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Mickey and his band are determined to perform their music despite the interferance of Donald Duck and a powerful storm.


Wilfred Jackson (uncredited)

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Uncredited cast:
Clarence Nash Clarence Nash ... Donald Duck (voice) (uncredited)


Mickey is trying to lead a concert of The William Tell Overture, but he's continually disrupted by ice cream vendor Donald, who uses a seemingly endless supply of flutes to play Turkey in the Straw instead. After Donald gives up, a bee comes along and causes his own havoc. The band then reaches the Storm sequence, and the weather also starts to pick up; a tornado comes along, but they keep playing. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Plot Keywords:

duck | bee | concert | tornado | 1930s | See All (20) »


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Release Date:

23 February 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Concerto Bandistico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini so loved this cartoon short that when he first saw it, he asked the theatre projectionist if he could run it again, and the projectionist did. See more »


Edited into All Together (1942) See more »


William Tell Overture
Music by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

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User Reviews

Walt Disney, the Maestro of Animation...
30 June 2018 | by ElMaruecan82See all my reviews

I'm no musical expert but I sure know about cartoons and I don't think there is one classic animated series that never used William Tell's "Overture". Walt Disney, Looney Tunes, Tex Avery, Tom and Jerry... and while we're at it, let's not forget the "Lone Ranger" intro and the infamous fast-motion orgy scene in a certain Kubrick movie.

I guess there's just something universally catchy to the ears about Rossini's music that its stature was bound to be enhanced by its abundant use in Pop Culture more than its roots in the world of classical music. The reason is simple, the music was perfect for animation because once you listen to it, a rich imagery flows over your mind. Many classical piece of music evoke ideas, emotions, abstractions, the Overture might be the most visually evocative.

Think about it, it starts with a sober and somber segment, then one of a pastoral serenity, after that you have the rhythmic segment, full of fury and intensity, then it concludes with the iconic march and its exhilarating finale. We see storms, horses, countryside, running, riding, sleeping, walking and It's like all the possible moods encapsulated in one piece of music. What else could surpass it as a standard of animation and inaugurate Mickey's first color appearance?

And the evolution of Mickey Mouse is integral to the film's significance. We all know the "started with a mouse" story but remember it took two or three cartoons before "Steamboat Willie" would use a pre-recorded soundtrack for the first time. Without that technological advance, cartoons would never have outlived the 'cute novelty' phase. In the following years, Disney made the Silly Symphony cartoons and created his most iconic characters (practically no one today lived a childhood devoid of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto et al.

The cartoons grew more and more sophisticated leading inevitably to 1933 and the first use of colors with "Flowers and Trees" and Oscar-winner "The Three Little Pigs". 1934 was the year that introduced Donald Duck in "The Wise Little Hen", in color too. But, it's not until 1935 that the iconic mouse would leave the monochrome world in his turn. But it called for a celebration and with the exception of Minnie and Pluto, the cartoon was graced by the presence of prestigious guest stars such as Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Goofy and Donald Duck in one of his first scene-stealing performances... and given how prominent Mickey was for once, that's saying a lot.

"The Band Concert"; simply said; is the greatest cartoon of all time, actually voted the third but there's no way "What's Opera Doc?" is better. "The Band Concert" has the characters, the visuals and the music, a holy trinity no decent cartoon couldn't rely on. And yes it happens to be a Mickey Mouse cartoon, where he's the star, not the foil to the supporting cast, he's leading the show and by all the Gods, he's determined to lead it till the end, no matter how many little annoyances disrupt it, a long sleeve, a bee, or that annoying "Turkey in the Straw" constantly played by a hotdog vendor named Donald Duck.

The short made such an impression on me that whenever I hear the beginning of the march, I can't help having "Turkey in the Straw" sneaking into the melody and spoiling it all (or does it?). I don't know if Disney wanted "Turkey" as a reminder of the first music used in "Steamboat Willie", but maybe after seven years, he could finally pretend to higher musical levels... yet there's something irresistible in the way that little folksy song battles against the "big piece" and admirable in the way Mickey Mouse resists and is determined to play the music till the end no matter how many flutes Donald can magically get out of his hat. In other words, the show must go on!

The film features many inspired moments, where the action influences the music and vice versa. When Mickey gets ice cream in his neck, his movements turn the music he's conducting to "The Streets of Cairo", the kind of gag would be later used in classics like "Magical Maestro" but the symbiosis between characters and music has never been as wonderfully embodied as in this cartoon. Other sight gags include Horace trying to hit the bee with his cymbals and a hammer, and Goofy's clarinet delicately flirting with Clarabelle's flute, a tender and a quiet moment... before the storm.

And that cartoon wouldn't have been one tenth the legend it is today without its climax. "The "Storm" segments summons a hurricane that sucks everything out and forces the audience to leave, followed by the benches in another hilarious sight gag, Donald is deservedly knotted to trees while the orchestra determined to go on and on no matter what, continues playing, and what we've got is one of the greatest pieces of animation. In the beginning, the wind blown by the brass instrument made hats float in the air and turn for a moment, so you can imagine how the effect was amplified with the tornado.

The players turn around and come in contact with various objects flying over the head, including a shattered house but like the Titanic band they just go on and on. And to tell you who's the boss, even when Mickey stops conducting, the hurricane stops for a while before a finale that is still today one of my favorite Disney moments. And when you know that a conductor loved so much the film he wanted it to be projected again and invited Disney to Italy, you understand how good the short is.

Maybe he saw in Disney a fellow conductor, a Maestro who'd take his characters to the ultimate limit, and would never stop the show no matter the obstacles. I said in my "Fantasia" review that there was something of the Sorcere's Apprentice in Disney, i guess there's something of Disney in Mickey as a conductor in "The Band Concert".

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