Disney Cartoon #5:
Flying Mouse" (July 14, 1934)
by Albert Gutierrez
I have to
in the "Silly
Symphonies" line of shorts.
Outside of the notable popular ones
Three Little Pigs," "Flowers
and Trees," "The Old Mill," etc.)
and personal favorites ("Wynken,
Blynken, and Nod," "Noah's Ark,"
"Peculiar Penguins," etc.), I likely
have seen the rest only once or
twice, and not with the same
enthusiasm as with other Disney
shorts. That's due to both the
recent inaccessibility of the shorts
(generally limited to the
Walt Disney Treasures or as
parts of compilation discs that I'm
not interested in), as well as the
experimental nature of the shorts as
well. They were often the testing
ground for designs, concepts, etc.
that would be used in feature film.
The focus was often on how music
and visuals could marry well
together, with some shorts not
having any definite story but just a
series of events and situations.
In fact, I
Penguins," and write about that.
But my first three articles have
been about favorites, with my fourth
themed to the Super Bowl. Rather
than cover another favorite, or even
loosely tie the love story of
"Peculiar Penguins" to the upcoming
Valentine's Day, I decided to save
them for another Saturday, and pick
a short I had no nostalgic feelings
for and very little recollection of.
Mouse" is a
and fly with
first to use
caught in a
with a small
and fly, and
It takes a
to get used
all fly away
little bird tries to befriend
him, the mother bird takes it away.
Lonely, the flying mouse decides to
fly home and join his brothers in a
game of leap frog. However, as he
flies down, his shadow resembles
that of a bird, and the family of
mice hide inside their pumpkin
house, refusing to let him in.
Despondent, the mouse flies away,
and finds himself among some bats.
In short, they terrify him and he
flies out almost as quickly as he
came, only to find the fairy again.
He begs her to take away his wings,
which she does, as he has learned
his lesson: be careful what you wish
In fact, I
the end of
in a simple
could try to
say why the
And to be
much else to
from, was a
Walt Disney Studios. Walt
had begun his plans for a
animated cartoon, Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs,
and the animators began
experimenting with more realistic
depictions of the human body and its
movement. Many cite "The Goddess of
Spring" as the first attempt, and I
don't challenge that. The rubbery
movements of the characters in that
short are almost laughable today,
but was an improvement over previous
attempts in the Silly Symphonies.
"The Flying Mouse" has a prime
example in the fairy, who looks
woefully anorexic and her clunky
movements feel like a
before-its-time early animatronic.
And as stated before, much of the
animals here are cutesy-cute, even
the bats feel almost huggable.
I wouldn't immediately recommend
"The Flying Mouse" to a Disney fan,
but at the same time, I wouldn't
advise against watching it either.
It's too harmless to be disliked
and too bland to be enjoyable. For
anyone interested in watching it,
there's the always-reliable tube
(but piracy is a no-no unless you're
Captain Jack Sparrow). In addition,
the short is also available on three
out-of-print DVD releases: Walt
Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies,
Dumbo: 60th Anniversary
Edition, and Dumbo: Big Top Edition.
If you have any of these, watch the
other Silly Symphony on the disc
("Elmer the Elephant") too, as it's
better. If you don't have any of
those DVD releases, there will be a
Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray
and DVD that will be released later
this year, which will also contain
those short cartoons.