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August 12

August 12, 1941 – The Remade Short Film Orphan’s Benefit is Released to Theaters


“Who did that? What’s the big idea? Am I mortified! Am I mortified!”

On August 12, 1941, the short film Orphan’s Benefit was released to theaters. It was a remake of the 1934 short film, with updated animation and the added effect of color. The updated short was directed by Riley Thomson.

It’s the night of the orphan’s benefit at Mickey’s Big Show, and all the orphans are brought inside in single file line, presumably well-behaved. Inside, however, they’re causing all sorts of chaos, which stops when Mickey and Donald enter the stage. Mickey introduces Donald, who will recite (an unintelligible version of) “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” His performance is met with much applause, and it gives him enough confidence to move onto his next poem, “Little Boy Blue.” However, he is mocked by one of the orphans, which almost incites a tantrum; Donald starts his poem again, only to be mocked by all the orphans, and has a tantrum. He is then hooked off-stage, much to the amusement of the orphans.

Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and Goofy begin their interesting ballet

Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and Goofy begin their interesting ballet

Next is the dance number, featuring Clarabelle Cow, Goofy, and Horace Horsecollar. At one point, Horace grabs Clarabelle and spins her about wildly, before throwing her over to Goofy. Her spinning spins him out of control after he grabs her, and he ends up falling on the floor. Goofy attempts to redeem himself after this by doing some acrobatics with Clarabelle, only to have her fall on his head. Momentarily blinded, Goofy grabs her tail and throws her across the room to Horace, who catches her with one finger. When Horace throws Clarabelle back, Goofy is only able to grab her leotard, which she snatches back angrily before hitting Goofy on the head with a hammer. After the act, Donald comes back on stage to mock the orphans, and ends up with a face full of ice cream, before becoming the orphans’ personal punching bag. After this, Mickey and Clara perform a number, with Mickey playing the piano to Clara’s singing. Clara is able to hit the high note in her song after being hit by one of the boys’ slingshots, but she and Mickey take this in stride and take several bows.

Donald returns to the stage once more, starting his poem and waiting for retaliation; seeing none, he discards his brick and recites “Little Boy Blue,” although he has another tantrum when they mock him once more. While throwing his tantrum, the orphans tie random objects to balloons and send them across the stage, with two other orphans hitting the balloons with their slingshots the moment the objects are over Donald’s head.


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