Melody Time (1948)
Fantasia with a storyline

A That's Not Canon Productions podcast.

[music]

Hi there and welcome back to Oof! Right in the Childhood, a podcast that’s one third history, one third social commentary, and one third attempts at humour. I'm Jen and each week, I tell you the history of one of the Disney animated feature films, and then I provide commentary on the movie from a modern perspective.

Today, I discuss a compilation of World War II shorts that can only be described as “Fantasia with a storyline,” 1948’s Melody Time.

During World War II, with the studio’s finances being limited by wartime rationing, the U.S. military occupation of half the studio, propaganda films, and domestic-only box offices, Walt Disney Productions didn’t have the money to begin and release future full length features, so they went back to their roots and began making shorts to be played before other films.

The thing is, Disney wanted to return to fairy tales like Snow White and Pinocchio. To do that, though, the studio needed some money to get their “next big thing” off the ground. So, they released a series of compilations of their shorts into theatres during and immediately following the War

Melody time is one such compilation. Some of them had been released during the war, and others were released to audiences for the first time in this film. Unfortunately, because they were shorts, there isn’t a lot of history on the making of this film in general. Nevertheless, I wandered around the internet to get some interesting tidbits.

It also means I’ll be doing this particular movie a little differently. Instead of doing a full history about the film and then going into the commentary of the film, instead I'm going to do a history of each short right before I commentate on that short. And instead of doing history exclusively on the making of each short, instead, I’ll also talk about the artists who created them. In this way, I’d like to give you a rounder view of these cartoons and the people who were essential in making them.

The Credits

The opening credits are set over musical scores and may be the only time that Walt Disney allowed anyone’s name to appear bigger than his. We have all the stars of the day. Roy Rogers and Trigger. The Andrews Sisters. And many, many more I’ve never heard of.

We get an easel and a sentient paintbrush that I thought was going to make a tombstone, and that was certainly a dark way to launch a cartoon. Though the masks that talk on their own aren't that much better.

The mask mentions that we’re going “over the rainbow” which may or may not be copyright infringement for the Wizard of Oz, but given that MGM didn’t sue them into oblivion, we’ll assume it was fine.

Oh good, more masks!

Once Upon a Wintertime

Mary Brown Robinson was born in 1911 in McAlester, Oklahoma. I probably wouldn’t mention that, but I grew up in Oklahoma, and it’s always fun to learn that someone came from there. Her parents moved around a bit, eventually ending up in northern California. After graduating from San Jose State University, she won a scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

The year after she graduated, she married a fellow artist, Lee Everett Blair who, by the way, was a gold medal winner in Olympic art. You heard that right. Between the years of 1912 and 1948, artists could earn an Olympic medal in architecture, literature, music, painting, or sculpture that was inspired by sporting events.

Mary began working in animation. She began at MGM, and then moved to Walt Disney productions in 1940. At first, she was a line animator, but after seeing her stylized watercolours and concept art, Walt brought her along for the tour of South America and appointed her the animation supervisor for Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros.

Mary had a unique geometrical style when it came to her concept art, and Once Upon a Wintertime showcases that unique style throughout. Mary stayed with the studio throughout the 60s with a short break to illustrate Little Golden Books, but during her time, she developed the concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan.

She also created a beautiful concept piece for the 1964 World Fair’s exhibition of It’s a Small World. Oh, hey, did you know that ride that makes all parents want to gouge out their ears was actually developed for the World’s Fair?

We begin the cartoon in heroic couplets. This shall be romantic. That’s why the paintbrush makes doilies on the window.

The couple are in a sled drawn by horses that have necks for days.

The name of the movie should have given it away, but I've cursed myself into listening to just over an hour of 1940s songs, haven't I?

Two rabbits join them, and the boy rabbit gawks at the girl. The human girl, to be clear. As they go skating, you can see the girl’s ruffled pantaloons.

The rabbits’ tails make hearts in a snowbank. Even the bluebirds make a heart doily out of snow for the young lovers.

Boy goes and tries to impress girl, but only succeeds in covering her with snow. Male rabbit also buries his girlfriend in a snow bank.

