Silly Symphonies

Silly Symphonies

If you could ask Carl Stalling, he would probably say it was his idea; and if you could ask Walt Disney, he would probably say it was his idea. Whosever idea it was, the seed of the idea originated with Stalling. He had been frustrated with the work he had been doing on the Mickey cartoons , which, by 1929, were really starting to take off. Stalling was dissatisfied that he had to tailor his music to fit the flow of the cartoon, and not vice-versa. Between him and Disney, they envisioned a series of shorts where that would be reversed; where the action would be subservient to the music. And thus the Silly Symphonies were born .

The Silly Symphony series became a showcase for the Disney artists. In them, they were allowed to let their imaginations run a little freer, not being locked into the demands of a single character. The Symphonies were intended to have no recurring characters (although a few of the regular characters did appear in a few) and usually ended up having little or no real plotline. Most tended to be dance numbers (as in the first Symphony, "The Skeleton Dance") or lyrical, pastoral works (as in what is probably the best known Symphony, "The Old Mill.")

They also became the method where the Disney artists experimented with new techniques. The multi-plane camera (which proved to be a milestone in animation; giving flat, two-dimensional animation a three dimensional look) got it's first tryout here. Disney's first color short was a Silly Symphony. Disney's first real attempt at animating realistic human figures was also tried first in a Symphony; a necessary step before they started on their first feature length film, "Snow White."

Ironically also, the one medium where the artists were not really concentrating on character gave us the first short where Disney felt true character had finally been achieved: "The Three Little Pigs."

75 different Silly Symphonies were created over a ten year span (1929-1939). The series was discontinued once the feature films proved to be so successful.

1929193019311932
Skeleton Dance, The
El Terrible Toreador
Springtime
Hell's Bells
Merry Dwarves, The
Summer
Autumn
Cannibal Capers
Night
Frolicking Fish
Arctic Antics
Midnight in a Toyshop
Monkey Melodies
Winter
Playful Pan
Birds of a Feather
Mother Goose Melodies
China Plate, The
Busy Beavers, The
Cat's Out, The
Egyptian Melodies
Clock Store, The
Fox Hunt, The
Spider and the Fly, The
Ugly Duckling, The
Bird Store, The
Bears and the Bees, The
Just Dogs
Flowers and Trees
King Neptune
Bugs in Love
Babes in the Woods
Santa's Workshop
1933193419351936
Birds in the Spring
Father Noah's Ark
Three Little Pigs
Old King Cole
Lullabye Land
Pied Piper, The
Night Before Christmas, The
China Shop, The
Grasshopper and the Ants, The
Funny Little Bunnies
Big Bad Wolf, The
Hot Choc'lit Soldiers
Wise Little Hen, The
Flying Mouse, The
Peculiar Penguins
Goddess of Spring, The
Tortoise and the Hare, The
Golden Touch, The
Robber Kitten, The
Water Babies
Cookie Carnival, The
Who Killed Cock Robin?
Music Land
Three Orphan Kittens
Cock o' the Walk
Broken Toys
Elmer Elephant
Three Little Wolves
Toby Tortoise Returns
Three Blind Mousketeers
Country Cousin, The
Mother Pluto
More Kittens
193719381939
Woodland Café
Little Hiawatha
Old Mill, The
Moth and the Flame
Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Farmyard Symphony
Merbabies
Mother Goose Goes Hollywood
Ugly Duckling, The