Skip to main content

The Old Mill


Featured as a display in Le Pays des Contes de Fees; a former scene in the Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland California before being replaced by a representation of Arendelle; and as the theme for a food outlet outside the ride, the Old Mill is a Disney story few are likely to be familiar with.  Heralding from the days of Disney's Silly Symphony short cartoons, The Old Mill was released in 1937 and is a simple tale of various animals surviving a storm in their adopted home of an old mill.

The characters are clear ancestors of the creatures seen in full-length features such as Snow White and Bambi whilst the use of music and no dialogue echoes the approach of Fantasia (with music from the operetta, The Gypsy Baron, featuring).  There is also a clear link with Bambi in that the 'plot' of the film is really just 'a day in the life' of a selection of countryside-dwelling animals.  The short goes from dawn to evening and then into a storm which brings the old mill to life, turning it's sails and causing some danger for the creatures living inside.  

It's cute but uninvolving - although I did like the scene involving a small bird avoiding being crushed by a large cog wheel.  As a cartoon, though, it is significant for being the first time Disney used the multiplane camera which would become significant in the development of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other early features.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dumbo

A Disney Tale: A baby elephant is delivered to a circus elephant.  The baby, nicknamed Dumbo, has huge ears and is mocked by the other circus elephants and visitors to the circus.  When his mother tries to defendhim, she is separated from Dumbo and imprisoned.  Dumbo ends up working with the clowns but, after a drunken night with his new friend Timothy Mouse, Dumbo discovers he can fly with the aid of his massive ears.  At the circus, he becomes a sensation and is reunited with his mother.


Disney Heroine: Dumbo lacks significant human characters so the role of Disney Heroine for this film really falls to Dumbo's mother, Mrs Jumbo.  Her actions protecting Dumbo from the mean children at the circus are the catalyst for many of the film's later events.  The sorrow she feels when imprisoned in solitary confinement and separated from her only child is palpable as is her joy when reunited and travelling in the Jumbo family's private carriage at the back of Casey Jnr.  Interesting…

Pinocchio Miscellaneous

Pinocchio also appears in two other attractions at Disney parks.


Firstly the film has a large presence in Disneyland California's Storybook Land Canal Boats.  The beginning of the ride sees boats pass through the mouth of Monstro the Whale (possibly why this isn't a feature of the dark ride) and then on to see various miniature scenes of Disney films, one of which is Geppetto's village.


I will review Storybook Land Canal Boats - and its Disneyland Paris equivalent - in more detail in the future as it is a ride themed around a number of different films rather than being Pinocchio-centric.

I do like the idea of travelling through Monstro's mouth, though (in Paris it is the opening to the Cave of Wonders instead).

Pinocchio also has a presence in Fantasmic! with both Pinocchio and Monstro the Whale appearing at various points in all three versions of the show (at Walt Disney Hollywood Studios; Disneyland California and Tokyo DisneySea).


I have seen the Hollywood Studios versi…

Dumbo Miscellaneous

For such an iconic character, the one thing missing from the world of Dumbo is a character meet and greet around the parks.  However, at a Disneyland fireworks display around 2009, Dumbo was seen to fly around the castle (as seen in the image above).  Videos of the show suggest this was quite an awesome sight.  He seems to be a moving puppet (I'm assuming there isn't anyone inside him).


Dumbo also features in a number of Disney computer games.  He is a 'summon' in the Kingdom Hearts series of role play games (a character who the player 'summons' to aid them in battle) and also features in a segment of Disney's Villain's Revenge game.  This is slightly odd because, as I pointed out in my review of the film, there is no real clear villain in Dumbo.   In the game, the Ringmaster - the closest the film gets to a traditional villain - is forcing Dumbo to perform in his circus in a much more sadistic way than is ever presented in the film.  The player has to r…