April 28, 1930 – The Silly Symphony Night is Released to Theaters.
On April 28, 1930, the Silly Symphony Night was released to theaters. Known as the early version of the award-winning short The Old Mill, the story set to music is of assorted animals in the evening near a river. It was directed by Walt Disney, and includes “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven among its collection of classical music used throughout the short.
The short opens on a moonlit night at a mill near a river, with the grass swaying in time to the background music. The moon gives the world a big smile, and begins singing along with the music playing. An owl flies past, flapping its wings in time with the tune, and calls out to his mate, who flies down to meet him on a branch. The two begin to dance; unfortunately, the male begins to kiss the female, who does not respond positively to his advances.
The “bug ballet” begins with some bugs are flying around a lamp, with one teasing the candle’s flame, only to find itself burned. Fireflies begin to light up in rhythm to the new song playing, with two silly fireflies performing for the audience. Afterward, three mosquitoes begin some sort of skulking dance, which ends with them crossing over a stream and landing on a frog’s head, biting the poor frog before they fly away. The frog gets his revenge, however, by eating all mosquitoes in rhythm before dancing across the pond himself to meet his lady friend.
Around the mill’s wheel, the frog romantically rocks his lady frog while a group of other frogs croak a lullaby for the couple. The main male frog professes his love in song, while the female frog smiles and hides her face in cute embarrassment. The two begin to dance across the lily pads together, only to fall over the edge of a waterfall, ending the short with a loud, dramatic splash.