Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mickey Mouse in "Building a Building" (1933)

Building a Building was in fact a remake of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Sky Scrappers (1928). The main changes between the cartoons is the use of sound. Sky Scrappers was a silent film, while Building a Building is a talkie. With this in mind, a song number and a few sound related gags are added.

Building a Building was directed by Dave Hand, who was directing quite a few of the Disney cartoon shorts at this time. He would go on to become the supervising director for two Disney features, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942).

This cartoon features one of the earliest incidents of a cartoon character getting hit with an anvil. However Walt had done this gag at least once before with the short, Alice the Whaler (1927).

The following is what one exhibitor wrote to the Motion Picture Herald.
 "Building a Building: Mickey Mouse - This is a very good cartoon comedy and one that will make any audience laugh. One of the best Mickey Mouses and here's hoping there are many more to follow. Running Time, nine minutes.  - J.J. Medford, Orpheum Theater, Oxford, N.C. General Patronage."

Animation Johnny Cannon (Iris in steam shovel mouth - pan around and entire shovel goes into goofy action; C.U. of Mickey in cab operating shovel)
Les Clark (Minnie on lunch wagon, singing box lunch song - goes up runway, singing; Mickey and Minnie - they sing end of box lunch song - etc. - kiss and fade out)
Ben Sharpsteen (Gen. shot workmen go into rhythm; Group of riveters - rhythm action - shooting rivets around at girders; Group of painters dancing on fannies to rhythm - look toward Minnie; Minnie dancing along girder - hat blows off and rolls out of scene; Mickey and steam shovel into action - pick up hat; C.U. Minnie - shovel puts hat on her head; Shovel and Mickey both tip hats; Minnie blows kiss; Shovel in happy action, throwing dirt; last shovelful of dirt goes out of scene toward Pete; Mickey salutes and starts out of scene; Mickey grabs wheelbarrow and takes it out of scene; Pushes wheelbarrow onto elevator - starts up towards top of vert. pan - reaches top, out of scene; Minnie on girder waving to Mickey; Horiz. Pan scare-shot - Mickey clowning for Minnie. Pushes wheelbarrow onto rising girder - lands one flight up; Minnie on ground - waves - "Yoo-Hoo" - applauds; C.U. of clock; C.U. whistle blowing "lunch."; Gen shot workmen stopping and heading for ground; Mickey lands - lunch bounces into lap - opens it and starts spreading out food - saws fish - gag; Flash of Minnie reacting; Mickey making Fish sandwich gets ready to eat; Mickey discovers sandwich gone - looks up to Pete, then to Minnie - dejected; Minnie shows sympathy - takes box lunch from wagon - exits towards Mickey; Mickey mad - runs to ladder - climbs out of scene; Pete sees Mickey coming - separates ladder; Mickey runs up ladder - it separates and he xylophones down; Mickey lands - rushes for rope - starts up vert. pan; Shot of pulley - end of rope slides thru.; Mickey climbs on pan - rope ends - climbs in air - bumps head on pulley - swings; Mickey over girder - short pan - swings onto Pete - Minnie released - fight begins; Minnie at forge - grabs popper full of rivets and hook - exits; Drops in Pete's pants - Pete drops Mickey - he and Minnie exit - Pete dumps water barrel into pants - starts out of scene; Pete running - water wagon effect - water peters out; Rope sc. Mickey and Minnie run in - climb up rope; Mickey and Minnie up on girder - transfer rope from hook to anvil - exit; Pete in - grabs rope - it gives way and he starts down; Mickey and Minnie jump into cement carrier - starts down chute; Mickey and Minnie taking curves in chute - the chute; Mickey and Minnie out of chute - hit edge of framework - bounce onto wagon - start away)
Tom Palmer (C.U. Pete - dirt hits him and plans - he yells at Mickey; Pete flirting with Minnie; Minnie gives Pete a polite razz; Pete laughs it off; Pete - bricks falling thru plans - looks up and yells; Pete with wheelbarrow wrapped around him; Mickey looks towards Minnie and smiles; Mickey goes thru Pete's plans - Pete sore -starts chocking him; Pete hears whistle - drops Mickey and grabs for his lunch - Mickey falls out of scene; Pete watches from platform - drops sack; Pete catches sandwich - starts to eat; Pete lets hook down out of scene)
Frenchy de Tremaudan (Horiz, pan - Mickey and wheelbarrow over tite rope - up runway into spill - bricks fall; Mickey lets go of wheelbarrow - falls on short pan - lands on plank; Mickey saws plank - falls to lower plank - mugs Minnie - more sawing gags - finally falls out of scene)

Dick Lundy (Mickey looking sad - Minnie enters with lunch - dialogue; Hook yanks Minnie up out of scene - Mickey looks up sore)
Clyde Geronimi (Pete lands - anvil on head - rivet gun in hand - starts running and shooting (pan); Mickey and Minnie run on pan - rivets cut away boards in back of them; Pete running - hose snags - gun in pants - Later onto leg - Pete tries to run; Pete with gun on leg - jumps crashes starts falling thru girders; Pete falling lands - says "your fired!" - Girder hits him on head)

Story: Mickey is working on a construction site using a steam shovel. Minnie comes to the site selling box lunches. Mickey and Minnie soon begin flirting much to the annoyance of foreman Pete. Pete begins flirting with Minnie but Minnie is not interested. Pete kidnaps Minnie, and Mickey rushes to save her. Mickey does and gets fired. Mickey and Minnie go into business together.

-Michael J. Ruhland