Music Land is an animated short produced by Walt Disney and directed by Wilfred Jackson as part of the Silly Symphonies series of animated shorts. It was released on October 5, 1935. The short can be viewed here on Walt Disney Animation's official YouTube channel.
The short takes place in a world called Music Land, which is populated by anthropomorphic musical instruments, and centers on two kingdoms, the Land of Symphony and the Isle of Jazz, which are separated by the Sea of Discord. The Princess of the Land of Symphony (who is a violin) and the Prince of the Isle of Jazz (an alto saxophone) are in love, but the Queen of the Land of Symphony (a cello) disapproves when she finds out and imprisons the Prince. The Prince sends a note for help to his father, the King of the Isle of Jazz (a baritone saxophone), who declares war on the Land of Symphony in response. Will the Prince and the Princess get their happy ending, and will harmony between the Land of Symphony and the Isle of Jazz ever be achieved?
The short is notable for being an early experiment with sound in animation; it gets a lot of mileage out of its music, using snippets from various popular classical, jazz and miscellaneous tunes. It also uses various musical tones in order to express the characters' speech.
Grim Natwick was an animator.
Tropes used by this short:
- Abnormal Ammo: The two kingdoms use music as ammo during their battle, which takes the form of music notes that function like cannonballs.
- Accidental Kiss: When the Prince and Princess are flirting by chasing each other around the castle gardens, the Prince accidentally kisses the Queen of the Land of Symphony while mistaking her for the Princess. The Queen definitely isn't amused.
- Animate Inanimate Object: The characters are all anthropomorphic musical instruments.
- Band Land: A non-video game example; the short takes place in a world populated by anthropomorphic instruments.
- Bizarrchitecture: The buildings are all shaped like musical instruments. The Land of Symphony has towers shaped like pipe organs, which double as cannons when they go to war. The jail where the Prince is imprisoned is in a giant metronome.
- Double In-Law Marriage: The short ends this way; the Prince and the Princess marry, and at the same time their respective parents marry each other.
- Fantasy World Map: The short opens with a map of Music Land, showing that the Land of Symphony is shaped like a treble clef and the Isle of Jazz is shaped like a saxophone, with the Sea of Discord separating them.
- Impact Silhouette: When the Princess' white flag is hit by a music note projectile, it leaves a note-shaped hole in it.
- Mama Bear: The Queen locks up the Prince due to thinking he is a bad influence on the Princess. A more noble example happens later when she notices the Princess is in danger of drowning in the sea, wherein the Queen immediately drops everything to go save her daughter.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The King is a caricature of Paul Whiteman, who was known as the "King of Jazz".
- Oh, Crap!: When they find out their children are getting caught in the crossfire of the battle, the Queen and King react in appropriate horror and cease their fighting.
- "Oh, Crap!" Smile: The Prince has one when he realizes that he just kissed the Queen instead of the Princess.
- Papa Wolf: The King. Once he finds out his son is imprisoned in The Land of Symphony he immediately orders to fire on the rival island. He also goes in to save his son himself when he sees him out drowning in the Sea of Discord.
- Playful Pursuit: The Prince chases the Princess around the castle grounds, though it's clearly meant to be flirtatious. The Prince tries to surprise the Princess by lying in wait so he can kiss her, but he accidentally kisses the Queen instead.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Both of the rulers turn out to be this. Once its clear their children truly love one another and that the King and Queen's war only made things worse, both rulers are quick to bless their children's marriage and bring peace to the two kingdoms.
- Regal Ruff: The Queen of the Land of Symphony wears one. Fitting, as she is a rather strict, uptight ruler.
- Ride of the Valkyries: Plays when the Land of Symphony fires its organ pipe cannons.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: The Prince and Princess get together despite their kingdoms being at odds with one another.
- True Blue Femininity: The Queen and Princess of the Land of Symphony both wear blue dresses, though the Queen doesn't play this as straight since she's a lot more stern and strict. It's worth noting that the short was made when blue was still considered a predominantly feminine color.
- The Unintelligible: The short doesn't contain any actual speech; instead, the characters speak to each other with musical tones, which differ depending on the instrument they're supposed to be. However, you can still get a general idea of what they're supposed to be saying.
- Weddings for Everyone: In the end, two weddings take place: one between the Prince and the Princess, and one between the Queen and the King. The two kingdoms promptly celebrate upon the newly built Bridge of Harmony.
- White Flag: The Princess uses one in an attempt to get the fighting between the two kingdoms to stop, but they ignore her and her boat is sunk by a stray music note.