The Band Concert

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The Band Concert
Mickey Mouse series
The Band Concert.jpg
Theatrical release poster featuring Gideon Goat
Directed by Wilfred Jackson
Walt Disney[1]
Produced by Walt Disney
Voices by Clarence Nash
Music by Leigh Harline
Gioachino Rossini
Animation by Johnny Cannon
Les Clark (Mickey Mouse)
Ugo D'Orsi
Frenchy DeTremaudan
Clyde Geronimi
Huszti Horvath
Dick Huemer
Jack Kinney
Wolfgang Reitherman
Ward Kimball
Milt Kahl
Archie Robin
Louie Schmitt
Dick Williams
Roy Williams
Cy Young
Layouts by Hugh Hennesy
Terrell Stapp
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s)
  • February 23, 1935 (1935-02-23)
Color process Technicolor (3-strip)
Running time 9 minutes & 20 seconds
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by The Tortoise and the Hare
Followed by Mickey's Service Station

The Band Concert is a 1935 American animated short film produced in 3-strip Technicolor by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. The film was the first Mickey Mouse film produced in color[2] and remains one of the most highly acclaimed of the Disney shorts. The story is about a small music band conducted by Mickey Mouse which struggles through a distraction-filled public performance.

The Band Concert was directed by Wilfred Jackson and featured adapted music by Leigh Harline. The only speaking character in the film is Donald Duck who is performed by voice actor Clarence Nash.[3][4]


Mickey Mouse's orchestra is performing a concert at the park. As the film opens they are being applauded for having just played music from Zampa. They next begin Rossini's William Tell overture.[5]

Mickey is first disturbed by Peter Pig's vibrato trumpet and Paddy Pig's tuba playing Prelude: Dawn. Later Donald Duck appears rolling a vendor cart through the audience selling lemonade, popcorn, and ice cream. Donald's voice disturbs Mickey as he can be heard over the music.

Donald then pulls out a small flute and hops up on stage uninvited. As the band is still playing the "Finale" segment, Donald begins playing "Turkey in the Straw" at the same tempo as the band. The entire band, seemingly unaware of themselves, begin to play Donald's song instead of the prepared music. Mickey angrily breaks Donald's flute, but he then produces another from his clothing. This continues for a while until it is discovered that Donald is carrying dozens of hidden flutes, some of which he seems to pull from thin air.

After Donald has been kicked off stage, a bee comes along and harasses him. Donald fights the bee off and it goes on to bother the already-agitated Mickey. Mickey's swatting of the bee is taken as a cue from the orchestra. Donald later throws ice cream at the bee which hits Mickey, instead. As Mickey plays Ranz des Vaches, Horace Horsecollar tries to kill the bee with a hammer but hits Goofy on the head, driving his head down into his jacket, but he continues playing his clarinet from inside it.

Finally, the band comes to the "Storm" segment of the overture which seems to summon an actual tornado, prompting the audience, the seats, and Donald to run for their lives. The tornado sucks up everything in its path, even the pavilion on which the band is playing. But the band is so used to distractions by this point that they continue to play from inside the tornado (in which Mickey floats past the remains of a wrecked house). As the storm passes, the band (except Horace and Mickey) is thrown into a tree and the overture comes to its natural conclusion. Yet by this time the only remaining audience member is Donald Duck who applauds enthusiastically. He then produces one last flute and plays "Turkey in the Straw" again, but the band members throw their instruments at him in disgust.

The Band[edit]



Although The Band Concert did not receive any Academy Award nominations, it has nonetheless become one of the most highly acclaimed Disney short films. Esquire magazine cultural critic Gilbert Seldes wrote that "[none of] dozens of works produced in America at the same time in all the other arts can stand comparison with this one." The Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was such a fan of The Band Concert that he saw it six times in the theater and later invited Walt Disney to his home in Italy.[7]

In 1994 The Band Concert was rated third in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, which rated the greatest cartoons of all time by members of the field of animation.[8] As a result, it was the highest-ranked Disney cartoon on the list, and the only one in the top 5 not produced by Warner Bros.


Disney on Parade inflatable of Mickey from The Band Concert, pictured in 2007

According to Leonard Maltin, the 1942 Mickey Mouse film Symphony Hour was somewhat of a remake of The Band Concert.

In the 1942 wartime cartoon, All Together, Mickey and his whole band from the cartoon is seen in the parade.

In the video game Kingdom Hearts II, in the Garden area of Disney Castle, there is a topiary sculpture of all characters in the band besides Mickey, Donald, and Goofy.

The Band Concert was also the basis for, and title of the secret level in the game, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD and PlayStation versions only).

This cartoon was also the inspiration for the Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom show Mickey's PhilharMagic.

The short was one of the many featured in Donald Duck's 50th Birthday, Donald remembers it in a psychiatric session with Dr. Ludwig Von Drake and says that Mickey invited Donald to play with his band.

The Band Concert is the theme for the Silly Symphony Swings attraction at Disney California Adventure Park.

This cartoon was featured in Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse.


  1. ^ a b Smith, Dave (1996). "Band Concert, The". Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Hyperion. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-7868-8149-6. 
  2. ^ Two more Mickey Mouse films were produced in black and white before they were produced in color on a permanent basis: Mickey's Service Station and Mickey's Kangaroo. Also Mickey had previously appeared in color in a two-minute clip called Parade of the Award Nominees which was made especially for the 1932 Academy Awards ceremony.
  3. ^ The Band Concert at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ The Band Concert at The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts
  5. ^ The overture was significantly abridged to account for events in the film. It was also played out of order, starting with the "Finale" (the "Lone Ranger" segment), continuing with the Ranz des Vaches "Daybreak" movement, and ending with the "Prelude" and "Storm" movements.
  6. ^ Appeared as Gideon Goat in promotional materials ([1])
  7. ^ Gabler, Neal. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. Vintage: New York. 2007. page 195.
  8. ^ Beck, Jerry (1994), 50 Greatest Cartoons, The. Atlanta: Turner Publishing Inc., pg 41. 1-878685-49-X

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