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Tag Archives: Silly Symphony

October 1

October 1, 1932 – The Silly Symphony Bugs in Love is Released to Theaters

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On October 1, 1932, the Silly Symphony Bugs in Love was released to theaters. It was directed by Burt Gillett.

There’s a small fair set up for the bugs of the dump, and they are enjoying themselves on several rides created through pieces of trash. A band plays music using safety pins, and a mirror is used for a skating rink, with talcum powder being used for snow. Two bugs are skating on their own private rink, sharing a kiss. The girl heads home and the boy calls for her, drawing a heart for her on a nearby box. A crow spots the pair and eyes them hungrily. The two bugs profess their love for each other, and the crow breaks through the box and starts chasing after them, laughing maniacally. He chases the girl into her house and trashes the place after trapping the boy in a bottle. The boy manages to break out and grabs an arrow from an old clock to attack the crow. A passerby notices the danger and sounds the alarm, alerting all the bugs to the crow’s appearance, and they grab whatever weapons they can to attack the crow. They cover the crow in paste and ink, and bite him with an old pair of dentures before attacking him with a whisk and a mousetrap. They catch him in an old shoe and force him to drink castor oil. Finally out of danger, the girl bug and boy bug reunite, sharing a kiss as everyone watches.

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September 26

September 26, 1930 – The Silly Symphony Monkey Melodies is Released to Theaters

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On September 26, 1930, the Silly Symphony Monkey Melodies was released to theaters. It was directed by Burt Gillett.

The short begins with monkeys dancing and swinging on vines, with all different kinds moving in their own way. Three chimps start singing and dancing in unison, entertaining the group of chimps on the branch above. A couple of parrots mimic the chimps, dancing hard enough to cause the coconuts above them to fall on their heads. One monkey starts picking the flowers from a nearby tree, and brings them to his sweetheart, and the two shyly interact before dancing together and sharing kisses. He hten starts feeding her bananas, before the two chase each other across the jungle, landing on a log in a river. Further down the river, several large crocodiles have taken up the melody and are dancing. The monkeys continue to sail down the river, unaware of the crocodiles, and not noticing one chasing after them. The crocodile catches up with them and taunts them, but the pair manages to escape before he can chomp down. After the crocodile, they run into a hippo, a snake, and a leopard. Fortunately, they are able to get away from those dangers, and end the short with a kiss.

August 27

August 27, 1931 – The Silly Symphony Egyptian Melodies is Released to Theaters

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“Mummies!”

On August 27, 1931, the Silly Symphony Egyptian Melodies was released to theaters. It was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

The short begins at the Sphinx, where a spider is playing in his web on the front, when the door mysteriously opens. Curious, the spider decides to head inside, beckoning the audience to follow him in. He carefully makes his way inside, but is nearly crushed by a block and falls down some stairs. He finally finds an hourglass, which sets off like an alarm, waking some nearby mummies. The mummies step out of their sarcophagi and start to dance, scaring the spider enough to make him hide inside a pot. He then looks to see some markings on the wall start to march and dance across the walls inside. The pharaoh in the drawings is entertained by a chariot race in the wall above him, and everyone cheers on their favorite racer. Fighting ensues between the soldiers watching the race, and the spider can only watch as the walls continue dancing and spinning. The spider soon flees the Sphinx, and is seen running across the desert wildly.

August 16

August 16, 1930 – The Silly Symphony Midnight in a Toy Shop is Released to Theaters

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“Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.”

On August 16, 1930, the Silly Symphony Midnight in a Toy Shop was released to theaters. It was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

It’s a windy, snowy day outside Ye Toy Shoppe, and a spider is nearly blown away from his web. He decides to sneak inside the toy shop to keep warm, and when he hears the clock chime midnight, he hides in a box, as he’s startled by the cuckoo. He starts to explore, and is startled several times after running into the toys. Running into the dark, he lights a candle, unaware that he has set it down next to some Chinese firecrackers before he starts playing with a toy piano. Two dolls start dancing around to his melody, and are soon joined by other toys within the shop. The spider continues to play with the toys, much to his own amusement. When he slides from a spinning record, he lands on the candle, and pulls it with him into the box of firecrackers, creating a large explosion within the store. The spider jumps away, and escapes through the keyhole to head back out into the snow.

July 29

July 29, 1933 – The Silly Symphony Old King Cole is Released to Theaters

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“Once upon a time in Storybook Land, Old King Cole sent out a royal command calling his subjects to the castle hall: everyone’s invited to the royal ball!”

