Please note: if an earlier link doesn't work, it may have changed following an update! Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-six shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Prod. US20 - The Flying Mouse

Though oftentimes crude in its animation, The Flying Mouse is both a sweet and a bit disturbing, haunting film. The bats that sing their song "You're Nothin' but a Nothin'" are a highlight in the film, just as the butterfly-fairy is a lowlight, and I do not know if I agree with the moral of this tale--stick to what you know even if you do not like it--but I do like the film as a whole. Its dated Technicolor charm far outweighs its drawing problems...

Directed by Dave Hand, The Flying Mouse was originally numbered US19, but was exchanged with The Wise Little Hen, Donald Duck's debut picture. The story was developed between July 1933 and March 1934 by Bill Cottrell and his staff, adapting it from Jean de la Fontaine's 1668 story "The Jay Dressed Up in the Peacock's Feathers." It premiered 07/12/1934 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York at a negative cost of $31,386.62, and it can still be seen on the 2001 Disney Treasures DVD "Silly Symphonies."

Music by Frank Churchill (who also wrote the song) and Bert Lewis, song lyrics by Larry Morey. Voices by Billy Sheets (bat), The Three Rhythm Kings (male voices), Marion Darlington (bird whistles) and Marcellite Garner (laughing mice). Backgrounds by Carlos Manriquez. As animators we meet Marvin Woodward, Cy Young, Bob Wickersham, Ham Luske, Hardie Gramatky, Fred Moore, Nick George, [Harry] Bailey, George Drake and Leonard Sebring.

Without Merrit and Kaufman's great book "Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies," this info would have been much, much shorter!
This film has no doubt been timed to a beat throughout its entire length, as was usual (and essential) for all of Disney's pictures from Steamboat Willie and up into the 40's. Is somebody trying my Beatronome on this film? I'd like to hear your results!

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Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

Thanks for posting these drafts. I've never been a big fan of this short, but somehow I keep coming back to watch it again. I guess I'll have to watch a couple more times. I am a fan of David Hand's work.

I've been waiting for my copy of the Merrit and Kaufman book to arrive. You've made the wait more exciting.

Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 6:02:00 AM PDT  

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