Melody (1953 film)

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Adventures in Music series
Directed by Ward Kimball
Charles A. Nichols
Produced by Walt Disney
Story by Dick Huemer
Voices by Bill Thompson
Loulie Jean Norman
Harry Stanton
Gloria Wood
Music by Joseph Dubin (music)
Sonny Burke
Paul Webster (songs)
Animation by Ward Kimball
Julius Svendsen
Marc Davis
Harvey Toombs
Hal Ambro
Marvin Woodward
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) May 28, 1953
Color process Technicolor
Running time 10 mins (one reel)
Language English
Followed by Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom

Melody is a 1953 Walt Disney short cartoon film, originally released on May 28, 1953. It was the first cartoon filmed in 3D.[1] It was shown at Disneyland in the Fantasyland Theater as part of the 3D Jamboree. This film was the first in a proposed series of shorts teaching the principles of music, called Adventures in Music. Only one other film in the series was made, Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom.[2] The characters would go on to feature in Disney's Sing Along Songs.

Walt Disney was always a fan of music, and it shows in all of his movies and short films. He said: "There's a terrific power to music. You can run any of these pictures and they'd be dragging and boring, but the minute you put music behind them, they have life and validity they don't get any other way."[3]


The short film shows Professor Owl instructing his classroom full of birds on how to find melody around them.

Then there is a scene that shows the "Steps of life", demonstrating how melody is evident throughout the life of an average guy. As we go through time, the overall colors shown for each step changes subtlety, as warm ochre, yellows and reds, suggesting growth and vitality, are for his childhood and school years, up until his marriage. When he gets older, the color scheme subtlety changes from reds to purples to blues, depicting maturity and loss of vitality. There is 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 (such as love), but a pinfeather of the choir named "Penelope" states that they never, ever sing about brains.

Finally, an example is shown of how a simple melody can be expanded into a symphony: an elaborate version of the simple tune which opened the lesson.


Home video releases[edit]

This cartoon was released on DVD twice: once on Fantasia 2000 and then on Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920s–1960s.

It was also released on television twice: once on Mickey's Mouse Tracks Episode 27 and on Donald's Quack Attack Episode 4.[4]


Melody was released in the year 1953, some songs of the official soundtrack are "The Bird and the Cricket and the Willow Tree" by Sonny Burke. It was sung by the Disney Studio Chorus over a sequence showing animated birds chirping, crickets rubbing their legs together, and wind blowing through a willow tree. The song has a pleasant tune and lyrics that are simply a list of these musical nature sounds.[5][6]


  1. ^ Ward-O-Matic - Melody
  2. ^ Ward-O-Matic - Melody
  3. ^ Hischack, Thomas. The Disney Song Encyclopedia, Preface
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hischack, Thomas. The Disney Song Encyclopedia, page 20

External links[edit]