On July 29, 1933, the Silly Symphony Old King Cole was released to theaters. It was directed by Dave Hand.

The short begins with Old King Cole announcing that he’s having a ball, and all of his subjects are invited. The trumpets sound, announcing the start, and the Pied Piper comes out of his storybook, bringing the rats with him to the castle. He’s followed by Little Boy Blue, who sounds his horn, followed by the Crooked Man and his crooked cat and crooked mouse. Mother Hubbard attends as well, with her dog, as they pop out of their cupboards from their storybook. The kids of the old woman that lived in a shoe start cheering a skipping to the party, along with other famous storybook characters. Old King Cole welcomes them to the party, but warns them that they must go home when the clock strikes midnight. The first act begins, as a dance done by Mary Mary Quite Contrary and her flowers. More storybook acts follow, popping out of Pandora’s Box in rapid succession, ending with Ten Little Indians, who dance around Old King Cole. The dancing continues around the castle in a merry fashion. Suddenly, Hickory, Dickory, and Dock announce that it’s midnight, and everyone rushes back to their storybooks as fast as they can. Old King Cole wishes them goodnight, and leaves a bottle of milk out for the next morning before his storybook closes.

June 27

June 27, 1930 – The Silly Symphony Arctic Antics is Released to Theaters

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On June 27, 1930, the Silly Symphony Arctic Antics was released to theaters. It was directed by Ub Iwerks.

A polar bear cub is dancing about between the back of a polar bear and sheets of ice, followed by a parade of other polar bears and seals. One polar bear cub uses its tail to drive him forward on a sheet of ice like a speedboat. A walrus is seen chasing a fish, who jumps about, teasing it. A group of seals clap as they watch a female do a balancing act and dance with a fish, while another seal uses a walrus to create music before being chased off by the walrus, who wishes to sing instead. The seals applaud the walrus’ efforts before a troop of penguins marches on the scene, waddling in unison. One small penguin falls through the ice, but manages to quickly rejoin the group before they whistle their marching tune behind a large iceberg.

May 27

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May 27, 1938 – The Silly Symphony Wynken, Blynken and Nod is Released to Theaters

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“Wynken, and Blynken, and Nod one night sailed off in a wooden shoe.”

On May 27, 1938, the Silly Symphony Wynken, Blyken and Nod was released to theaters. It was based on the poem by American poet Eugene Field, originally titled Dutch Lullaby. The short was directed by Graham Heid.

One starry night, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod sail across the sky in a ship made out of a wooden clog, setting out their fishing lines over the side. The ship lands in a cloud, and the three tots step out to push the ship back into the sky. They spot an area filled with star fish, and set about to catch a few, although it is much more trouble than they expected. The fish manage to outsmart the boys, and poor Nod is thrown over the side of the ship. A shooting star heads their way, scattering the fish and scaring the boys. They manage to hook their net over the shooting star, which carries them quickly across the sky. A group of black clouds send the ship flying across the storm, with the ship’s sail tearing in two before the mast breaks off. The boys tumble from the sky and back into a bedroom on Earth, revealing that the three are all aspects of a sleeping toddler.

April 16

April 16, 1931 – The Silly Symphony Mother Goose Melodies is Released to Theaters

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“Oh, I’m King Cole, I’m a merry old soul, and a merry old soul am I, ha ha ha!”

On April 16, 1931, the Silly Symphony Mother Goose Melodies was released to theaters. The short is based on the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, which dates all the way back to the 16th century. The short also features a cameo by Clarabelle Cow. It was directed by Burt Gillett.

The short opens with a parade dedicated to Old King Cole, with a turtle rolling out a carpet for the very portly king. He sits in his throne and, in a variation of the nursery rhyme, he calls for his pipe, his book, and his fiddlers three, who happen to be the Three Blind Mice. Mother Goose pops out of her book and starts dancing with her goose before they go into the story of Little Miss Muffett. Little Miss Muffett is scared off by the spider, who finishes the contents of her bowl, but crashes into it when he tries to haul it up a tree. This is followed by Jack and Jill, who run up a hill and meet Simple Simon, who scares them when he reveals bats flying out from under his hat and pulls an octopus out of his fishing bucket. The children are scared so much that they end up rolling down the hill, their bucket landing on Mother Goose’s pet goose’s head.

