The Band Concert
The Band Concert is a 1935 American animated short film produced in 3-strip Technicolor by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. The 73rd short to feature Mickey Mouse, the film was the first Mickey Mouse film produced in color and remains one of the most highly acclaimed of the Disney shorts. The story is about a small music band conducted by Mickey Mouse which struggles through a distraction-filled public performance.
|The Band Concert|
Theatrical release poster featuring Gideon Goat
|Directed by||Wilfred Jackson|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Music by||Leigh Harline|
|Animation by||Johnny Cannon|
Les Clark (Mickey Mouse)
|Layouts by||Hugh Hennesy|
|Color process||Technicolor (3-strip)|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|9 minutes & 20 seconds|
The Band Concert was directed by Wilfred Jackson and featured adapted music by Leigh Harline. The only speaking character in the film is Donald Duck who is performed by voice actor Clarence Nash.
Mickey Mouse's concert band is performing a concert in a park. As the film opens, they are being applauded for having just played music from Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold's Zampa. They next begin Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell overture.
Mickey's performance is first disrupted by Peter Pig's vibrato trumpet and Paddy Pig's tuba playing Prelude: Dawn. Meanwhile, Donald Duck rolls a vendor cart through the audience selling lemonade, popcorn, and ice cream, which further distracts Mickey.
While the band is playing the "Finale" segment, Donald plays Turkey in the Straw at the same tempo as the band. Overhearing Donald, the entire band absent-mindedly find themselves playing Donald's song. Realizing that he accidentally switched genres, Mickey loses his temper over his performance being disrupted in this manner. Mickey destroys Donald's flute in two, only for Donald to get another one out. They play the song again and Mickey destroys the flute once more. The band resumes the segment, but when Donald plays "Turkey in the Straw" again, the trombonist pulls out several of Donald's flutes by the neck and forces him offstage, knocking him back into the vendor.
Then, while Donald tries to play the song again, a bee harasses him. When the bee lands on Mickey's hat, Donald throws ice cream at the bee, which sends it into Peter Pig's trumpet and he shoots it out, accidentally hitting Mickey with it. The ice cream slides under Mickey's uniform, making him shake around, causing the band to briefly play The Streets of Cairo until it falls out and he kicks it away. Mickey has the band play Ranz des Vaches and loses his temper when the bee interrupts the performance, swatting his baton at the bee and thus causing the band to briefly play notes drastically different than the song. Percussionist Horace Horsecollar tries to kill the bee by squishing it with his cymbals and with a hammer, but accidentally hits Goofy's head instead, driving his head down into his jacket, but he continues playing his clarinet from inside it.
When the band comes to the "Storm" segment of the overture, it summons an actual tornado, prompting the audience and Donald to run away. The benches that the audience were sitting on come to life (each wearing a hat that fell off an audience member) and also begin running for their lives as well. Donald tries to take shelter in some trees only for the tornado to tie them in knots with Donald in the middle. The tornado sucks up and destroys everything in its path (houses, farms, trees, walls, signs, windmills, fences, power lines, etc), even the pavilion on which the band is playing, but the band is so used to the distractions by this point that they continue to play from inside the tornado (in which Mickey floats past the remains of a wrecked house, Peter Pig gets spanked by a fence, and Clarabelle is hit by a pair of undergarments and an umbrella that turns her flute inside-out). The tornado suddenly freezes when Mickey takes a pause conducting (which seemingly stops time itself briefly) and goes in reverse as the band finishes up the last part of the song. As the storm passes, the band (except Horace, Peter Pig and Mickey) is thrown into a tree and they finish the overture. Yet by this time the only remaining audience member is Donald Duck (who has apparently untangled himself from the twisted trees) who applauds enthusiastically. Witnessing Donald playing "Turkey in the Straw" as an encore, the offscreen band members end the show by throwing their instruments at him.
Although The Band Concert did not receive any Academy Award nominations, it has nonetheless become one of the most highly acclaimed Disney short films. Esquire magazine cultural critic Gilbert Seldes wrote that "[none of] dozens of works produced in America at the same time in all the other arts can stand comparison with this one." The Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was such a fan of The Band Concert that he saw it six times in the theater and later invited Walt Disney to his home in Italy.
In 1994, The Band Concert was rated third in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, which rated the greatest cartoons of all time by members of the field of animation. As a result, it was the highest-ranked Disney cartoon on the list, and the only one in the top 5 not produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons.
In the 1942 wartime cartoon, All Together, Mickey and his whole band from the cartoon is seen in the parade.
The Band Concert was also the basis for, and title of the secret level in the game, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD and PlayStation versions only).
The short was one of the many featured in Donald Duck's 50th Birthday, Donald remembers it in a psychiatric session with Dr. Ludwig Von Drake and says that Mickey "invited" Donald to play with his band.
This cartoon was featured in Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse.
- Smith, Dave (1996). "Band Concert, The". Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Hyperion. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-7868-8149-6.
- Kaufman, J.B.; Gerstein, David (2018). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History. Cologne: Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8365-5284-4.
- Two more Mickey Mouse films were produced in black and white before they were produced in color on a permanent basis: Mickey's Service Station and Mickey's Kangaroo. Also Mickey had previously appeared in color in a two-minute clip called Parade of the Award Nominees which was made especially for the 1932 Academy Awards ceremony.
- The Band Concert on IMDb
- The Band Concert Archived 2006-08-20 at the Wayback Machine at The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts
- The overture was significantly abridged to account for events in the film. It was also played out of order, starting with the "Finale" (the "Lone Ranger" segment), continuing with the Ranz des Vaches "Daybreak" movement, and ending with the "Prelude" and "Storm" movements.
- Appeared as Gideon Goat in promotional materials ()
- Gabler, Neal. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. Vintage: New York. 2007. page 195.
- Beck, Jerry (1994), 50 Greatest Cartoons, The. Atlanta: Turner Publishing Inc., pg 41. 1-878685-49-X