We see the various birds, mice, and bats that have moved into an old windmill, followed by the frogs, crickets, and fireflies making their music in an adjacent pond. Then a storm comes, ... See full summary »
Mickey has been reading Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There", and falls asleep. He finds himself on the other side of the mirror, where the furniture is ... See full summary »
Mickey is piloting a steamboat when Captain Pete comes to the bridge and throws him off. They stop to pick up cargo. Minnie just misses the boat and Mickey uses the crane to grab her. She drops her sheet music of "Turkey in the Straw" and a goat eats it. With help from Mickey, she cranks the goat's tail, and it plays the tune. Mickey accompanies on percussion and by torturing various animals, until Pete comes down and puts a stop to it, putting Mickey to work peeling potatoes. While this is the first sound Mickey Mouse, there's no dialog. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While in France as Germaine Dulac created a benchmark of short-subject, cinematic surrealism with The Seashell and the Clergyman, Walt Disney and his collaborator Ub Iwerks in America worked on Steamboat Willie, the most prominent of the early synchronized sound cartoons (it was revealed that this was not the first, contrary to other reports). It's also one of the more successfully simplistic and funny of the Mickey Mouse shorts (still in a silent-film way- the only sounds are little irks and bleeps from the Mickey and the animals). It also goes by fairly quickly for its less-than-ten minute run, if only by how quick and dopey the gags are.
But in these minutes one gets the immediate sense of how much fun Disney has with his characters, and how the newfound use of sound changes how his creation uses the animals as musical tools. There's no story to speak of, just random things that happens and occurs because of Mickey (err, Steamboat Willie) on this boat on a river. And like the better Mickey Mouse shorts, his lack of speaking acts as an advantage. It's a must-see if you haven't seen it as a kid, but if you have it might still be worth another look.
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