The Cookie Carnival
|The Cookie Carnival|
|Silly Symphonies series|
|Directed by||Ben Sharpsteen|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Music by||Leigh Harline|
|Animation by||Grim Natwick,
|Studio||Walt Disney Productions|
|Running time||8 minutes|
The Cookie Carnival is an animated short produced by Walt Disney Productions and originally released May 25, 1935. It's a Cinderella story involving a cookie girl who wishes to be queen at the cookie carnival, and a homage to the Atlantic City boardwalk parade and bathing beauty contest (what eventually became the Miss America pageant) of the 1920s and 1930s.
Various sweets and goodies of Cookietown are preparing to crown their new Cookie Queen. A parade of potential candidates passes by, all based on various cakes and sweets. Far from the parade route, on what would appear to be the wrong side of the peppermint stick railroad tracks, a gingerbread drifter overhears an impoverished sugar cookie girl crying. Upon hearing that she can't enter the parade because she hasn't any pretty clothes, he hurries to remedy this, concocting a dress of colored frosting and candy hearts. He covers her brown hair with golden taffy ringlets and adds a large violet bow to her dress as a finishing touch. Thus attired, she's entered as the final contestant in the parade: Miss Bonbon.
The judges, who have thus far been disappointed in the candidates, all promptly declare Miss Bonbon the Cookie Queen on sight. The gingerbread man is practically trampled in the sudden surge of the crowd as they carry Miss Bonbon to her throne, where they place a golden crown on her head. She's then presented with a large layer cake which appears to be a carousel of different vaudeville acts---a Queen must have a king, and so the newly crowned Cookie Queen must choose a husband from those featured.
After being presented with a duo of tap dancing candy cane men, a pair of Barbershop singing Old Fashioned Cookies, a pair of effeminate angel food cakes, two scat-singing devil's food cakes, some acrobatic upside-down cakes, and three tipsy rum cookies, she refuses each and every one with a giggle and a shake of her head. The judges, with no other suitors to present, make their own proposals.
At that moment, the gingerbread man, who has been attempting to gain a closer vantage point, sneaks up onto the dias. He's accosted by the guards who split his cupcake paper hat and tear off a piece of the jelly roll red carpet so that he looks as if he's wearing a crown and an ermine-lined cloak. The Cookie Queen calls to the guards "Stop! I say! Don't crown the King that way!" The gingerbread man is immediately released and takes his place beside his beloved sugar cookie. Their closing kiss melts the lollipop intended to screen them from view.
In 2001, Disney released The Cookie Carnival, in addition to many others on DVD titled Silly Symphonies as part of its Walt Disney Treasures collection. Prior to that, the featurette also appeared on the Walt Disney Cartoon Classics Limited Gold Edition: Silly Symphonies VHS in the 1980s. Most recently, "The Cookie Carnival" was released as a segment in 2005's direct-to-video Disney Princess: a Christmas of Enchantment.
Pinto Colvig, most known for the Goofy voice, provides the voice of the gingerbread man. Vaudeville was dying out by the time The Cookie Carnival made its debut, but audiences would have been familiar with each of the acts represented by the different cookies.
When Miss Bonbon is being outfitted, she transitions from her cookie-like shape into a more human look (especially apparent between creating her skirt and powdering her cheeks). This might make her another early example of visually realistic human characters in Disney shorts, and even a precursor to the Snow White look in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.