The Milky Way (1940 film)

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The Milky Way
The milky way 1940.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Rudolf Ising (uncredited)
Produced by Rudolf Ising
Fred Quimby (uncredited)
Music by Musical supervision:
Scott Bradley (uncredited)
Animation by Michael Lah
Ray Abrams
George Gordon
Carl Urbano
Pete Burness
David Treffman
(all uncredited)
Layouts by Bob Allen (uncredited)
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Rudolf Ising Productions
Distributed by Loew's Inc.
Color process Technicolor
Country United States
Language English

The Milky Way is a one-reel animated cartoon short subject, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres with the film The Captain Is a Lady in 1940 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The short, produced and directed by Rudolf Ising and co-produced by Fred Quimby with musical supervision by Scott Bradley, explores the adventures of the "three little kittens who lost their mittens", as they explore a dreamland where space is made up entirely of dairy products (for example, the Milky Way is made of milk and the moon is made of cheese). Mars is depicted as a planet where shooting stars are made. The short won the 1940 Academy Award for Animated Short Film, and was the first non-Disney film to do so. Other shorts nominated in 1940 included A Wild Hare by Warner Bros., introducing Bugs Bunny, and another MGM cartoon Puss Gets the Boot, with Jasper & Jinx, the prototype for Tom and Jerry. It was added as a bonus feature in the Marx Bros. DVD release of Go West (1940).


Three little kittens, denied milk as punishment for losing their mittens, sail up into the Milky Way in a hot air balloon. They find lots of stuff in outer space like a cheese moon where all the good little mice all go and diamond rings and a comet train that's very fast and Mars that shoots stars and the big and Little Dipper and they go to the Milky Way. Once in the Milky Way, they find it a land of natural milk springs and gushers. There's also mayhem in the cartoon, what caused the mayhem is the cat in green pajamas drinking old faithful's milk makes him shake, they fall through the end of pools of milk and they end up in a butter Machine turning to butter, the green kitten shakes some more, they go through another pool and they reach the end of the Milky Way and they almost fall. However, it turns out to be just a dream. The mother of the kittens tells them that they can have their supper now but when they run down, they see grade a milk and faints.


  • The Milky Way defeated, among others Puss Gets the Boot, the first Tom and Jerry film, to win the Oscar for Animated Short Film.

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