The Old Mill

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The Old Mill
Poster for The Old Mill
Poster for The Old Mill
Directed by Wilfred Jackson
Produced by Walt Disney
Music by Leigh Harline
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates November 5, 1937
Running time 9 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Old Mill is a 1937 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Wilfred Jackson, scored by Leigh Harline, and released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on November 5, 1937. The film depicts the natural community of animals populating an old abandoned windmill in the country, and how they deal with a severe thunderstorm that nearly destroys their habitat. It incorporates Johann Strauss's song One Day When We Were Young.

Like many of the later Silly Symphonies, The Old Mill was a testing-ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney's multiplane camera, the film also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making The Old Mill would subsequently be incorporated into Disney's feature-length animated films, especially 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[1]

Awards and Accolades[edit]


This cartoon was parodied in The Simpsons episode Bart Has Two Mommies, where Homer tries to win a rubber duck race by making his rubber duck cross the finish line first. The duck however floats to an abandoned windmill very similar to the one in the classic Disney short, with a sign declaring: "The Old Mill." The scene where the duck is nearly squashed by the water wheel is a direct reference to the most famous scene of The Old Mill. Raymond Scott's Powerhouse B is heard in the Old Mill scene where Homer protected the duck from the water wheel in that scene.

The three mills from the short can be seen in miniature on the Storybook Land Canals ride at Disneyland, while a full scale model of the mill is located in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris.

The Old Mill is featured in the World of Color presentation at Disney California Adventure Park, and there is a snack stand called 'The Old Mill' in an actual windmill at Disneyland Paris


The short was released on DVD as part of Walt Disney Treasures: Wave One: Silly Symphonies on Disc Two on December 4, 2001.

The short got its Blu-ray release on March 1, 2011, on the Bambi Diamond Edition's Blu-ray disc as a special feature.[3]


  1. ^ Thomas, Bob. Walt Disney: An American Original. Simon & Schuster, 1976, pg. 134.
  2. ^ The Old Mill at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Calonge, Juan (December 10, 2010). "Bambi Diamond Edition Blu-ray Detailed". Retrieved August 17, 2011. 

External links[edit]