Humpty Dumpty laughs at the goose, unaware of his own pending misfortune

Humpty Dumpty laughs at the goose, unaware of his own pending misfortune

The page in the book then turns to Humpty Dumpty, who laughs at the misfortune of the goose, who takes the bucket and knocks Humpty Dumpty off the wall. Little Jack Horner sings his poem about pulling out his plum from his pie, his voice changing when he announces what a big boy he is. The plum, however, is a blackbird, who flies about and lets all the other birds out of the pie. Suddenly, Little Bo Peep is seen weeping, as she has lost her sheep. Little Boy Blue is seen snoring in the fields, and wakes up to blow his horn, bringing Bo Peep’s sheep back to her. One lamb falls into the mud and turns black, and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is heard in the background. The lamb starts skipping about, and slips out of the grasp of the goose, who tries to put it back in the book. Lastly, the King is entertained by Hey Diddle Diddle, with all the animals in the rhyme playing a merry tune. All the characters escape the book and begin to dance, including King Cole.

April 14

April 14, 1936 – The Silly Symphony Three Little Wolves is Released to Theaters

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“Someday, the Wolf will get you, then you’ll be in a fix. You’ll blow that horn and I won’t come – I’ll think it’s one of your tricks!”

On April 14, 1936, the Silly Symphony Three Little Wolves was released to theaters. It was the third short in the Three Little Pigs series, and contained a veiled warning about the threat of Nazi Germany, which was growing in power in Europe at the time. The film was not as successful as the first short in the series, though it had moderate success, and Walt would continuously say “you can’t top pigs with pigs.” The short was directed by Dave Hand.

At the Big Bad Wolf’s house, he teaches his three children about the prime parts of a pig, with the three wolves using their slingshots to throw rocks at him. They mock him when he threatens to blow their ears off, as they don’t think much of him since he lost to the three little pigs. Meanwhile, Fifer and Fiddler are playing and skipping about when they see the wolf alarm their brother has tacked up. Although it says “for emergency use only,” the two decide to play a prank on their brother, who runs up to them with a gun when he hears the horn. He is angered by their prank, and goes back to work, although Fiddler and Fifer fall over in hysterical laughter. As they laugh, they don’t notice the small pack of wolves heading their way.

Fiddler and Fifer look around for "Little Bo Peep's" missing sheep

Fiddler and Fifer look around for “Little Bo Peep’s” missing sheep

The Big Bad Wolf disguises himself as Little Bo Peep, claiming he’s lost his sheep, and Fiddler and Fifer kindly offer to help search for the missing sheep. The little wolves are dressed as little sheep, and when Fiddler and Fifer go to round them up, they are lead straight to the Wolves’ residence. The Big Bad Wolf locks the door and swallows the key, leaving the two little pigs trapped. Still holding the horn, they blow it loudly while being chased by the three little wolves. Hearing the horn, Practical Pig starts to chase after them but, thinking it another prank, decides to ignore it. The two little pigs come up with a plan to have one of the little wolves blow the horn loudly, and the Big Bad Wolf takes it upon himself to blow the horn loudly. Finally convinced, Practical Pig heads to the Wolf’s house with his new invention, the Wolf Pacifier. The Big Bag Wolf gets caught in the contraption, and his kids can only watch as their father gets tarred and feathered before being shot out of a cannon.

April 8

April 8, 1933 – The Silly Symphony Father Noah’s Ark is Released to Theaters

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“Oh, I’m Father Noah, captain of this bark, I make the plans and give commands to build the ark.”

On April 8, 1933, the Silly Symphony Father Noah’s Ark was released to theaters. This is the first of two shorts featuring the biblical story; the other was a stop-motion special short released in 1959. This Silly Symphony was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

The short begins with all the animals helping Noah build the ark, while he holds up his plans. His three sons assist with the creation of the ark, while their wives start loading food into the ship. Noah’s wife is doing laundry while singing to the audience that she is the one in control of this ship, “you bet your life.” Noah and his family have come up with ingenious ways to use the animals to help with the building, including a charging rhino to help slice the planks, and woodpeckers to hammer in nails. Suddenly, the sun is covered by angry clouds, and Noah and his sons call all the animals to the boat, as the rain has begun. The animals race over and board while Noah checks his list. Two skunks are late arriving, and when Noah and his sons see the skunks, they quickly pull up the gangplank and sail away. The skunks, however, swim out after them. The storm grows violent, and the skunks have made it on to the boat, but have to hold to the roof for dear life. Inside, the animals are shoved back and forth due to the rocking of the ship. The forty days of rain passes by slowly, but soon, the clouds abate and the sun is shining once again. The animals look out the windows and enjoy the sun. A dove flies back with an olive branch, and everyone disembarks, ready to be on land again.