As she storms off, we discover this gal has 3 skirts, a crinoline, and a skirt cage. Was this normal skating attire?

Also, I just noticed this girl has no nose. Is she Voldemort?

The boy and the boy rabbit are mad at their girlfriends for being mad at them for burying them in snow. Hey, that’s just impolite.

Oh, no thin ice!

The boy rabbit tries to show the girls the sign, but ends up causing the ice to crack and chase him. Finally, everyone gets the hint.

Hey, were these morons skating on a river? They were.

The boy tries to grab the girl’s hand but only succeeds in rolling a perfect ball of yarn out of her mittens.

He grabs his sleigh and wrecks it. It seems the girl has passed the crap out. Possibly from hypothermia. Possibly for being a woman in the 1940s. But don’t worry, those bluebirds tie the horses’ reigns to the ice floe and the horses pull her out.

The animals save the day. The man gets all the credit and a kiss. The End.

Bumble Boogie

Freddy Martin was a jazz player born in 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio. I figure, if I'm going to tell you where Mary Blair was born, I should tell you where everyone else was. Most of his childhood was spent in an orphanage, but as a young child, he started playing various instruments, finally identifying with the tenor sax.

In high school, he began busking in an attempt to earn enough money to go to college for journalism. Instead, he became famous, recording and selling his first records in 1930.

In the early 30s, he formed the Freddy Martin Orchestra. It was the first of its kind — called a “Tenor Band.” Freddy’s Tenor band started out small, but by the 40s, it had grown to a veritable Big Band along with his pianist Jack Fina [fine-a]. Fina [feen-a]? I don't know how to pronounce Jack's last name. I'm so sorry, Jack.

Together, they wrote a boogie-woogie version of the Rimsky-Korsokov classic Flight of the Bumblebee, which, on a personal note, has always been a favourite “get up and get going” piece for me.

The narrator explains the concept of Jazz as the original Flight of the Bumblebee plays under his voice.

And now it's jazz Flight of the Bumblebee.

The bee is trying to escape from a “instrumental nightmare.” Yo’ narrator. Watch it. I love this piece. But it is a nightmare to play.

The flowers that our bee is trying to pollinate are made up of piano keys, brass bells, and I think that was an alto clef. Now the keys are falling down into a bucking caterpillar of some sort. No, sorry, that’s a piano snake.

When I see a snake made out of piano keys trying to eat a brightly coloured bee, I can't help but wonder how high the person who came up with this was. This was still when you could pick up heroin and cocaine at the druggist for some "pep", right?

Eventually, the snake piano forms a cage, and then turns into butterflies made out of eyes.

Then the bee is chased down the musical staff by piano hammers.

Whelp, that was over real fast.

Johnny Appleseed

This is one of the two longer shorts in this movie, and they're both about folk American heroes. This one is about a real folk American hero, though. This short tells the story of John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed, and includes the art styles of Mary Blair as well.

John Chapman was born in Massachusetts in 1774. His mother died two years later giving birth to his younger brother, Nathaniel. According to some sources, Nathaniel also died shortly thereafter, but I’ve also seen some that say he went West with Johnny in 1792. I’m going to guess records are going to be a little shoddy from that time.

The “folk hero” version of Johnny Appleseed is that he walked around and threw apple seeds on the ground everywhere. But, in reality, he created apple tree nurseries that grew the trees to a certain age, so they could be sold to farmers who wanted to start orchards. He’d plant some trees, build a fence around them, and have a local sell the trees while he travelled.

When he wasn’t creating nurseries of new trees or tending the established ones, Johnny proselytized Christianity to anyone he met, whether they were the indigenous peoples of North America or other white settlers.

The Johnny Apple trees weren’t or eating though. Their apples were intended to make cider. But they served another purpose.

Every time Johnny started one of his nurseries, he staked a claim on that land. According to Biography.com, John owned about 1,200 acres of really prime real estate when he died.

John Chapman died in Fort Wayne, Indiana 1845, though records differ whether it was in spring or summer of that year.

