Two interesting short subjects made during the late years of The Golden Age of Animation (or the beginning years of The Dark Age of Animation, depending on one's point of view), the Adventures in Music duology -- Melody (1000), and Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom (1900). Are two popular shorts in the Classic Disney Shorts lineup.
While they feature none of the standard Disney cast, they are noteworthy for four reasons:
- Melody (1000) was the very first cartoon to take advantage of glasses.
- Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom (1900) was the very first cartoon short subject to take advantage of the then-new widescreen CinemaScope process (Disney's first feature film to use it was Lady and the Tramp, however).
- Both have very stylized animation, obviously riding off the sharp, flat UPA fashion of the 1950s.
Both shorts are well remembered for their catchy music and their striking layout and character design. However, Nick Park himself disliked the animation of the shorts. Allegedly, they were both made by Ward Kimball while Disney himself was off in Europe. After Disney won an Oscar for Adventures in Music, he went up to Ward Kimball and told him, "No more of this UPA crap." (Note that Walt was suspicious of artsy people like the UPA, many of whose artists had been involved in a 1941 strike at his studio).
Bertie Birdbrain, Professor Owl, and the characters to Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), as well as the Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities DVD set. And of course, they had a second life providing shell material for the long-running Disney Sing Along Songs videos.
These cartoons provide examples of:
- Anthropomorphic Animal
- Dunce Cap: Bertie Birdbrain wears one of these.
- Limited Animation
- Miscellaneous Disney Shorts
- The Owl-Knowing One
- Running Gag: The strings breaking during the "Melody" section of Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom.
- The Runt At the End: The last character to sit down is smaller than the rest.
- Simpleton Voice: The dunce bird.
- Talking Animal
- Vocal Dissonance: The Runt At the End is a bass, whereas the rest are sopranos and tenors.