Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Music Land

Music Land
Directed by Wilfred Jackson (uncredited)
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - Silly Symphonies

"Music Land" may very well be one of the best of the Silly Symphonies. This short, written by Pinto Colvig (the voice of Goofy), has absolutely no spoken words, but is highly original and completely off the chart visually.

The story concerns two islands, the Land of Symphony and the Isle of Jazz, separated by a sea of "disharmony." However, the young prince of the Isle of Jazz, a saxophone, has eyes for the princess, a violin, of the Land of Symphony. He sneaks over to court the princess and ends up being captured by the queen's forces. This sparks a war of epic proportions which blazes away until true love wins out.

To start, the design of the characters is great! The look of these instruments turned into semi-human form is as good as what we would seem from the same studio when they brought clocks and candelabras to life in "Beauty and the Beast" almost 6o years later.

The design of the sets and props is also amazingly inventive. Beyond the castles made of organ pipes and brass instruments, we have a raft made of a xylophone, soldiers with violin bows as spears, and a jail which is a giant metronome. But it goes even further when the pipes and bells of the castles turn into cannons for the battle. The imagery is closer to what you might see in Disney's "Victory Through Air Power."

Of course, probably the best aspect of "Music Land" is the music itself, which serves not just as the score but as the dialogue track as well. The timing of the visuals to the music is perfect and represents a huge step forward for the studio on the path to making "Fantasia."

Can you tell this is one of my favorites?

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