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Steamboat Willie (1928)

Mickey Mouse, piloting a steamboat, delights his passenger, Minnie, by making musical instruments out of the menagerie on deck.

Directors:

Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney (uncredited)

Star:

Walt Disney
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Walt Disney ... Mickey Mouse / Minnie Mouse / Peg-Leg Pete / Parrot (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Steamboat Willie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,986 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Cinephone

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Variety's review of "Steamboat Willie" read: "Not the first animated cartoon to be synchronized with sound effects, but the first to attract favorable attention. This one represents a high order of cartoon ingenuity, cleverly combined with sound effects. The union brought laughs galore. Giggles came so fast at the Colony they were stumbling over each other." (Variety, November 21, 1928.) See more »

Goofs

At the Podunk Landing site, the cow's tag around her neck disappears for a second when she moos and is back again. See more »

Quotes

Parrot: Hope you don't feel hurt, big boy!
[laughs, Mickey harms the parrot in some way]
Parrot: Help! Help! Man overboard!
See more »

Alternate Versions

After Mickey pulls nursing piglets in tune to music, he removes them and plays on their mother's teats like an accordion. This scene has been deleted for Mickey's 25th Anniversary theatrical release in 1953. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Epic Rap Battles of History: Jim Henson vs. Stan Lee (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Steamboat Bill
(uncredited)
Music by Bert Leighton and Frank Leighton
Whistled by Mickey Mouse
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mickey's cruel streak
8 December 2008 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

'Steamboat Willie (1928)' is often erroneously touted as the first Mickey Mouse film, though that title actually goes to 'Plane Crazy (1928).' The source fuelling this common misconception is probably an episode of "The Simpsons," which places the origin of Itchy the Mouse in a 1928 short called 'Steamboat Itchy,' obviously a parody of this cartoon. Interestingly, 'Steamboat Willie' was itself a parody, spoofing the latest Buster Keaton release, 'Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928),' though the connection stretches little beyond the title and the general story setting. In this Walt Disney short, Mickey Mouse takes charge of a river steamboat, much to the annoyance of Captain Pete the cat, who spitefully casts him aside. But Mickey is not to be outdone in nastiness. Far removed from the pleasant, wholesome Mickey that more recent generations enjoyed, this little mouse cares only for numero uno, inflicting pain and displeasure on a series of farm animals in order to provide music for his own amusement.

First there's the laughing parrot, which cops a bucket and a large potato to the head. Then a goat is cranked by the tail to provide music ("Turkey in the Straw") from a guitar it has swallowed. A cat is swung around by its tail, a goose throttled about the throat, and a piglet viciously booted. For a children's cartoon, 'Steamboat Willie,' directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, certainly has some mean-spirited humour, though I also noticed similar elements (though not quite to this extent) in some later Disney shorts, like 'Gulliver Mickey (1934).' Let's not forget Minnie Mouse, of course, who suffers treatment for which she could today sue for sexual harassment! The jokes may be crude, and the animation perhaps even more so, but this cartoon delivers a bucket-full of laughs, and it's easy to see why this little rodent became one of the most beloved characters in cinema history. If you're a fan of Mickey Mouse, or Disney in general, this is one steamboat you can't afford to miss.


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