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The Band Concert (1935)

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



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Uncredited cast:
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)  »

Also Known As:

Concerto Bandistico  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 The Best of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures (1975) See more »


William Tell Overture
Music by Gioachino Rossini
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User Reviews

Micky Maestro
4 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

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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