According to the credits, Dennis Day will be portraying everyone in this cartoon.

The narrator is telling us about American Folklore, of which, spoiler alert, we’re going to talk about even more by the end of the film.

I kind of forgot the "Holy Book" portion of the Johnny Appleseed myth before I started researching this. Ah, the 1940s when even secular cartoons weren't.

We look upon a sky full of pink clouds, but then, as the narrator explains, as we zoom in, I realize those are apple blossoms.

“The Lord is good to me, so I thank the Lord.” Just sayin', I’m not sure how this would play nowadays. But hey, it worked for when this was.

Those bees ate the apple. That’s...that’s not what bees eat.

He sees a whole bunch of covered wagons headed west, and everyone’s happy and singing. We’re going to assume this is at the beginning of their journeys. Y’know before anyone died of dysentery. Oh, wait, that’s a different story.

A disembodied voice starts talking then turns into an angel. Johnny's Angel "may look queersome to you and me". He has a moustache and a coonskin hat on his balding head. Definitely what I'd imagine of a Frontier Angel.

This angel starts listing off all the things that you can make with apples, and what’s the first thing? Friggin apple pickles. What are apple pickles and why I have never had them? I googled it and found a few recipes. Seems like you soak apples in apple cider vinegar, sugar, and apple pie spices. That’s … that’s something I’m going to have to make at some point and try it, isn’t it?

Hey he also will talk about apple tarts and apple cake and such. Here’s the thing. I mentioned it briefly, but all the apples Johnny planted were cider apples. That’s not apple cider you’re drinking around this time of winter when the air starts to bite. No, his apples were alcohol apples. Hard apple cider, if you will. And applejack — which is not a My Little Pony — but a very strong apple-flavoured alcohol. I went looking, and I found them between 30 and 50 proof. I would like to try this much more than pickled apples. Where can I get this?

Enough about alcohol, for now.

Then Johnny’s like I don’t have the things I need. And the Angel’s all, here, have a bag of seeds, a Bible, and a pot. In fact, "Wear a pot on your hair, I'll boil water and put it directly on your head."

Dude Angel sent this skinny kid off without a coat or shoes. Okay. I woulda starved in 3 weeks, which by the way, is the amount of time it takes someone to starve, check it.

He wanders around through treacherous water and forest he doesn’t know. Finds a clearing and a bear gets purty growly at him. But either Johnny doesn’t see him or just has a lot of gumption. The animals would like Johnny to leave, but none of them are brave enough to mention it.

"Here come along a black and white cat" 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰: skunk

Skunk ate an apple seed. Those suckers have cyanide in ‘em, but I'm sure this is fine.

Upon seeing skunk ready to skunk, Johnny is doin a pet. Him is like me. Him is like me. He even scritches its belly. And now all the animals are hanging out. There’s a mountain lion giving kisses.

Was Johnny Appleseed the American St. Francis de Assisi?

“Johnny was plantin’ more than the apple tree, he was planting his own boundless faith.”

This was a real nice until the line "more and more people came to push back the forest."

We zoom in on a settler harvest festival where people are harvesting apples, dancing, and providing a passing racist depiction of Indigenous people. That's about par.

Y’all knew that the white settlers and the Indigenous peoples of North America had no strife whatsoever, right? I mean, it’s not like the white people took all their land, their stuff, their food, and then blamed them for having stuff to take. Oh, wait, yeah. That's what actually happened.

Johnny stops in to watch the festival. They play some games, and Johnny’s chipmunk friend is enticed by baked apples. Same here, friend chipmunk. Same.

There’s a scene where the guy who has an apple on a fishing line tricks a girl into kissing a boy, and she’s mad because I think they have to get married now.

Again, apple pickles. Okay listeners, has anyone ever heard of apple pickles? Send me your family recipe. I will make them and let you know what I think. Head over to my social media right now.

Johnny heads off back into the woods spreading non-endemic in the area. If this had happened the way the tradition says, I wonder what spreading millions of apple trees around without putting them on farms would have done to the North American ecology?

