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September 17

September 17, 1954 – The Special Short Film Once Upon a Wintertime is Released to Theaters

“On the frozen pond folks are swaying, sweetheart, who cares? We’ll have more fun sleighing behind two chestnut mares.”

On September 17, 1954, the special short film Once Upon a Wintertime was released to theaters. The short was originally a segment of the 1948 package film Melody Time; like many of the package film segments, it was shown later as a stand-alone segment to be shown before Disney feature films. The short is narrated in song by singer Frances Langford, with the song written by Bobby Worth and Ray Gilbert.

Set in the 1800s, the short begins with the picture of two lovebirds, transitioning into them sitting in a carriage and traveling through a winter wonderland, with many a pair of animals following their journey, including a pair of rabbits. The pair stop at the nearby pond for skating, and things go well for both the human and rabbit couples. Both males then decide to show off to their mates, but have unintended bad consequences that drive the women away. As the women leave, they wander onto thin ice, and the men race to rescue them from falling down a waterfall on patches of the ice. With help from the carriage horses, some squirrels, and some birds, the women are saved and placed in the arms of their mates. The pairs drive off together, and the short ends back on the portraits of the human couple, with the frame closing as they share a kiss.

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