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I would rate this in the top 10 short cartoons i've ever seen,totally marvellous stuff. Even if you hate disney films you should see this one. It's got the perfect combination of great animation and music which is the hallmark of the great silly symphonies. The backgrounds are wonderfully rich. It's chock full of action/adventure. Highlight: the moment when the isle of jazz attacks land of symphony, the saxes and trumpets etc blasting out musical notes like missiles, it's something to behold. Available to buy on dvd.(walt disney treasures:silly symphonies). 10/10!!
The cartoon is undeniably appealing and well-made. If this is actually
about the cultural conflict between classical and jazz, though, it's a
little vague about what the reconciliation is supposed to be - what kind of
'crossover' music is getting played on the bridge of harmony? Is George
Gershwin the hero here? The soundtrack at the end makes it sound as if the
real solution was just for the snooty queen of classical music to, uh,
loosen up a little and join the party. Just putting a string section
underneath the jazz doesn't make it classical.
Anyway, what's most impressive about this cartoon is the high quality of the instrumental voice imitation, which out-wah-WAHs Charlie Brown's teacher any day. "I now pronounce you man and wife" is amazing!
Another favorite bit - the goofy little scales in the score, while the two instruments are chasing each other around the tree...the composer was clearly having fun.
Is anyone else uneasy when the king twangs the ukelele's strings?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The imagination that seemed to have been put into this silly symphony is just remarkable! "Music Land", through its groundbreaking animation, seems more like a late '30s/early '40s short, not one from the mid '30s. As a very little child I practically felt magic from it and I still do now at just over 17 years old and 11 months. The characters here are instruments and they play music for voices and if that's not enough for you, a classical island and a jazzy island furiously clash when a violin princess and a young saxophone prince fall in love and a storm breaks out with the use of excellent technology! It's hard to believe that this gripping, fun-filled animated short is a silly symphony - it's just too innovative! And as for the ending, I'll leave that for you to find out. It certainly has a climatic end!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Watching this short, I as struck by several points: first, that the "voices"
of the various characters were the notes played by the instrument in
question. Second, they actually "converse" in musical phrases with each
other (surely by design, rather than by accident) throughout the cartoon.
Third, Jazz and Classical music are more closely interrelated than many in
either camp would feel comfortable acknowledging (at least publicly).
There's a novelty to the use of music here through visual and audio cues,
particularly in the latter third of the cartoon. One of the Silly
Symphonies' shining moments, this belongs squarely at the top, along with
Skeleton Dance and Flowers and Trees as among Disney's finest
(Small spoiler) The "battle" sequence is absolutely marvelous and bears close scrutiny!
Well worth watching. Most highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Disney sure visited some rather weird and unique territory with this very memorable and fun animation, one of the most distinctive and visually interesting offerings in the Silly Symphonies series. It's a cartoon with an odd, but very cool idea to it, and some very nice eye-catching artwork indeed! It's a fun, lively little short to watch, with all the architecture and even the animals being musical-themed, and all the characters being musical instruments come to life! The noises that the instrument sprites made were so unreal! I love how they had them speaking that way, instead of just having them speak normal. It helped to make them much more interesting and different. The whole music motif was such a brilliant design and idea. Yet all is not as harmonious as one might expect from two bright and cheery kingdoms of two very different kinds of music, divided by the churning sea of discord-a wonderful visual play on words there! I love the especially rich animation in the scene where the saxophone prince is imprisoned. The way the rays of sunlight shine through the window and his shadow on the floor perfectly matches his movements is beautifully done. It was a very nice poetic touch, having the prison tower be a giant metronome. This is like Romeo and Juliet, but much more cuddly and with a happy ending! Wow, music as a weapon. Now that is a pretty awesome concept for 1935. It's Jazz vs Symphony, giving poignant new meaning to the phrase: battle of the bands! The battle was very similar I thought to another war between two opposing forces that was much more brutal in the 1934 Disney short "The Hot Choc-Late Soldiers." In this strange hazy land of musical strife, music notes can bust holes in walls, demolish jail houses, and sink symphonies! There's a great driving sense of pace and momentum as the two armies go at each other, their completely different musical sequences creating some uniquely cacophonous pieces of thunderous noise over the impressive battle animation. Things get really stirring and amazing when the Symphony side strikes back to the tune of the ever-fantastic "Ride of the Valkeries!!!" But of course it all works out for the best in the end, thanks in no small part to the universal language of...*love!* What there was is perfectly fine, but it's a bit of a shame they couldn't have included a bigger variety of instrument characters, and a few more sight gags would have been nice. I thought the king and queen looked a bit like Laural and Hardy! The queen sure seemed a Little high-strung. I doubt she ever found the time to unwind! Ha-ha. At least they didn't have to worry about hiring a band for the double-wedding! ::: There is something so artfully magical about certain examples of these classic animations. It's amazing what came out of the 30s in terms of the animation and the eventual first feature length Disney movies. Cartoons and music are always such a winning combination!