Johnny walks for 40 years and spreads apple trees. He left his blessings 3, love and faith and the apple tree.

Johnny is sleeping under the tree with his friends. And his angel calls him, and Johnny’s ghost pops up out of his corpse. Aww, he died with his friends around him.

He throws a little fit about not wanting to die because he just wants to keep planting apple trees. Johnny, you literally planted 1,200 acres of apple trees several times over. That’s a lot of trees.

But the angel assures him that, just because he’s done on earth, his work is not done. They want him to plant apple trees in heaven. That's kind of adorable.

Oh, the opening image of the clouds being apple blossoms makes a little more sense. I thought it was a stylized painting, but they’re kind of turning the legend into a tall tale that makes the clouds into apple blossoms. I’m sure there were no clouds before 1845.

I want to take a moment to thank my very first supporter from Patreon. Mixie joined in at the $5 level so she could hear ad free versions of every episode one day early and listen to my discussion of the propaganda that Disney created during World War II. Supporters on Patreon help me cover hosting fees and upgrade my equipment while being able to choose to promote small businesses. If you'd like to become a patron, you can search the show name over at Patreon, or you can follow the link in the show notes or on my website.

Walt Disney's animated films from the 40s, well, almost any period, have some pretty racist depictions of the Indigenous peoples of North America, but you know who doesn't? The WYLD Native American Art Gallery. The only gallery featuring Native American Art in Austin, Texas has been forced to close due to social distancing required by COVID-19, but that means they've moved online.

The WYLD gallery features artwork in all sizes for all budgets. You can search by a piece's name, by artist, or you can even narrow your search by tribe. As I've mentioned a few times, I grew up in Oklahoma on the land of the Ponca Tribe, and using WYLD's tools, I was able to find a beautiful piece from a Poncan artist. In fact with their collection curated from dozens of artists, many with permanent exhibitions in art galleries around North America, I'm certain that you can find a piece you'll fall in love with, too.

Take a moment to pop over to wyld.gallery — that's w-y-l-d dot-gallery to explore and support indigenous artists.

Zane: Hello there! Do you take great pleasure out of using large, obscure words that nobody understands? Perhaps you enjoy peppering a strange adjective into a work email or finding a new verb to pursue as a hobby? Or perhaps, you are a seasoned logophile such as myself. An Assemblage of Grandiose and Bombastic Grandiloquents brings together all the world's most interesting, bizarre, and fascinating language to teach you a new word every day. We're available on all of your podcatchers and you can find out all about us at thatsnotcanon.com I cannot wait to explore the wonderful world of words with you.

[music]

Little Toot

Laverne, Maxene, and Patricia Marie Andrews were born in the early to mid 1910s, depending on the sister. During the summers, they would visit their uncles in Mound, Minnesota. Their uncles sold ice cream to tourists, and in 1925, when Patty, the youngest was only 7, the girls began singing together in a group.

By 1930, the girls had won the Orpheum talent show in Minneapolis. The Orpheum circuit had closed two years previously, but the Radio Keith Orpheum company — or RKO as it would be known — had taken over the theatres and turned them mostly into movie theatres into which RKO would distribute its movies.

The group’s popularity increased in the late 30s, but the Andrews Sisters would be catapulted to fame during World War II when they released their song Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy in 1941. That song would be number 1 on the pop charts when it released, but it’s also ranked number 6 on the list of the songs of the 20th century released by the Recording Industry and Scholastic to “promote a better understanding of America's musical and cultural heritage.” To give you a better idea of how important that song is, number five is American Pie by Don McLean and number seven is the entire score to West Side Story.

The trio toured with the USO, and with their popularity at its height, Walt Disney wanted to feature them in a short. So, they paired them with a children’s book by Hardie Gramatky about a little tugboat.

The narrator says “featured in this epic”... and for a moment, I’d like us to think on that. This is going to be a poem with weight and length worthy of Homer or Dante. Well, Hardy Gramatky has a lot to live up to! Also, I have no idea if I'm pronouncing Hardy Gramatky correctly, and you can let me know how I did it wrong.

