Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cartoon a Day: The Band Concert

The Band Concert
Directed by Wilfred Jackson
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color

In 1932 Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in color. It was a short made for the Academy Awards ceremony, "Parade of the Award Nominees." However, the publics first look at the famous mouse in color came in 1935 with this groundbreaking short, "The Band Concert."

In this short Mickey is conducting a band concert in the park. All is going well until the intrusion of a pesky food vendor (Donald Duck), a stubborn bee, and finally a tornado that rivals the one Dorothy hitched a ride on.

This is certainly one of Mickey's best films, and is probably one of his funniest as well. Remember, Mickey was known for being fun, but not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny. The pacing of the gags in this short is closer to what you'd expect from the Looney Tunes crew than the folks at Disney.

It's also interesting to watch Donald Duck in this short. He's actually more like his cousin from the Warner's lot, Daffy Duck, in this one. He plays the lovable troublemaker rather than the temper driven fowl he is in later films.

The film makes fantastic use of color in everything from the band uniforms to the dark sky that slowly creeps into the scenes as the storm approaches. It was just a little over 6 years before the release of "The Band Concert" that Disney had amazed audiences with his Mouse that spoke (in "Steamboat Willie"). It's easy to see how audiences were wowed again when that mouse showed up in color.

1 comment:

Tannerman said...

The Band Concert is a classic.