Little Ferdinand would much rather smell the flowers than butt heads with the other cows. When the men come to choose the bull for the fight, Ferdinand accidentally sits on a bumblebee. The... See full summary »
Dennis Day tells the story of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), narrated by The Old Settler. He's an apple farmer who sees people going west and thinks he can't join them, until an angel appears to him and sings the virtues of apples, convincing Johnny he has a mission. He sets off without a knife or gun; at first, the animals mistrust him, but when he even treats a skunk kindly, they all take to him. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the third short that was used to make up the full-length film from Disney, "Melody Time". Following WWII, Disney Studio was a mess--a terrible strike and the war (where many of the workers were drafted and many more were assigned to wartime animation work) decimated the studio and many of the old animators were gone. As a result, Disney did not get back to making traditional animated feature films for several years. In the meantime, their 'full-length' films were really odd compilations of shorts--and of a rather lackluster quality compared to earlier and later work. Films like "Saludos Amigos", "Make Mine Music" and this film were the norm for this brief post-war period.
"Johnny Appleseed" is a short that is sung and voiced by Dennis Day of "The Jack Benny Program" fame. He was the guy who sang and played the dim-witted guy on this long-running radio and TV series. As far as the animation quality goes, it's of the super-simply animated post-war style that was becoming more common due to its low cost to produce. For example, the backgrounds are VERY simple and splashy and little details (such as Johnny's toe and fingernails) are missing. The word for all this is 'economy' and fortunately, by the late 40s and into the 50s, Disney's animation improved considerably.
As for the story, it's a rather cute retelling of the story of this strange pioneer. The animals helped make the story more interesting, though this is not one the kids will beg to see again, believe me. Oddly, the basic story is based on a real individual (John Chapman--a missionary, animal lover and man of somewhat questionable sanity).
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