10 user 2 critic

Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953)

Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (original title)
A crash course on the history of Western musical instruments.


Ward Kimball, Charles A. Nichols (as C. August Nichols)


Dick Huemer (story)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »




Uncredited cast:
The Mellowmen Quartet The Mellowmen Quartet ... Singing Group (voice) (uncredited)
Loulie Jean Norman Loulie Jean Norman ... Penelope Pinfeather (voice) (uncredited)
Charlie Parlota Charlie Parlota ... Chorus Singer (voice) (uncredited)
Bill Thompson ... Professor Owl / Bertie Birdbrain (voice) (uncredited)
Gloria Wood ... Suzy Sparrow (voice) (uncredited)


In this short subject (which mostly represents a departure from Disney's traditional approach to animation), a stuffy owl teacher lectures his feathered flock on the origins of Western musical instruments. Starting with cavepeople, whose crude implements could only "toot, whistle, plunk and boom," the owl explains how these beginnings led to the development of the four basic types of Western musical instruments: brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


A "sequel" of sorts to 1953's 'Adventures in Music: Melody.' This was originally meant to be an ongoing series (note the "Adventures In Music" in the opening titles of this short), but no others were produced. See more »


Owl: [plays a band song] Did you ever stop to think, when the band plays "rink-a-tink", where all the music comes from? From a Toot, and a Whistle, and a Plunk, and a Boom.
Students: That's where the music comes from!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Black stereotypes have been cut from this short on the DVD version. See more »


Featured in Ink & Paint Club: Award Winners II (1998) See more »


A Toot And A Whistle And A Plunk And A Boom
Written by Sonny Burke & Jack Elliott
See more »

User Reviews

A worthy short, and another Oscar, for Uncle Walt with this short clearly influenced by UPA's work
19 June 2001 | by llltdesqSee all my reviews

This short, Disney's best in some time, won an Oscar and clearly shows an influence from the animation style of the UPA studios that were doing remarkable work in the 1950s. Disney did a number of shorts that were different stylistically and in tone than the work they had produced in the 1930s and 1940s and this is probably the best of those shorts. I's good to see that it's available, even if it's only on a DVD as additional material. Most recommended.

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Release Date:

10 November 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adventures in Music: Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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