October 26, 1935 – The Silly Symphony Three Orphan Kittens is Released to Theaters
“Kittens! Aren’t they cute?”
On October 26, 1935, the Silly Symphony Three Orphan Kittens was released to theaters. The short is known for its remarkable animation design and perspective by animator Ken Anderson. It was directed by Dave Hand.
It’s a blustery, snowy night, and a car stops in front of a fence. A burlap bag is dumped into the yard on the other side of the fence before the car speeds away. When the bag comes to rest, three kittens tumble out of it and cuddle together in the snow. They notice an open window of the house nearby and decided to venture in to get warm. The three climb up the basement stairs and explore the house, watching as the housekeeper sings a song and brings a pie to the table.
Hungry, the kittens climb onto the table, where the gray kitten is distracted by a fly. When the fly lands on the pie, the gray kitten follows it, but is startled to see some of the filling fly out of the pie. The kitten begins to fight the pie, and ends up covered in the filling. The red kitten has been licking the remaining drops of milk from a bottle, and accidentally gets his head stuck inside. The black kitten plays with the pepper shaker, sneezing after he spills too much. One sneeze sends him flying backward into the red kitten, pushing him fully inside the milk bottle. The black kitten attacks the pepper once more, and sneezes powerfully enough to send him flying into the bottle just as the red kitten has escaped.
The kittens finally leave the kitchen to explore further, and end up in a nursery, delighted by the toys they find. The black kitten, however, has a bad run-in with a jack-in-the-box, and hides inside a pillow. A feather pops out, and the kitten follows it, chasing it all through the house. He chases it over the keys of a player piano, and accidentally sets off the mechanism, which plays a song called “Kitten on the Keys.” When the other kittens join him on the instrument, they are overwhelmed by the actions of the player piano. Their antics finally alert the housekeeper, who catches them and attempts to throw them out in the snow, when the little girl of the house asks to keep them, saving them from being thrown out into the snow.