We open to a very cute little tugboat who is pulling an ocean liner. Oh, no, wait, he’s actually pulling paper boats. And he sprays another boat with his water. He’s also interfering with harbour traffic. Someone should do something.

The other boat is called Big Toot. Because names are creative here.

"Won't you ever grow up Little Toot?" No, he's an anthropomorphized boat. Boats don't grow.

He hides from a cop boat, but not for really any real reason. Probably because it’s a cop boat.

These first few episodes are actually the product of watching the movies once for a funny synopsis for my friends and family and then watching them again to really focus and watch the movie. The first time I watched this, I had to back it up to figure out why Toot was under arrest.

So, because cop boat scared him, Lil Toot decides to be as good as he can be. And he goes to try to help Big Toot, who, now we understand from the song, is actually his dad. But he “helps” by pushing on the rudder and making the ocean liner spin out of control and literally destroying a city.

In short, Lil Toot was arrested for not being trained to do his job right. Cool. I love this reality.

So, the dad and the kid get punished. Dad becomes a garbage barge which is disgraceful, according to the song. But the punishment for a child is that they just set him loose on the ocean. Can we have a talk about what was wrong with the 1940s? Oof! Right in the childhood!

Now he’s out on the ocean all of alone and there is nightmare fuel made up of evil buoys telling him he’s bad and yelling shame like they’re freaking Septa Unella walking in front of Cersei at the Red Keep.

So, there’s a huge storm, but Lil Toot sees the flare of a ship in distress, and he knows he has to save them. Even though he’s never actually been trained. He sends out a SOS. Here’s the thing. If Lil Toot hadn’t been banished from boat world, would these people on the ocean liner have died? Did they not have their own morse code transmitter thingy?

With the perfect shot, the boat lassos Lil Toot. As he pulls, the Andrews Sisters sing, “Do or die, do or die, do or die.”

It’s not Lil Toot that will die if he doesn’t try. It’s, hypothetically the ocean liner? I’m really not clear. The boat seems to float just fine.

But as all cartoons work, he did one brave act and all is forgiven. The End

Trees

Alfred Joyce Kilmer was an American poet who lived during the late 19th and early 20th century. He After graduating from Columbia, Alfred worked for Funk & Wagnalls defining common words, and in his spare time, he wrote poetry. His most well-known piece, Trees was written in iambic tetrameter and described the beauty of the natural world.

Joyce Kilmer was killed by a sniper’s bullet during the second battle of Marne of World War one.

The animators for Disney created beautiful sketches of trees throughout the seasons, and head artist Ken O’ Connor loved the concept art so much that he developed a completely new method of creating frosted animation cels to transfer that directly into film. To preserve the pastel sketches, he used lacquer to seal them directly onto the cels and then had them photographed with the animation camera. This created a completely new form of animation seen for the first time in this short. And as an aside, Ken O'Connor is also the person who developed a brand new form of animation for Disney's Pink Elephants on Parade. So we could call Ken the "inventor" of Walt Disney Productions, he actually made the studio move forward in ways that other artists didn't.

The problem with watching these 1940s cartoons for the first time in the 21st century is that, to me, there’s nothing really special about this cartoon. I now know they created a completely new method of animation for this, because research, but because it was eventually done again, don’t ask me when, I just lose some of the fascination.

Nonetheless, we are taken through a forest of trees, and their inhabitants. It begins to rain, and we have a mouse hiding from the rain under a tree mushroom. Hey, what are those mushrooms that stick out from trees?

Now there’s wind blowing leaves all around.

Now that the storm is over, we have a vibrant orange and red sky, and then we go into fall and winter.

Look, the poem’s lyrics are a little meh. I read several places that this particular poem is not seen as the greatest work ever. But boy is the animation pretty. And at least it’s short.

The last line and scene, though, are “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.” And as this is sung, a tree they’re focussing on, becomes backlit on a hill, and it’s a cross with a halo of clouds.

Back to that “When secular cartoons weren’t” line from Johnny Appleseed.

By the way, mushrooms that grow on trees are called “Bark Mushrooms” because we are as creative with our names as the writer of Lil Toot.

