|Index||5 reviews in total|
A Walt Disney Cartoon.
Young JOHNNY APPLESEED is inspired to travel West with the American pioneers and plant apple trees along the way.
Originally a segment of MELODY TIME (1948) this colorful and well-animated little film tells the story of a true, beloved American hero, John Chapman (1774-1845), who traveled the wilderness alone for forty years, planting thousands of apple trees. Popular personality & singer Dennis Day is the perfect choice to perform all the roles. The lively tunes are a major component in the cartoon's success.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
I first saw this lovely cartoon featured in the film "Melody Time", and
I have concluded it is one of my favourite cartoons from the film. It
is a very relaxing watch, and certainly memorable. The animation is
colourful and fluid, that alone adds to the charm of the cartoon.
Johnny himself is a likable protagonist, and his angel is an amusing
character as well. I do have to mention the songs, they were beautiful
and lively, and Dennis Day who voiced all the characters in "Johnny
Appleseed" had a perfect melodious voice. The story is simple, but I
loved its simplicity, that's what made it so charming. Overall, this is
very beautiful and worth watching at least once.
10/10 Bethany Cox
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).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Johnny Appleseed" is an 18-minute animated short film from shortly after World War II, so this one will have its 70th anniversary soon. And I would say it shows that Wilfred Jackson directed it, one of Disney's finest filmmakers, no matter if we are talking long or short films. I liked the message about nature, especially the one about humans and animals co-existing in harmony and the positive result both are getting from it. Apart from that, johnny Appleseed is a really likable character and shows how determination (instead of muscle) can turn one into a hero as well. The animation is of course really good, but that is somehow guaranteed with Disney, also at that era already. All in all, I think Appleseed would also deserve his own feature film. The story is certainly good enough for that. Until one day he will maybe get it, I recommend this short film here. Definitely a convincing watch.
This cartoon was originally part of Melody Time. I really like this one. It's the life story of real historical figure John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed), told Disney style. Nice colorful animation. Dennis Day is marvelous, doing all the voices as well as the singing. He has the ideal voice for this kind of cartoon. Love the cute animals. It's a little longer than your average cartoon short from the time but it never drags. It's pleasant and fun from start to finish. Wholesome Americana for those who aren't so cynical they can still enjoy such things. Definitely seek it out but, if possible, watch Melody Time because you'll get this plus other quality musical cartoons.
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|