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Melody (1953)

 -  Animation | Short | Family  -  28 May 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 169 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

An owl teaches his class full of birds about melody. It's all around in nature. Only birds and man can sing; man "sings" even when he speaks. We see a quick survey of the stages of life, as... See full summary »


, (as C. August Nichols)


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Melody (1953) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Uncredited cast:
Loulie Jean Norman ...
Penelope Pinfeather (voice) (uncredited)
Harry Stanton ...
Bass Singer in Canoe and Ship (voice) (uncredited)
Bill Thompson ...
Professor Owl / Bernie Birdbrain (voice) (uncredited)
Gloria Wood ...
Susy Sparrow (voice) (uncredited)


An owl teaches his class full of birds about melody. It's all around in nature. Only birds and man can sing; man "sings" even when he speaks. We see a quick survey of the stages of life, as captured by songs: the alphabet song for primary school, Here Comes the Bride, The Old Gray Mare, etc. Some inspirations for song are outlined in song: love, sailing, trains, the West, motherhood, etc., but "we never sing about brains." Finally, an example of how a simple melody can be expanded into a symphony: an elaborate version of the simple tune that opened the lesson. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bird | train | school | owl | bride | See more »


The screen's first animated cartoon in 3-DIMENSION See more »






Release Date:

28 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventures in Music: Melody  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Footage from this short and it sequel "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" was given a new vocal track and used to present the songs in the "Sing-Along Songs" video series. See more »


Professor Owl: Today's lesson will be about something we really can't do without.
Bernie Birdbrain: About food?
Professor Owl: No, uh... Ab-about something everybody loves. Uh, eh...
Bernie Birdbrain: Uh, money?
Professor Owl: Mmm. No.
Professor Owl: The subject, uh...
[sees a baby bird chirping in a nest outside the window]
Professor Owl: Ah, yes! The subject for today is melody!
See more »


Edited into 3D Jamboree (1956) See more »


The Bird and the Cricket and the Willow Tree
Music by Paul Francis Webster
Lyrics by Sonny Burke
See more »

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User Reviews

Learning from the Birds
27 March 2004 | by (Pocatello, Idaho, USA) – See all my reviews

It's been quite a while since I've seen a cartoon with that school of singing birds. I remember seeing them when I was a kid in this short and in "Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom." It's a very fun and interesting concept as the birds teach the viewer about different aspects of music. Too bad this series didn't extend past TWP&B. The drawing style is very fun and carefree also. This is just a fun cartoon. I especially enjoyed the song that details the life of a human being.

However, it's not perfect, in my opinion. Near the end of the short, things get a little manic, and the short jumps to different songs and stories without notice. What starts out as a look at singing, melody, and the life of humans through a bird's perspective, turns into a bunch of stories and songs that just zoom on by the viewer. You can definitely notice "Melody's" 3-D roots as birds and objects fly toward the screen at a rapid pace. Too bad I didn't have the glasses, or they would have flown right at me!

Overall, "Melody" is still a solid and fun cartoon that will delight kids today and strike a chord of nostalgia with grown-ups. It has its drawbacks, but it's still a very enjoyable short!

My IMDb Rating: 8/10

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