Old MacDonald Had a Farm (film)

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Noveltoon series
Directed by Seymour Kneitel
Orestes Calpini
Produced by Seymour Kneitel
Isadore Sparber
Story by Bill Turner
Otto Messmer
Music by Winston Sharples
Animation by Orestes Calpini
Otto Feuer
Studio Famous Studios
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) June 7, 1946
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English
Preceded by Cheese Burglar
Followed by Sheep Shape

Old MacDonald Had a Farm is an animated musical-comedy short, produced by Famous Studios and released by Paramount Pictures in June 7, 1946. It serves as the inspiration for the 1986 two dimensional computer animated See & Learn short film, A Child's Introduction to Musical Instruments.


Old MacDonald is tired, then goes to the barn, and warms up the farm animals which leads to blackout gags:

The rabbit tries to concentrate on playing his flute, but ends up with the snoring duck eating his flute, and causing the rabbit to play flute in a "strangling" manner. The pig plays the stovepipe like a tuba, and the ewes sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb", in a fashion like the Andrews Sisters. He blows smoke on the ewes, revealing a blackface gag (edited out in some prints) with the ewes singing "Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was black as coal!. The duck is annoyed by the goat, in the end he blows a balloon (using a jar wrap), popping the balloon causing himself to disappear with nothing left but his hat that falls in a tub of water . The cat tries to eat the mouse with a violin, but ends up with the mouse playing the harp in his mouth using the cat's whiskers. The horse goes jazzy with the trumpet, and the two chicks do the jitterbug, and after the dance sequence, Old MacDonald asks the audience to sing along with the Bouncing Ball to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm".

Each animal sung is sung in every verse, and the boys and girls alternate, then the animals form a conga line.

History and availability[edit]

This was the second official Bouncing Ball sing-along in Technicolor released, as well as the second Famous Studios release to revive Max Fleischer's Bouncing Ball concept after the Fleischer Studios' Screen Songs series had ended its run in 1938. The cartoon was backlogged; it was originally supposed to be released in 1945, but production backlogged it to June 1946.

Many copies are NTA prints. However, a French TV station in France had aired a Technicolor version, minus the sing-along sequence, and without the Paramount logo on the head and tail.[1]

A Kodachrome print was once struck from a Technicolor original version, containing all of the original Paramount titles. This version circulates in a minuscule amount of PD tapes, among them United American Video Corp.. This supposedly contained a splicey opening and closing.

The uncut original negatives to this film with the front-and-end Paramount titles, like most pre-October 1950 Paramount cartoons in the UM&M/NTA package, is housed at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.[2]


  1. ^ Andrea, Ipollti. "Classic Cartoons Blog". "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"........and confidentially who cares?. Blogger, Google, Inc. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  2. ^ "Catalog Record". "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" (1945). UCLA Film and Television Archive. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]