy of her. It serves as a warning that he is about to give her a ride she will never forget...
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Blame it on the Samba features animated characters interacting with a live action performer in the same style as The Three Caballeros. The frame story for Pecos Bill features live action actors in an animated background.
  • The Savage Indian: The "Painted Indians" in The Ballad of Pecos Bill are portrayed as this, true to the song.
  • Scenery Porn: Many of the segments have beautiful backgrounds thanks to artist Mary Blair.
  • "Setting Off" Song: "The Apple Song".
  • Snow Means Love: Once Upon a Wintertime.
  • So Proud of You: As the ending lyrics in "Little Toot" say, the titular tug makes his father proud when he becomes a hero.
  • The Something Song: "The Pioneer's Song" and "The Apple Song" (both in "Johnny Appleseed").
  • Supermodel Strut: Slue-Foot Sue does a ridiculously exaggerated hip-sway whenever she walks. It doesn't hurt that her "bouncing bustle" really accentuates her behind.
  • Tall Tale: The segments on Johnny Appleseed and Pecos Bill.
  • Teeth Flying: In the "Pecos Bill" segment, Bill knocks out all the gold fillings off a gang of rustlers, which is why "there's gold in them thar hills".
  • This Is Gonna Suck: As Slue-Foot Sue gets ready to ride Widowmaker, Pecos Bill can be seen watching with horror, like he knows something bad is going to happen. He was right.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: This occurs with not only the male half of the rabbit item, but the human couple (despite not really having fur) Joe and Jenny as well. Any whole scenery involving them changes color as well as it follows their moods, a few of these moments include:
    • Jenny getting mad at Joe and turning red (and her back on him).
    • A downhearted Joe turning blue and as he sadly walks away, he makes an arrow through the heart that was inscribed on the ice with the blades of his skates.
    • The male bunny also turning blue when his mate rejects him, then red as he furiously kicks a log, injuring his foot.
    • The male bunny gets angered and turns red again, when he fails to get Jenny's attention of the "thin ice" sign, then causes the ice to crack when he pokes a hole through it with the sign.
    • Joe turns pale as he sees Jenny and the female bunny in danger, with them on a board of ice that's going to go over a waterfall and as he hurries to their aid.
    • Jenny turning pale and fainting when she and the female rabbit nearly meet their impending doom.
    • The male bunny turning hot pink and the ice block in which he's imprisoned melts from literal heat of passion, when the female bunny kisses him.
    • Joe turns pink as well when Jenny embraces him for saving her.
    • Also in the "Pecos Bill" segment, the eponymous character gets red-faced when Sue catches him eyeing her and he gets so infatuated with her, his hair has a reaction that's as if it were electrified and he takes off into the air like a rocket.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sluefoot Sue gets it in her head to ride her fiance's horse Widowmaker to the altar. This same horse has been watching them court each other with a large amount of jealousy and is roaring with red eyes. Even Pecos Bill thinks it's a bad idea, but Sue has her way. Sure enough, even though Sue does better than the eight men holding Widowmaker still long enough for her to mount, Widowmaker gets the better of her and sends her flying. That bustle definitely didn't help, with it eventually sending her to the moon from bouncing so high.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Little Toot wants his father to be proud of him, but he has a habit of getting into mischief, to the point where he accidentally sends a ship crashing into the city. He is branded a criminal and exiled out to sea by the Harbor Patrol, while his father has been reduced to hauling garbage barges in disgrace. Out at sea, however, Little Toot spots a ship in distress, and it becomes up to him to save it and bring it into port all by himself, which impresses his father when he does so.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Donald Duck received some fanfare in the VHS trailer, and is the only character on the DVD case. On the other hand, most theatrical posters, both domestic and international, prominently featured Pecos Bill.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Johnny initially thinks he's too scrawny to survive out west. His angel tells him that Johnny still has faith, courage, a level head, and a talent for growing apple trees, which is all he needs.


Video Example(s):


Death of Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed dies peacefully in his sleep, after a lifetime of planting apple trees and ascends into Heaven to continue his work there.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / PassedInTheirSleep

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