Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Clyde Geronimi (Disney) "Blame it on the Samba" (1948)
It is a long time since I wrote about one of the classic Disney shorts so today it is back to 1948 and Blame it on the Samba, one of seven segments of the animated feature Melody Time. There are films I mean to view and never get round to. Clyde Geronimi’s six minute short falls into that category, a pleasant surprise for it has survived the passage of time better than most. It features an initially blue Donald Duck and José Carioca dancing to the samba beat and close harmony vocals of the Dinning Sisters, plus the very attractive Ethel Smith who appears playing her Hammond organ in a wine glass. Having raised the spirits of his companions the Aracuan bird does his considerable best to disrupt proceedings. The integrated animation/live action sequence is rather innovative for its day, following on from Three Caballeros made in 1943. There is an air of surrealism about the whole thing with musical notation featured as props and other features that have some resemblance to Fantasia made some 8 years earlier. There’s a particularly good transition sequence to introduce the organist as our bird shakes up a cocktail including his two companions, pours it into the glass before proceeding to dive into the mix to meet Ethel. There are other sequences where one is allowed a peep of Ethel’s shapely legs. In the words of the song: "One little musical cocktail will lift them to the sky." And throughout the piece you will enjoy the infectious rhythms of the music. All this and a cartoon character smoking a cigar.