The Golden Age of Animation Part 1: 1928-1939

In 1928, Walt Disney's STEAMBOAT WILLIE started what is called "The Golden Age of Animation." During this time, America produced some of the finest animation ever made. Not just in terms of quantity, but in quality. With a few rare exceptions (SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS), they were always short films preceding a feature film, and always hand drawn. Not to mention very expensive. Animated feature length films were naturally very rare during this time. Animation had been started long before, thanks to great talents such as Emile Reynaud, J. Stuart Blackton, Emile Cohl, and Winsor McCay. But it was during this time that animation first became widely recognized. Even today, nothing comes close to the animation we used to produce on a regular basis, with the obvious exception of Japan's contributions. Studio Ghibli in particular. This Golden Age came to a close, due to how expensive these short films were and to the fact that cheaper, but still enjoyable, animation was being produced for television. With the final WOODY WOODPECKER cartoon from Walter Lantz in 1972, it was officially over, according to many. Today, most animation is on the television, with a steady stream of animated features. We still see traditional animated shorts preceding a feature from time to time, as they used to. A brand new LOONEY TUNE or MERRIE MELODY in a theater every once in a while (such as BOX-OFFICE BUNNY), or on TV (such as BUG'S BUNNY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL) , and even something from DISNEY that isn't computer animated (such as the new GOOFY cartoon, HOW TO HOOK UP YOUR HOME THEATER, in front of NATIONAL TREASURE 2). Pleasant reminders of a time long past. I have attempted to list every animated short from the nine key animation studios from 1928 to 1972. If I have made any mistakes or forgotten anything, which I am sure I have, please let me know. The studios I refer to are:
1. WALT DISNEY (which needs no introduction)
2. WARNER BROS. (LOONEY TUNES, MERRIE MELODIES, etc.)
3. PARAMOUNT (FLEISCHER STUDIOS, FAMOUS STUDIOS, GEORGE PAL'S PUPPETOONS, etc.)
4. MGM (TOM AND JERRY, DROOPY, etc.)
5. UNIVERSAL (WALTER LANTZ)
6. 20TH CENTURY FOX (TERRYTOONS)
7. COLUMBIA (SCREEN GEMS, UPA)
8. CELEBRITY PRODUCTIONS (FLIP THE FROG, WILLIE WHOPPER, and COMICOLOR CARTOONS)
9. VAN BEUREN STUDIOS (RAINBOW PARADE, CUBBY BEAR, etc.)
I have arranged it all by year and by each individual studio and series within that year.
A few of these series had been started prior to the Golden Age by different studios. These were AESOP'S FABLES, OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT, FARMER AL FALFA, and KRAZY KAT.
Strangely, most of these incredible shorts have never had a proper DVD release. The HAPPY HARMONIES and COLOR RHAPSODIES for instance.
Some of the DVD releases have been very odd. The LOONEY TUNES and MERRIE MELODIES in particular. Why wouldn't they put them out chronologically and without anything missing? Very strange indeed.
I am proud to have grown up watching these, which is why I am able to do this now.
As a side note, there were three shorts which supposedly came out in the thirties that I was unable to locate on IMDB. They were:
1. GOING PLACES #18--CARTOONLAND MYSTERIES (1936) (WALTER LANTZ)
2. THE AMAZING RECOVERY OF INBAD THE AILER (1939) (WALTER LANTZ)
3. BREAKDOWNS OF 1939 (1939) (WARNER BROS.)

Dedicated to my Mom.
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1.
Steamboat Willie (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Mickey Mouse, piloting a steamboat, delights his passenger, Minnie, by making musical instruments out of the menagerie on deck. (8 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
“ MICKEY MOUSE (WALT DISNEY) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
2.
Plane Crazy (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Inspired by Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris, Mickey builds a plane to take Minnie for a trip involving some necking, though Minnie objects to the necking. (6 mins.)
 
3.
The Gallopin' Gaucho (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Mickey rides up to a cantina and does a tango with Minnie. When a big cat steals her away, Mickey gives chase, riding a drunken ostrich. At the hideout, Mickey has a swordfight with the cat. (6 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
4.
Dinner Time (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
“ AESOP'S FABLES (VAN BEUREN STUDIOS) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
5.
The Flying Age (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
6.
War Bride (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
7.
Static (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
 
8.
Alaska or Bust (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
9.
Sunday on the Farm (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
10.
Monkey Love (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
11.
Big Game (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
12.
Gridiron Demons (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
13.
Laundry Man (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
14.
On the Links (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
 
15.
Day Off (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
16.
Barnyard Politics (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
17.
Stage Struck (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
 
18.
Flying Hoofs (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
19.
Mail Man (1928 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
20.
The Barn Dance (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Mickey comes in his horse and buggy to pick up Minnie for the barn dance, but he's aced out by his rival... (7 mins.)
“ MICKEY MOUSE (WALT DISNEY) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
21.
The Opry House (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Mickey Mouse runs a cheap opera house and performs on stage as a snake charmer, a belly dancer and a long-haired pianist. (6 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
22.
When the Cat's Away (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
While Tom Cat goes away hunting, Mickey, Minnie, and their mouse friends break into his house and perform music. They play various tunes on the piano while the other mice hit household objects in tune to the music. (7 mins.)
 
23.
The Barnyard Battle (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Mickey, and a ragtag group of mice, defend their farm from a group of cats, in a sort of small-scale version of the Civil War (complete with appropriate uniforms and "Dixie"). (7 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
24.
The Karnival Kid (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Mickey is selling hot dogs at a carnival next to the tent for Minnie the Shimmy Dancer. He gets into an argument with the barker... (8 mins.)
 
