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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Disney Gem

Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA
3 March 2003

A Walt Disney MICKEY MOUSE Cartoon.

THE BAND CONCERT which Mickey is conducting in the City Park becomes a titanic contest of wills & determination as the Mouse lets absolutely nothing stop his little group from completing their performance.

Mickey Mouse made his Technicolor debut & Donald Duck became a full-fledged cinematic star in this truly classic cartoon. It is easy to read so many things into this little film - Mickey as the standard bearer for stubborn authority & Donald as the leader of the coming revolution, for example - but perhaps it's safer to leave the philosophizing to the greybeards. Walt Disney and his animators wanted nothing more than to entertain an audience for a few minutes before the main picture began. What we now recognize as one of animation's seminal moments didn't even earn an Oscar nomination at the time. It is with hindsight that true appreciation grows.

Perfection can be found in the details: Mickey's look of fierce resolve as he struggles to conduct in his oversized uniform jacket; Donald's insouciant legerdemain as he produces an endless supply of fifes; the naughty little bee which causes musical mayhem; the absorption with which Clarabelle Cow (flute), Horace Horsecollar (percussion) & Goofy (clarinet) relentlessly continue their performances; the tornado, perfectly cued to the band's music, frightening away not only the audience, but their park benches as well; Mickey, perched on his box, being swept through the storm's debris (including the detritus of a destructed home's living room) without ever missing a measure of the music. Any of these moments would have been the pride of a lesser film;here, they are simply individual gems strung together to create a stunning whole.

It is worth noting that Donald was originally slated to appear as the band's saxophonist, but Walt wanted his part expanded. The rest is history and the Duck (his unique voice supplied by Clarence Nash) never looked back. For the record, the music heard during the opening credits is from the 1831 opera Zampa, by the Frenchman Louis-Joseph-Ferdinand Herold (1791-1833). Mickey's main offering, of course, is the Overture to the 1829 opera William Tell, by the Italian Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868). 'Turkey In The Straw' is the triumphant tune played by the Duck.

THE BAND CONCERT is the perfect short subject to watch before viewing either FANTASIA (1940) or FANTASIA 2000 (1999).

Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work will always pay off.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The first Mickey Mouse done in color

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
21 April 2002

This short is the first one that Disney made starring Mickey in color and what a glorious way to bring the Mouse into color! This is one of the best animated shorts of all time. Often imitated, but never duplicated. Disney was at the top of the mountain as far as animation was concerned and this one is justifiably considered a classic. Well worth looking for. Most highly recommended.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A classic Mickey Mouse short!

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
8 July 2009

I have always found The Band Concert an unforgettable Disney short, and to me is a true classic. The animation, considering it was made in Technicolur and made in 1935, is very impressive indeed, and for a variety of reasons the short is compulsive viewing for Disney and classical music lovers. From Mickey Mouse conducting in his intentionally over-sized band conductor's uniform, to Donald Duck causing trouble during the band performance of Rossini's rousing William Tell overture. This is special to me, as my dad is a conductor, I love animation and I was raised on classical music. For all these reasons, I have always found the Band Concert a wonderful gem, that would enthrall the younger generation as well as educate them to the world of classical music for years to come, just as much as it has enthralled me. 10/10 Bethany Cox.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Micky Maestro

Author: from Decatur, Georgia, USA
4 December 2008

By the mid-1930s, Disney was hard at work pushing the boundaries of animation – as groundwork for his feature films, his 'Silly Symphonies' were becoming more sophisticated at creating characters with physical weight and substance, moving through increasingly realistic surroundings with plenty of nuance in their 'acting'. He was turning the old 'short subject' diversion into serious art.

All this put his resident star Mickey Mouse into a curious spot – originally the bouncy, anarchic free spirit, now bound in his Technicolor debut to driving his rubber-limbed barnyard co-stars to higher purpose. As band leader, he does his level best to create high art, but is stymied by the very realism he seeks to embrace. His music stand buckles under gravity, his realistically weighty jacket hinders and trips him up…and against more realistic character design, his own facial features come into question. His trademark ears start to defy dimensional correctness to retain his distinct silhouette, and the free-floating pupils in his eyes show their limitations as he shoots sideways glares to his cowing orchestra.

With all this to contend with, in walks Donald Duck. Created as a model of disreputable behavior in "The Wise Little Hen", he was quickly overtaking Mickey in the hearts of movie audiences. Even with a weightier, more realistic design (much more duck-like than he would later become) he cheerfully dismisses the new realism – with a wink to us he produces a seemingly infinite number of flutes from thin air! His breezy attitude easily infects the old-style band members, who quickly, repeatedly revert to their roots, veering off the 'William Tell Overture' into 'Turkey in the Straw' at Donald's lead.

Mickey soldiers on regardless, squaring off against both his box-office rival and the intimidating weight of his newly-realistic surroundings, summed up in a full-blown storm that swirls him and his old cohorts into the sky like autumn leaves. Through sheer determination, he holds things together to a triumphant end, proving himself up to this new world he's in – but the Duck gets in the last laugh.

(Note: It may be pompous over-analysis to take what is simply a cartoon that's a technical masterpiece, consistently funny, and understandable to anyone, anywhere, at any age, and hold it up as a metaphor for Disney's internal struggle between his lofty ambitions and his lowbrow roots, but that's what being a do-it-yourself internet reviewer is all about.)