The story of Music Land is that of when Princess Violin and Prince Sax fall in love with each other, but they belong to two feuding kingdoms the land of symphony and the Isle of Jazz. Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, but with a happy ending, it is a sweet musical treat for those who are fans of classical and jazz music. The animation is excellent if a little dated (my only criticism here), and I also loved the soundtrack, with Beethoven's Minuet at the beginning, and the very clever fusion of classical and jazz music. The characters are very appealing, like in all of the Silly Symphonies, and I will say I love all of the Silly Symphonies. Overall, an original and beautiful short, though not as good as a short like Flowers and Trees. 9/10 Bethany Cox.
A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.
All is not peaceful in MUSIC LAND. The Land of Symphony and the Isle of Jazz are separated by the Sea of Discord, with very little chance of their disharmonious disagreements ever being soothed. So, when Prince Sax & Princess Violin fall in love, they precipitate a culture clash of Wagnerian proportions...
This is one of the greatest cartoons of all time. For nine minutes it dazzles the viewer (and listener) with seemingly countless musical motifs. The Romeo & Juliet story is quite simple, but the Disney animators embellish it with a lush treatment which abounds in hidden gags & symbolism. (For example, notice the tune the Prince pens in his rescue note.) If there was ever a cartoon that demanded repeated viewing, this is it.
The SILLY SYMPHONIES, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most interesting of series in the field of animation. Unlike the Mickey Mouse cartoons in which action was paramount, with the Symphonies the action was made to fit the music. There was little plot in the early Symphonies, which featured lively inanimate objects and anthropomorphic plants & animals, all moving frantically to the soundtrack. Gradually, however, the Symphonies became the school where Walt's animators learned to work with color and began to experiment with plot, characterization & photographic special effects. The pages of Fable & Fairy Tale, Myth & Mother Goose were all mined to provide story lines and even Hollywood's musicals & celebrities were effectively spoofed. It was from this rich soil that Disney's feature-length animation was to spring. In 1939, with SNOW WHITE successfully behind him and PINOCCHIO & FANTASIA on the near horizon, Walt phased out the SILLY SYMPHONIES; they had run their course & served their purpose.
Swing vs. classical was a theme often used in movies of the '40s, when
swing was really at the height of popularity with music lovers, but
here it's the dominant theme of a Disney cartoon made in 1935, one of
his Silly Symphonies, which some consider to be one of his best.
Princess Violin and Prince Sax are the principals here, so you can see there's not much subtlety going on--but who wants subtlety in a cartoon anyway? The music takes center stage as the two Kingdoms fight over musical dominance and it's the clever use of musical instruments that puts this one over the top. Even their voices are done with musical notes from violin or sax.
When Prince Sax rescues Princess Violin during the heat of battle between the two Kingdoms, all is forgiven and a truce breaks out just in time for the happy ending which has them taking marriage vows. The well stage battle scene is a highlight of innovation.
Lively and well animated, but not one of my favorites of the Silly Symphonies despite the good animation.
Now here is a premise that is tailor-made for Silly Symphonies, so much
so that it really could have been part of Fantasia.
The Princess of the Isle of Symphony is tempted by the Isle of Jazz and wants to make her own "concert" with a happy saxophone. Her father does not approve (as do I, as saxophones do not belong in a classical orchestra) and locks him up in a metronome jail cell. The two island wage melodic war on each other but eventually "cease fire" when they witness the love of the princess and and the saxophone.
The animation, by future Jungle Book director Wolfgang Reitherman, is bright and cheerful but stops short of showing the "beautiful music" the happy couple make on their wedding night.
Unlike some of Disney's Silly Symphony shorts, this one doesn't hold up
so well today. Part of it is because the style of animation looks very
dated. Part of it is because the story itself is very 1930s--when
people actually LIKED insipid musical cartoons! Regardless, today it
certainly does not rank as one of the better Disney shorts of the era.
This short features lots of musical instruments in anthropomorphic form. It's the story of a lady violin and a young man saxophone and the difficulty that results when they fall in love and their families disapprove of such a mixed marriage! It's all set to big-band music and is animated using very splashy 1930s Technicolor. Not a great film but worth seeing--particularly if you are a nut about all things Disney.
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