The Old Mill
|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|
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.
Awards and Accolades
- The Old Mill won the 1937 Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons.
- It is ranked at the IMDb top short list as the 46th greatest short film ever.
- It was also included in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals, in which it is honored as #14.
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 short was released on DVD as part of Walt Disney Treasures: Wave One: Silly Symphonies on Disc Two on December 4, 2001.