25.
Mickey's Choo-Choo (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Mickey is a railroad engineer with an anthropomorphic locomotive. He feeds the train (coal), then feeds his dog... (7 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
26.
Mickey's Follies (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Mickey puts on a show in his barnyard. A short dramatic scene by a chicken and rooster; an operatic ode by Patricia Pig, and then the main attraction: Mickey sings and plays his theme song, then dances to it. (7 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
27.
The Plowboy (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Mickey goes about his farm chores, plowing with Horace and milking Clarabelle, while Minnie sings (until Mickey kisses her... (6 mins.)
Director: Walt Disney
 
28.
The Jazz Fool (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Horace pulls a wagon with a a small pipe organ, with Mickey at the keys; a sign on the side reads "Mickey's Big Road Show." They arrive... (6 mins.)
 
29.
Wild Waves (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Mickey Mouse is a singing lifeguard. Minnie Mouse is the damsel he must rescue before she is swept out to sea. (7 mins.)
 
30.
Jungle Rhythm (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Mickey's apparently on an African safari, riding on an elephant, but his shotgun disintegrates the first time he tries to use it... (7 mins.)
 
31.
The Haunted House (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Mickey seeks shelter from a storm in a house that turns out to be haunted. The skeletons command him to play the organ; they dance and play along. (7 mins.)
 
32.
The Skeleton Dance (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The clock strikes midnight, the bats fly from the belfry, a dog howls at the full moon, and two black cats fight in the cemetery: a perfect time for four skeletons to come out and dance a bit. (6 mins.)
Director: Walt Disney
“ SILLY SYMPHONIES (WALT DISNEY) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
33.
El terrible toreador (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A Spanish cantina. The toreador enters, sees the waitress being harassed, and confronts the military/police type doing the harassment. She comes to the bullfight. (6 mins.)
Director: Walt Disney
 
34.
Springtime (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Flowers, insects, and a crow family all dance to a jaunty tune celebrating spring. After a brief storm, grasshoppers, frogs, and spiders cavort to the Dance of the Hours. (6 mins.)
Director: Walt Disney
 
35.
Hell's Bells (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The demons of hell play music for Satan, whose delight turns to wrath when an insubordinate refuses to become food for Cerberus. (6 mins.)
Director: Ub Iwerks
 
36.
The Merry Dwarfs (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A band of dwarfs dance while they work and play in the forest. (6 mins.)
 
37.
Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A cartoonist draws Bosko, who promptly comes to life. (5 mins.)
Director: Hugh Harman
“ WARNER BROS. ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
38.
The Sidewalks of New York (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
“ SCREEN SONGS (FLEISCHER STUDIOS) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
39.
Yankee Doodle Boy (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
40.
Old Black Joe (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
41.
Ye Olde Melodies (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
42.
Daisy Bell (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(7 mins.)
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
43.
Mother Pin a Rose on Me (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
44.
Dixie (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
45.
China Town My China Town (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
46.
Goodbye My Lady Love (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
47.
My Pony Boy (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
48.
Smiles (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
49.
Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
50.
After the Ball (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
51.
Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
52.
I've Got Rings on My Fingers (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
53.
Noah's Lark (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
“ TALKARTOONS (FLEISCHER STUDIOS) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
54.
Marriage Wows (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dave Fleischer
 
55.
Race Riot (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
“ OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT (WALTER LANTZ) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
56.
Oil's Well (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
 
57.
Permanent Wave (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
Director: Walter Lantz
 
58.
Cold Turkey (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Walter Lantz
 
59.
Amature Nite (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
60.
Hurdy Gurdy (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
(20 mins.)
Director: Hal Roach
 
61.
Nutty Notes (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Walter Lantz
 
62.
Ozzie of the Circus (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Walter Lantz
 
63.
Snow Use (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Director: Walter Lantz
 
64.
Pussy Willie (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Walter Lantz
 
65.
Ratskin (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
“ KRAZY KAT (SCREEN GEMS) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
66.
Canned Music (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
67.
Port Whines (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Working as a sailor aboard a ship, a Chinese cook makes Krazy fish for the despotic Captain's breakfast.
 
68.
Sole Mates (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
69.
Farm Relief (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
An impromptu speakeasy sets up on Krazy's farm, and in no time, all the animals are drunk, and Krazy himself is so soused that he attempts to milk (an apparently male) donkey.
 
70.
Land o' Cotton (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
“ AESOP'S FABLES (VAN BEUREN STUDIOS) ” - Mallorca-Moon
 
71.
White Elephant (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
72.
Snapping the Whip (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.0/10 X  
 
73.
The Break of Day (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
74.
Sweet Adeline (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
75.
Wooden Money (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
 
76.
Queen Bee (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
77.
Grandma's House (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
 
78.
Back to the Soil (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
 
79.
A Lad and His Lamp (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
 
80.
The Big Burg (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
 
81.
Foolish Follies (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
82.
The Black Duck (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Okay, this is an entry in the "Aesop's Sound Fables" and is a version of the little-black-duck and the... (6 mins.)
 
83.
The Under Dog (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
 
84.
The Cop's Bride (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
85.
The Big Shot (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Fat and Snub are a reporter and photographer who try to track down a reclusive Scotsman for an interview and photo.
Director: James D. Davis
 
86.
Presto-Chango (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
(6 mins.)
Director: Paul Terry
 
87.
Homeless Cats (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
88.
Fight Game (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
89.
Skating Hounds (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
 
90.
Little Game Hunter (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
91.
Faithful Pup (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
92.
Ball Park (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.0/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
 
93.
Fish Day (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
94.
Custard Pies (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  
 
95.
Polo Match (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
96.
Snow Birds (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
97.
Wood Choppers (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry
 
98.
April Showers (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
99.
Kidnapped (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Walter Fabian
 
100.
Concentrate (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Paul Terry