Melody Time is the second to last of the package films. This one follows the same format of Make Mine Music, which is having a bunch of different segments, Fantasia-style, but set to mostly popular music.
The one thing I say about all these package films is — it’s not their fault that I’m ranking them where I’m ranking them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, and they’re mostly good films. It’s just — they’re just not as entertaining as most other Disney movies. That’s really their only fault.
I consider this one to be one of the weaker package films (of the six, this one is fifth for me. Also keep in mind that I don’t count Fantasia as a package film). The sections here just aren’t as interesting as those in the other ones. There really isn’t any section in this that’s memorable in any way. Yet, the fact that it has a bunch of sections makes it more interesting than Fun and Fancy Free to me, even if that one had the “Mickey and the Beanstalk” segment. Still, though, this is one of the more forgettable Disney films.
Another package film. I can’t really fault these films at all for being where I’ve ranked them. Disney just happened to get going as a studio right before a world war hit, so it was just a bad stroke of luck that they couldn’t get enough finances going to keep making films like they do now. They really couldn’t get going until Cinderella. So you really have to be lenient with them on anything between Bambi and that.
This is actually their fourth package film (of six. I don’t count Fantasia here, since that was meant as a unique piece of art. These are really just compilations of stuff. Anyway, of the package films — this is middle of the road. It’s not bad and it’s not good. The package films sort of take on one of three plots: The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos are structured around locations (more so Amigos. Caballeros has the framing of Donald getting gifts, but it’s still based on location), and then Make Mine Music and Melody Time have a bunch of musical segments that run one after another (like Fantasia, only more like a playlist). This film, along with The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, only has two parts to it. It’s just two stories thrown together. They’re not connected by anything, really. This is the weaker of the two, simply because no one remembers the first half of it and the second half, while memorable, isn’t as amazing as I thought it was in my mind all these years. But still — it’s not a bad film. (It’s just drawn that way. Zing! No, I’m kidding. It just doesn’t have much to it. That’s why it’s here.)
Meet the Robinsons is — I want to call it an honorable misfire, but it isn’t. The film is a mess, and, like almost all of Disney’s CG features, doesn’t seem to have a point. If you look at Disney’s films, post-1999, specifically the ones told via CG, you’ll see that very few of them seem to have a point. They don’t tell a story worth telling. I’d say, of the 13 animated Disney films released from 2000 to the present, I’d say four have a story worth telling. And then I can be convinced about two more, with another half thrown in. Maybe they’re batting .500, which would be fine if the other half didn’t contain such gigantic messes.
This film is just a misfire from top to bottom. And the reason this isn’t lower is because it does have some heart to it (brought in after-the-fact by John Lasseter, apparently. But even he wasn’t enough to save this movie). But what is this film? What are we getting out of it? Why does this story need to be told? Anyone? Does anyone remember anything about this movie except for one or two jokes (which were in the trailer, so you don’t even need to have seen the movie for that)?
Honestly, I probably should have ranked this lower than Brother Bear, but for some reason, I felt this was the right place for it. I’m probably wrong, since hand-drawn should be ranked above CG any day. I guess it’s those small moments of humanity that are built into this unholy mess that do it for me. Either way, #47 or #48, I think we can all agree that this belongs among the worst five movies Disney has ever made.
Brother Bear is probably the nadir of Disney in the 2000s. Maybe more so than Chicken Little, but it’s close. It depends on how you see it. I see Chicken Little as Disney attempting to adapt to technological change. They’re not necessarily in their element. But with this — this is Disney doing what they know. And it still turned out like this. So it’s hard to really qualify. But still, it’s definitely one of their worst.
The film — I don’t know — it’s just flat. There’s nothing of interest in it (except for one thing, which I’ll mention later), and it just feels like Disney going through the motions.