The Little Whirlwind

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The Little Whirlwind
Mickey Mouse series
Theatrical poster
Directed by Riley Thomson
Produced by John Sutherland
Walt Disney (executive)
Voices by Walt Disney
Thelma Boardman
Music by Oliver Wallace
Animation by Ward Kimball
Walt Kelly
Kenneth Muse
Fred Moore
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s) February 14, 1941
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 min (one reel)
Language English
Preceded by Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940)
Followed by A Gentleman's Gentleman (1941)

The Little Whirlwind is a 1941 animated short subject, part of the Mickey Mouse series, produced by Walt Disney for Walt Disney Productions. The short was released by RKO Radio Pictures on February 14, 1941. The film was directed by Riley Thomson, and animated by Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, Ken Muse, Jim Armstrong, Les Clark, John Elliotte, Fred Jones, Walt Kelly, and Frank Follmer with effects animation by Art Fitzpatrick.[1] The short involves Mickey's attempts to help Minnie with her yard work, despite the presence of several (anthropomorphic) twisters as foils.


While walking by Minnie Mouse's house one day, Mickey Mouse is enticed by the aroma of a cake Minnie is baking. Promised a slice if he cleans the yard, Mickey immediately jumps into raking up the fall leaves littering Minnie's lawn. While working in the yard, a small tornado as tall as Mickey comes along and makes his work more complicated: first the youngster hops into the basket and leaps over Mickey countless times before he pounds the basket in place, shaking it to check if it's snared. After he throws the leaves in, the child pounces on him, spins him around, grabs his hat, and taunts him. Angered, Mickey pounces on the youngster, who spins him around and scoots away, leaving Mickey's hat on his head. Both Mickey and the youngster have a tug'o'war on the basket until it shatters on Mickey, who is entangled. Then, the child makes an army of leaves and marches around the house. Mickey manages to trap the child with a sack, which he ties and punts away. The tornadoling retaliates with just 2 punches, then attempts to get away, with Mickey hot on his heels. As Mickey chases him with a rake the terrified child calls out for help. The mother tornado, unamused with Mickey tormenting her offspring (and unaware of what her child has been doing to Mickey), furiously pursues him with a look of relentlessness on her face. Her angry rampage causes chaos and destruction through the farm fields and grasslands until she lifts the lower portion of her gigantic body and slows Mickey's movement.

When the twister finally sucks Mickey in, he is sent for a spin until he ends up falling into Minnie's water fountain. After the two tornados leave, Minnie, unaware of the whole incident finds her garden in a complete mess causing Mickey to get her cake thrown in his face which he proceeds to eat.

Animation notes[edit]

Much of the animation of the big tornado is taken from the 1935 Mickey Mouse cartoon The Band Concert.

The Little Whirlwind was the debut for a newly updated Mickey Mouse design: Mickey was given ears that worked in perspective (in lieu of his traditional, unchanging circles for ears), in addition to a slimmer body, larger head, hands and feet as well as buck teeth (the latter lasting for just two shorts; Canine Caddy was the other). This cosmetic change was relatively short-lived, and only lasted for the duration of World War II.

Home video[edit]

The short can be found on the "Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse In Living Color Volume 2 and on Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites Starring Mickey Volume 1.


  1. ^ "The Little Whirlwind".

External links[edit]