Blame it on the Samba

There's not a lot of history on this. This particular piece is a translation of a Brazillian polka written in 1914 about the cavaquinho which is a small Portuguese instrument in the guitar family. When I first plugged it into Google Translate, it told me it stood for ukelele which is kind of funny in and of itself.

The Three Caballeros are back. Except that it’s Donald, Jose Caricoa, and the Arucuan. What happened to Panchito Pistoles, the third Caballero?

Any chance this is not for another acid trip situation?

Given the colours, I'm going to guess that's a no.

The song is about how, if you’re depressed, you should Samba to feel better.

The Arucuan cuts instruments up into a cocktail shaker then puts Jose and Donald in it too.

They got shaken into a margarita. Can I get shaken into a margarita?

Inside the margarita is an organ and a real person!

They proceed to a forest full of drums. There’s a woman playing the drums here and several extra large instruments. A bubble pops and creates disembodied lips that sing. Donald and Jose ride a music staff for a while, and then the Arucuan blows up the organ, which can somehow still keep playing.

Well, that was...weird, but honestly, there was a lot less objectification of women than the Three Caballeros.

Pecos Bill

Before I get started on this, I'm going to preface it with I have a Southern accent hidden underneath all of this, and it might come out a little bit when I talk about Texas.

Pecos Bill is an example of “fakelore,” a term I didn’t know existed until just before writing this. In fact it’s fallen out of favour in academic circles because it’s a term of derision. See, folklorist Richard Dorson coined the term as he was frustrated with written works that presented themselves as folklore with no oral tradition to back them up.

And though Pecos Bill does fit that description, the reason that academic circles have refused to pick up the word is that, regardless of where a legend comes from, it eventually becomes part of the oral tradition of society, and therefore the “fakelore” becomes folklore.

Anyway, the first examples of Pecos Bill were published in 1917 in “The Century Magazine”. They were collected into a book in 1923, and until this very minute, I had no idea that they weren’t truly tall tales from the American South. In the world where I grew up, these were as based in inflated truth as Johnny Appleseed or John Henry or Paul Bunyan, which Richard Dorson also coined fakelore but has since been disproved.

And considering that the legend of Pecos Bill was only 31 years old at the time that this movie was released, the fact that it’s wormed its way so solidly into the American consciousness in that time is actually pretty impressive.

One interesting thing about this particular short’s history is that, during the 1950’s the National Television System Committee or NTSC forced Disney to remove all visuals of cigarettes from the cartoon and they weren’t restored until it was released onto Disney Plus last year.

The opening is over a covered wagon camp. Pecos Bill was the roughest, toughest, rootinest, tootinest — he was cool.

There’s a nice soft song as we go through the desert, and we end up with Roy Rogers, Trigger, and random kids. He's gonna tell us the story of Pecos Bill.

How dare these actor children not know about Pecos Bill? He’s been part of the public consciousness for pert near 30 years now.

I do love how well trained Trigger was. When I watched this with my daughter, she actually asked me if that was an animatronic horse. He's made me laugh.

All right, the boy here starts off with, “Will there be cowboys and injuns,” and that was eugh, but now he’s all, “shucks a woman in the story.” Your sister’s sittin’ right there, dude. And I bet your mama wouldn’t be thrilled to hear that a woman isn’t worth your time.

The song describes Bill’s girlfriend as “a true thoroughbred from her head to her toes,” and there’s some connotations there that I’m just going to ignore.

Her name is Slue Foot Sue. What the heck is a Slue? I have to pause for a Google.

Slue: turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction.

Okie dokie. Here we go.

An exact depiction of how Texans perceive Texas. There are some other states scattered around like Milwaukee and Long Island Sound.

I paused on the map and it’s absolutely hilarious. Check my website and social media if you’d like to take a good look at it.

It talks about the Pecos river which was "Pure alkali". That’s bad, y'all.

Ma and Pa and 16 brats. They need some elbow room. And they didn't notice they lost a kiddo in the alkali river. “Homeless as a poker chip.”

