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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.


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