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August 18

August 18, 1931 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Blue Rhythm is Released to Theaters

“I hate to see the evenin’ sun come down.”

 On August 18, 1931, the Mickey Mouse short film Blue Rhythm was released to theaters. The song used in the short is “Saint Louis Blues,” a jazz standard from 1914, written by W.C. Handy, and famously sung by Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. The short was directed by Burt Gillett, and stars Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse, and Marcellite Garner as the voice of Minnie Mouse.

The curtain opens on a grand stage to reveal Mickey playing a piece on the piano. He soon switches genres of music from classical to jazz, and begins playing around with the piano keys. Minnie enters stage left and begins to walk in time to the music before singing “Saint Louis Blues” rather dramatically. Mickey finds gum under the piano and gets his fingers stuck to it, which causes him some difficulty playing Minnie’s song.

Mickey leaves the piano to join Minnie in scatting and dancing across the stage

Minnie moves on to perform some jazz scatting with Mickey leaving the piano to join her. The two then begin to tap dance across the stage, and leave as the background curtain rises to reveal Horace Horsecollar and other members of the orchestra continuing to play the piece. Mickey appears from a trapdoor and conducts the orchestra. Pluto, playing the trombone, keeps hitting Mickey in the back with the slide, which causes Mickey to break it in half in frustration.

The lights go out, and the orchestra stops in confusion before seeing the spotlight on Mickey, who puts on a crushed top hat and begins to play the clarinet. The orchestra once again continues to play, and the concert ends with the stage falling apart thanks to their spirited playing.


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