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: baz-15 from Dublin
21 February 2002

All budding animators should see this one. It is one of the all time great cartoons. The scene when the twister lifts the band up is transcendent. It still awes after all these years. The cartoon starts off in a light way, with donald duck interfering with the band,playing turkey in the straw against their william tell overture. The action is guided by the music, and vice versa-when mickey tries to swat a bee by waving his arms, the band play his instructions,when he gets ice cream down his pants and tries to shake it off, they play some belly dance music. There's great attention to detail in the cartoon, the music script follows the band as they fly about in the storm, when mickey is flying about and passes through a window frame the blind shuts after him. And the music is great and complements the animation perfectly. They shoulda sent this cartoon into space with the other stuff on voyager.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

And the band played on...

Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
23 May 2004

In this, first color, Mickey Mouse short, he stars as a music conductor at a country fair. His band are playing, in the most average way, The William Tell overture. It gets worse though when Donald (playing a loudmouth ice-cream vendor) comes along and muscles in on the band with his flute, playing a bizarre alternate take on the music and causing the band to stray off course.

Mickey gets mad (I like it when Mickey isn't always the clean-cut good guy) and tries his best to silence Donald. Once that's out the way a bee torments each and every band member, causing further collapse of Mickey's conducting. Once Mickey turns the page on his music script a rather difficult segment of music (called 'The Storm') is revealed. How appropriate, at that very moment a twister tears thru the countryside. The band are so lost in their performance that they don't even realize they're sucked up inside a tornado. It's the highlight of the cartoon, with some truly inventive animation and technically brilliant for it's day.

Mickey doesn't actually say anything in this one but his facial expression do all the acting. Like I said, I like it when Mickey isn't always the opposite of Donald (IE not moody and easily frustrated) and this is their pairing here in this cartoon.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great music and animation

Author: utgard14 from USA
10 July 2016

A beautifully simple Disney short about Mickey Mouse trying to conduct an outdoor concert while constantly being interrupted by, among other things, Donald Duck. This was Mickey's first color cartoon and it's a fun one, despite Mickey never speaking and most of the funny bits going to Donald. What really sells the short is the absolutely stunning Technicolor, particularly for the time in which it was made. I can't say enough about how gorgeous it is. Also the animation itself is really excellent. The characters and backgrounds are all well-drawn and the action scenes are terrific. The music is also enjoyable and, of course, the humor is great. Donald was probably the funniest of the Disney characters and here that's on full display. Lots of fun for Disney fans with some jaw-dropping Technicolor that one can't help but appreciate.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Are You Kidding Me...In 1935!

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
23 December 2015

Brilliant color, wonderful animation, and tremendous characterization. Mickey is the leader of a kind of community band. Among the members are somewhat crude versions of very familiar Disney characters. Goofy, Donald, Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow and so on. Mickey is doing fine. The band is to play the "William Tell Overture." Donald Duck with his familiar sailor suit, but with a really long neck (sort of like a goose) has a flute and insists on playing "Turkey in the Straw." Mickey's rage get the better of him and he confronts the irritating duck, but has no success in squelching his awful sounds. Of course, the efforts lead to his conducting the orchestra with a sense of pandemonium. Also, when another piece called "The Storm" is to be played, an actual tornado appears and it's every animated character for himself. The result is pure joy along with an unforgettable visual memory of this piece (other than the Lone Ranger connection).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"Bravo, bravo, bravo..."

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
1 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I try to picture myself as an audience member in the theater watching this for the very first time back in 1935. That had to be quite the experience, not only because it was Walt Disney's first Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, but the vibrancy and dynamic action make it a blast to watch even today. There's just so much going on when the picture first starts out that it's difficult to zero in on any one item, you just don't want to miss anything. As conductor Mickey gets the William Tell Overture under way, Donald Duck begins hawking ice cream, and then a busy bee starts to give Mickey fits. As a huge, black tornado breaks things up, the creativity of the cartoon artists really comes into play. As a fan, I found this to be a wonderful treat, certainly raising the bar for future Disney endeavors and other studios as well.

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The ultimate Silly Symphony in all but name, this little piece of animated magic took the world by storm!!!

Author: Foreverisacastironmess from ukwitchcountry
19 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In terms of the concept, final animated portrayal on the screen, and the longevity of its vibrant and joyful spirit, this iconic cartoon is amazingly well constructed. No way in heck did it ever deserve to lose against "Three Orphan Kittens" in 1935, which although that is a very cute and fun animation, just doesn't compare to this one in terms of meaning and overall worth to the history of animation. Some say it's the first cartoon ever to be in colour, but that's probably not quite accurate. Being made so long ago it's possible that it was one of the first, and in any case, it uses every last bit of colour at its disposal, with Mickey's adorably ill-fitting conductor's uniform standing out and being memorable in particular. Donald is such a rude squawking menace! Mickey's just trying to complete a rehearsal and the flute playing duck won't let him! Donald's lovably cranky shtick always worked much better when he had a nicer character to bounce it off, such as the mute but no less effective mouse in this. The first part is good, but in my opinion it truly becomes something special and takes off both figuratively and literally as the tornado hits and the band is lifted into the air and continues to play on! It takes on such a tremendously grand scale then and is incredible to watch. It's quite cacophonous, with so many precise gags all going on at once, but there's a kind of flow to it all that goes fantastically with the music, and the airborne merry-go-round band is an animated marvel to behold, what a classic! This is one of those old, funny, and very precious cartoons that everyone loved to watch in their early childhoods and I love it, it's so nostalgic and wonderful...

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