Once Upon a Wintertime from Melody Time (1948)
Starring: Jenny, Joe
Setting: Frozen Lake
Plot: A winter date features the memories of a Jenny and Joe in their courting days. Joe tries to show off for Jenny on the ice, but events soon turn to a possible tragedy and a timely rescue.
“Once Upon a Wintertime” is an animated short and a song from the film Melody Time.
The story was written by Art Scott and Mary Blair. Blair also did character and visual design for the short, and is well known for her work with Disney (Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and It's a Small World).
The short’s theme song is performed by Frances Langford, best known for her radio work with Bob Hope, and features Buddy Clark.
Unlike most shorts, Jenny and Joe do not have spoken dialogue.
Joe places Jenny’s ice skate on her foot, very similar to the way the Duke fits the glass slipper on Cinderella.
A total of 12 hearts are shaped by the couple and animal pairs, some with snow, others by marks on the ice.
There are four animal couples in the short, adding romance to the couple’s winter date. The most charming are the rabbits who mimic the couple, even the argument between Jenny and Joe.
While Jenny is giving Joe the cold shoulder, the ice is literally broken and the adventure brings the couple back together. You've got to admire writing that allows those puns.
Though Joe gets the credit, it is actually the birds, squirrels, and chestnut mares that save Jenny and her rabbit counterpart. We should all be so lucky to have such brave animal friends!
Putting a Bow On It:
You can't help but smile at every heart that formed, chuckle at every flirtatious move, or get chills once the ice begins to crack. Adding charm to this short is Mary Blair's iconic artwork in the background. It's so clean and colorful, and helps highlight the sweet story and animation of this couple's very exciting winter date. This Disney classic is super gushy and lovey-dovey, so cuddle up with your sweetheart under a fleece blanket, get some hot cocoa, and press play!