Pure nostalgia! I first saw this Disney masterpiece when it was launched, in 1946, peering through a tobacco-filled cinema, surrounded by an audience almost all in uniform. It thrilled me then and the years have not dimmed its delight, its fascination.
Bobby soxers jiving to the incomparable orchestra of Benny Goodman; the haunting voice of Dinah Shore interweaving with the dancing silhouettes of Riabouchinska and Lichine; the wholly improbable story of two hats that fall in love, but made perfectly feasible by the effervescent Andrew Sisters; the best portrayal of the classic "Peter and the Wolf" story I've ever seen, narrated by the legendary Sterling Holloway (you may not recognise the name, but you'll know this famous Disney voice); and, of course, the great Nelson Eddy recounting the tragic story of Willy the Whale (I cried in 1946 and I wasn't far off it this time either).
I'm afraid those of you who didn't see it in its time won't see it the same way as we oldtimers do, but it's still worth seeing for its colour, its brightness, its superb animation, its flavour of a critical period in a recently bygone time, and for its historical significance marking the beginning of the post-war era of Disney full-length animation. As I said before: "Pure nostalgia!"
Unfortunately, it's only available in US format (Region 1:NTSC), but if, like me, you bought an Amazon DVD player, it's no problem! Enjoy!