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 kittens, denied milk as punishment for losing their mittens, sail up into the Milky Way in a hot air balloon. Once in the Milky Way, they find it a land of natural milk springs and gushers. The kittens proceed to happily gorge themselves on milk. However, it turns out to be just a dream.


  • 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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