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The Milky Way (1940)

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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 325 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

The Three Little Kittens tie helium balloons to a basket and travel up to the Milky Way, which is filled with all the milk they can drink.


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Title: The Milky Way (1940)

The Milky Way (1940) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Uncredited cast:
Bernice Hansen ...
Mama Cat / Three Little Kittens (voice) (uncredited)


The three little kittens have lost their mittens and are sent to bed without dinner. From their room, they see the Milky Way and sail up to it, using a basket and helium balloons, passing through some fanciful astronomical bodies, until they reach a Milky Way filled with every conceivable form of milk, including milkweed and Milk of Magnesia. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

22 June 1940 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was the first non-Disney cartoon to win an Oscar for Best Short Subject. See more »


Featured in Animation Lookback: Hanna-Barbera Part 1 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

You have to consider the times
5 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Remember that "The Milky Way" was released in 1940, and that the likes of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, and Bob Clampett were just beginning to develop a new style of cartoon that would catch on during the war years and basically bring an end to the cutesy genre that includes this film. Indeed, if a panel in 2010 had to pick the Oscar-winner from among this film, "A Wild Hare," and "Puss Gets the Boot," this one would definitely come in third. But the panel that awarded the Oscar to "The Milky Way" was doing so in 1940, so it's not fair to condemn them when that particular style of cartoon was still popular. Having said that, I will admit that parts of the film are a bit saccharine by today's standards, particularly the narration in song. But anyone who can look at those kittens and not find them appealing has a cold, cold heart in my opinion. In fact, anyone who says the artwork is Disneyesque is paying the film the highest compliment, given that Walt Disney is the gold standard of animation. Dreadful? Hardly. I'm as big a Bugs Bunny fan as they come, and I know that even edgier cartoons like "The Simpsons" and "South Park" have pushed the envelope even more. But I can take the eight minutes of "The Milky Way" and see it as a pleasant alternative to much of today's stuff.

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