The Band Concert (1935)



Here is one of the truly great Walt Disney cartoons, The Band Concert from 1935. This film short was ranked #3 in Jerry Beck's list of "The 50 Greatest Cartoons," just behind What's Opera, Doc? and Duck Amuck. This was Disney's first Technicolor cartoon released to the public, and it just looks wonderful.

Mickey Mouse has been a soulless corporate logo for so long, it's almost impossible to remember that he was one a real cartoon character, and a good one at that. I always preferred Donald Duck, but the two made a great pair, and this is really the golden age of Disney cartoons, just before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ushered in a new era of feature animation.

The storm sequence in The Band Concert does remind me of the opening sequence from Isao Takahata's Gauche the Cellist. That was a surprise to me, since Takahata does take any influence from Disney (Hayao Miyazaki is a great fan of Dave Fleischer, which is as close as they get). But this speaks to the influence and stature that this cartoon commands, the world's first Technicolor animation released to the public. And Walt Disney was a pioneer in the use of sound, as this video demonstrates.

Anyway, enjoy The Band Concert. And go play outside today, it's Saturday!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think TBC was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, not the first Disney cartoon in Technicolor.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

As I understand it, this was the second color Disney cartoon, but the first one was only shown behind the scenes. This is the first that was commercially released to theaters. At least, that's what the Wikipedia page and the Cartoon Encyclopedia page (whatever it's called) says.

In any event, it's a classic cartoon and really fun to watch.

Thanks for dropping by and saying hi!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I am a long-time reader of your excellent blog. I'm not sure which is the First Disney short in Technicolor (r), without digging into some books, but Flowers and Trees (Academy Award (r) winner for 1932) was in Technicolor.
As I remember it, Walt didn't see any rush to make a color Mickey Mouse cartoon. They were so popular that they were still bringing in big rentals as b/w cartoons. The Band Concert was the first Mickey Mouse in Technicolor in 1935.

Chris Sobieniak said...

As someone already stated, this was not the first Technicolor cartoon for Disney, but the first for their gravy train, Mickey Mouse. The first 3-strip Technicolor Disney cartoon was the Silly Symphony, "Flowers and Trees" in 1932, followed by "Three Little Pigs" a year later.

That 'other' Mickey Mouse cartoon in Technicolor was actually a privately-screened film that was meant as an intro to the 1932 Academy Awards ceremony where Mickey leads a parade of stars entitled "Parade of the Award Nominees". You can check it out here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txLnA7_auEo

The parade itself was taken from a previous Silly Symphony short made a while before (I don't remember the title of it, but the parade started off the short), but now incorporates several Disney characters and several stars of the time. A later film made in 1939 for the Standard Oil Company would feature more Disney characters shilling for their product...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H03jv-8smrw

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Ah, yes! I should know better. I watched The Three Little Pigs last weekend. This is what happens when I just crib stuff off the Wiki page. I am so smart, S-M-R-T.

@anon: Great to have you aboard. You should get a name so we know who you are. Is there any way to improve the commenting on this blog, to make it easier?

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