Surprise Ma Coyote! It's a human! "prolly one o' them new fangled models."

The Coyote mama raises him cuz he’s cute. He learns from all the other animals how to do their animal things.

There’s a starving horse in the desert, but Bill rescues it from approximately all the vultures and they become best buds. And as he grows up, he...got ahold of proper clothing for the era. We'll just assume he found humans at some point. Or mama coyote doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

And he yodels!

"and though the gag is kinda corny, he brought rain from Californy and that's how we got the gulf of Mexico."

Okay, if there's one part of this movie you watch, you have to watch the Pecos Bill segment. I'm laughing so hard. If I listed everything that made me laugh, I'd be going through every single scene, and I'm already doing a lot.

They do keep saying Pecos is the toughest critter West of the Alamo. Who was toughest East of the Alamo. Was that person tougher than Pecos?

And now for a racist depiction of Native Americans. Why you ruin everything Disney and 1940s?

Pecos has the best Disney song in almost a decade, and I’m not even sure that it counts as a Disney song.

He’s fightin’ buffalo and sees this gal is riding a catfish like a bronco.

"First female woman, Bill had ever seen," but he was in a town earlier, and those usually came with "female womens." Like it's a whole thing. Someday, when you’re bored, look into how women built the Old West.

Sue looks terrified.

And he's acting absolutely off his rocker. I'd be concerned if I was Widow Maker too. Also, if he's never seen a female woman, why is the horse named "Widow Maker" as Widows also tend to be female womens?

They go on a date. Dude's never met a woman, but he can spell English in the stars. Cool.

They decide to get married. Sue wants a bustle and to ride Widow Maker. They gave her a spring steel bustle. Those existed, but if she only wanted it for one day, there were better choices.

After seeing this town, I take back what I said about towns coming with "female womens." This one apparently did not.

I like how they avoided showing a woman in a bustled skirt mounting a horse. Well done.

Widow Maker throws a dang fit, but Sue has the best bustle ever. She even powders her nose.

See, here’s that thing about having better choices for a bustle. Given cartoon air quotes physics, she’d’ve bounced a couple of times and then landed if it had been wooden.

I mean, I'm all about being calm, but it would've been nice for Bill to show a little concern.

What he tried to rope her once, missed, and then never again? Um...okay...

Widow Maker's a jerk. In fact, he's worse than a jerk, but I don't like these episodes to be labeled as Explicit, so we're just gonna go with "jerk." He should be ashamed.

Sue bounces right up to the moon. And Bill returns to the coyotes and leads then in howling at the moon.

Note: He leaves all his clothes and Widow Maker’s saddle in the desert so he’s riding bareback naked. That’s a punishment in and of itself.

Well, that's just sad as heck. I still like this one more than the rest of them.

I feel like, if I combined the best parts of the last three "movies", you'd end up with one really fun one, but with racist depictions, you can't win in the 40s.

But what do you think? I’d love to hear your feelings on Melody Time. Which of the shorts do you like the most? What’s your favourite star? Let me know on my social media. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter under oofmychildhood.

This episode’s cover art was created by Andres Bardon. You can check out more of his creations on Instagram. I’ve linked to that in the show notes.

If you’d like to provide fan art for a future episode, you can drop me a message on my social media or fill out the form on my website.

My theme music was composed and played by Shawn Rudolph of Let Music Be. For more information on that studio, you can visit their website at letmusic.be or check the show notes for an easy link

You can find transcripts for each episode on my website, and if you check out my YouTube Channel, I have captioned video versions of each episode as they’re published. I do my best to provide YouTube videos and transcripts at the same time as each podcast episode is released, but if this one isn’t up yet, you can always check on my website for an update and a link to the appropriate video.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you come back each week to discuss Disney through modern eyes. And while you’re at it, if you’re enjoying yourself, please let your friends know about me. I’d also appreciate a rating and review wherever you’re listening to the show. This podcast is written and recorded me. This episode was edited by Anastasia Saff. I release a new episode every Monday through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and many, many other podcatchers.


So, until next time, keep the magic alive.

[music]



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