Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Animation History: Mickey Mouse's The Band Concert

I was talking to someone about Mickey’s Philharmagic, the Disney World ride, and it got me on the topic of Mickey Mouse’s short, The Band Concert.

Not only is Mickey Mouse from animated shorts (and features)…

But the amazing ride, Mickey’s Philharmagic is loosely based on the 1935 Mickey Mouse short, The Band Concert:

The tornado comes at about 6:20.

It was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in Technicolor, and it was very popular in 1935. In 1994 it was voted #3 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

The feature length films Mickey has been in:

Fantasia (Sorcerer’s Apprentice; 1940)
The Three Caballeros (1944)
Fun and Fancy Free (Mickey and The Beanstalk; 1947)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

And the Band Concert (1935, color) was a sequel to the 1930 black & white Mickey Mouse short, The Barnyard Concert:

Which itself was designed to take off of Steamboat Willie from 1928 (notice how he similarly tortures animals like the pigs and cow to produce music):

Yeah, Mickey was a bit of a rogue. Even in 1935’s Band Concert. As he slowly lost that image, he also slowly lost his popularity. They had to reinvent him a few times, but I think toward the end, their reinvention techniques were to make him amiable, when they should have been reinventing him back as the scoundrel he was originally intended to be.

In the meantime, Bugs Bunny’s attitude and Donald Duck’s attitude grew in popularity as Mickey’s attitude and popularity dwindled. Of course, the theme parks have kept Mickey alive in our hearts. =^)

In Barnyard Concert, it’s interesting how Mickey’s the “star,” made to be a bit of jerk, and then gets avenged by the cow at the end. As his personality has changed, he’s gotten happier endings. Then the rude characters like Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny were often avenged by the other characters in the end of those shorts. For example, Chip n Dale and Huey, Dewy, and Louie always got the upper hand on Donald Duck, and the tortoise always got the upper hand on Bugs Bunny in the “Tortoise and the Hare” shorts.

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