Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in "The Band Concert" (1935)

The Band Concert is deservedly one of the most famous of Disney's cartoon shorts. It received the number three spot in Jerry Beck's book, 50 Greatest Cartoons, film historian Leonard Maltin has referred to this as his favorite Disney cartoon short, and the film has even received a ride based of it in Disney's California Adventure (The Silly Symphonies Swings (One of my favorite rides)).

This film was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in color. Though the Silly Symphonies had begun to be made in color in 1932, the Mickey Mouse cartoons remained in black and white for a few more years.

This cartoon was directed by Wilfred Jackson. He was one of the studio's best directors at this time, directing such classic short films as The Whoopee Party, Mickey's Mellerdrammer, Santa's Workshop, Puppy Love and The Grasshopper and the Ants. He would go on to be one of the main directors on such animated Disney features as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp.

The following is what exhibitors wrote to the Motion Picture Herald.

"Band Concert: Mickey Mouse - Well color helps Mickey 60 per cent. Popeye has been more popular lately but from the comment on this color Mickey, believe he will gain it back. By far the best Mickey we've ever used and we've used them all. - John H. Forrester, Pine Theater, Waldron, Ark. Lumber-farming patronage."

"Band Concert: Mickey Mouse - The tops in colored cartoons. It rates all the publicity you can give it. - M.R. Harrington, Avalon Theater, Clatskanie, Ore. Small town and rural patronage."

"Band Concert: Mickey Mouse - A very fine colored Mickey Mouse. Enough said. - C.L. Niles. Niles Theater, Anamosa, Iwoa. General Patronage."

One of these exhibitors when writing about a Merrie Melodie cartoon called Go Into Dance mentioned The Band Concert. This review is quoted below.

"Go Into Your Dance: Merrie Melodies series - An excellent colored cartoon similar to
'Mickey's Band Concert' - C.L. Niles. Niles Theater, Anamosa, Iwoa. General Patronage."

This is strange as these cartoons are actually really different from each other. Maybe Niles is referring to a scene in which a cartoon pig leads an orchestra, but even that scene is quite different from anything in The Band Concert.
   

AnimationFerdinand Horvath (LS Iris in on band stand. Mickey as conductor. Mickey is bowing to crowd as crowd applauds. Truck down to band stand; CU - Mickey and the band still bowing)
Dick Williams (CU - Music rack - Mickey's hand comes in and pulls "Selections from Zampa" off - Leaving overture (William Tell) as the next number to be played; LS - Tree - all the players hanging in it like ornaments on a Christmas tree and Mickey underneath tree leading them)
Les Clark (CU Mickey with his back turns to us bowing to his audience, then turns around and faces his band, tapping his stick; MCU - Mickey on stand, bee flies in; CU of Mickey's hat and bee. Bee looking o.s. at Don, gives Don the bird; CU Mickey with bee on hat. Bee hits ice cream coning, jumps as ice cream hits Mickey in the back of head, Mickey turns and is mad at Don; CU Trumpet Player - ice cream follow on from Mickey comes in and lands in bell of trumpet. Trumpet player looks mad and blows it back; CU - Mickey on stand. Ice cream comes in, hits Mickey, goes down his neck - he shakes it out and kicks it out of scene. Turns to band as bee comes back in bothering Mickey, flies out then back; CU Mickey leading flips page and "takes" at music; CU - Page of music (Title) William Tell - The Storm; CU - Mickey cocks hat. Starts leading storm music; Platform  on ground under tree. Mickey lands still leading band; CU - Mickey leading music ends. Mickey turns around bowing to where audience should be, looks: takes: sees duck o.s.)
Frenchy de Tremaudan (MCU Mickey and band. Mickey about to start, then they start with a bang, hats and music fly. Mickey directs as hats and music settle then another blast; CU Mickey directing Tuba player. Pan right as he cues the trumpet player - hits high. Mickey falls as we pan back to tuba player, then back to trumpet, pan with Mickey's action back to tuba; CU - Mickey leading very soft. He takes as o.s. yelling comes in; CU - Duck playing Mickey comes in mad, tapping foot. Grabs piccolo from duck and breaks it, throws it on floor and walks out. Duck laughs and pulls another whistle out of his sleeve. (spilt with Dick Huemer); CU - Mickey on stand - mad (split with Dick Huemer); CU Duck playing Mickey comes in and breaks Don's whistle and goes out. Don winks. Does slight of hand trick and has another whistle and starts to play. Mickey comes back. Don breaks his own whistle and hands it to Mickey. Mickey is mad, throws it on the ground, pulls up his sleeves and dives after Don. Don jumps out of scene. Mickey lands on chin. Gets up and goes out (split with Dick Huemer); CU - band stand. Mickey comes in, falls, gets up and continues leading band)
Dick Huemer (MCU - Duck selling ice cream and peanuts - yelling. Sees Mickey - Takes - pulls out piccolo leaves cart and goes out left towards bandstand; MCU - Part of bandstand - - Don Duck comes in, jumps up on stand; CU - Donald. Bows to audience starts to play and dance; CU - Mickey leading sees duck - takes and leaves scene towards duck; CU - Duck playing Mickey comes in mad, tapping foot. Grabs piccolo from duck and breaks it, throws it on floor and walks out. Duck laughs and pulls another whistle out of his sleeve. (spilt with Frenchy de Tremaudan); CU - Mickey on stand - mad (split with Frenchy de Tremaudan); CU Duck playing Mickey comes in and breaks Don's whistle and goes out. Don winks. Does slight of hand trick and has another whistle and starts to play. Mickey comes back. Don breaks his own whistle and hands it to Mickey. Mickey is mad, throws it on the ground, pulls up his sleeves and dives after Don. Don jumps out of scene. Mickey lands on chin. Gets up and goes out (split with Frenchy de Tremaudan); MCU - 2 shot - Duck watching trombone player; CU Duck does sleight of hand trick and pulls out another whistle; CU - Duck watching trombone player; CU Duck does sleight of hand trick and pulls out another whistle; MCU - 2 shot - Duck playing whistle and trombone player. Trombone slides out and hooks around Don's neck shaking him as a lot of whistles fall from Don's clothes. Don is then swung up in perceptive of the camera and throws out of scene; CU of Don's cart. Don comes in and lands among ice cream cones, gets up, mad as hell, and starts to rave; CU - Trombone player gives Don the bird on trombone; MCU - Don cocks hat, picks up a whistle, starts to play as bee comes flying in; CU don playing. Bee flies into whistle and into Don's mouth. MCU - Don spits it out. Mad tries to hit bee with hat. Bee gets in Don's hat. Bee gets in Don's hat. Don takes as he puts hat on. Don takes hat off and bee flies out. Don turns and glares towards Mickey; MCU - Don takes. Picks up ice cream cone and throws ice cream at bee on Mickey's hat; MCU - Duck clapping his hands, takes off his hat and there is another damn whistle. He flips it in the air, catches it and starts to play as instruments come sailing through the scene at him. Big tuba lands on him. Don's hands and arms come out of mouth piece with whistle still playing as we iris out whistle and Don's arms)    
Clyde Geronimi (CU - Licorice stick player and Clara the piccolo play as they play each other's instruments; MCU - Horace as drummer. Bee comes in and Horace tries to hit bee with cymbals. Pan right. Bee lands on head of player. Horace smack player's head between cymbals. Misses bee. Bee comes back, lands on players head again. Horace goes out and comes back with sledge hammer. Misses bee and drivers player's head down in his collar. Player continues playing horn sticking out of collar. Horace takes and sneaks out; MCU Don People coming running in. Don looks - takes; CU - Don - takes starts running on pan, leaves scene; CU - Don coming up from background, climbs a tree as twister comes in and braids trees leaving Don in the middle (split with Ugo D'Orsi); CU - Don all tangled up in trees, yelling for help) 

Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman (MCU - Licorice stick player playing his head off)
Jack Kinney (MCU - Horace the drummer takes as difficult music; Horses in air with drum still playing, falls out of scene; Platform - drums fall, Horace falls in drum, comes out playing cymbals)
Archie Robin (MCU - Clara plays like hell. Leaves and hats blowing through scenes. Clara gets finger stuck in piccolo, pulls hand out leaving glove. She tries to blow it out. Clouds are forming in sky)
Ugo D'Orsi (LS - A Twister appears on horizon, move across screen, as we pan with it, it starts mowing down houses; MCU - Twister moving along. Pan taking up telephone poles and wires; CU - Don coming up from background, climbs a tree as twister comes in and braids trees leaving Don in the middle (split with Clyde Geronimi))
Cy Young (MCU - Mickey and band bandstand - top blows away. Band is blown around in a circle. Rising in air circling in perspective; Band all blowing in air, still playing, Mickey still leading; MCU - Mickey in air going trough doors, etc.; MCU - Band still in air playing "The Storm." Band circles left to right, Mickey stops action and reverses action to)
Johnny Cannon (Trumpet player mows down picket fence; Clarabelle - in air upside down, umbrella goes thru her whistle)
Louie Schmidt (CU - Tree - nest on a limb, baby buggy drops in, lands in buggy. Nest flies up and lands on his head, two little birds singing; CU - Tree and limb. (A makeshift out house chair drops in.) Licorice stick player drops in on pet still playing; Pig player drops on a limb, caught by collar. Her drops out, leaving coat; Pig still falling, is now in underwear, they catch a limb, pig drops on thru, leaving underwear; Bottom of tree. Pig lands in barrel still playing; Tuba player falling lands in pig's underwear, still playing blows underwear up like a balloon)

Story: Mickey Mouse is the leader of the band. In this case it is a classical music orchestra about to put on a concert of The William Tell Overture. However an enthusiastic Donald butts in playing Turkey in the Straw on his whistle. Mickey tries to put a stop to this but Donald has many whistles. When a storm comes the band is swooped up but continues playing anyways. After the concert the band gets thunderous applause from its one man audience, Donald Duck.


   















-Michael J. Ruhland


  

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