Mickey's Follies

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : August 28, 1929

Running Time : 6:16

Synopsis

Mickey and his barnyard pals put on a show that includes dancing ducks, opera singing by Patricia Pig, and Mickey's own rendition of his theme song, "Minnie's Yoo Hoo."

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Patricia Pig

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Music
Carl Stalling

Milestones

The first performance of "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo" which eventually was also used as a theme song for the "Mickey Mouse Club."

Cut Scenes

Patricia Pig's entire number as well as some outhouse gags were cut at one time but have probably been reinstated.

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White: Volume 1
Japan
Mickey Mouse : The Black and White Years

DVD

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 60: Mickey's Boogie
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 29
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 13, 1955

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono : Cinephone
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by Celebrity Productions, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Once again, I have to lay aside my own earlier objections about story and the like to simply say that I enjoyed Mickey’s Follies, the latest short. Although it’s not one of the best so far, and the music/dance numbers are becoming repetitive, simply the inclusion of “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo,” declared here as Mickey’s theme song, makes this a great short.

For those who haven’t seen it, Mickey’s Follies falls back on an old theme of Walt’s, all the way back to Alice’s Wild West Show. Out in the barnyard, Mickey and friends set up a vaudeville show, with a tattered sheet for a curtain and acts parading out behind it. This is something that has been seen in Disney’s shorts before, so the setting itself is not all that interesting.

There are three acts preceding Mickey in the show – a dance of ducks to a take off on “Suwanee River,” two fighting chickens, and an operatic pig. Each of them is entertaining to a degree, but mostly they are there as great syncopated musical numbers. Just like in The Skeleton Dance, the music and animation here work together to maximum effect.

There are some great gags in these early acts as well. The ducks are fairly routine, although the do a good job of synchronizing action like the skeletons did in The Skeleton Dance. The chicken fight is rather amusing because one chicken has to take a break to lay an egg in the middle of the fight. But the one and only appearance of Patricia Pig as the opera singer has a couple of funny gags.

First, as she continues to sing, her bloomers keep falling down. It’s very amusing even as it repeats. The second is that her singing is so bad it prompts the audience to boo her off stage, but she can’t take the hint. A mouse lowers himself down on a hook, grabs her, then signals a cat with a donkey off to the side at the other end of the rope he has attached to Patricia. What’s funny is that rather than push the donkey farther away to pull Patricia up, the cat turns the donkey’s tail into a crank and turns the donkey into a winch. It’s that little unexpected touch that is quite humorous, and a great turn from the animators.

Finally, though, the headliner of this short is Mickey Mouse singing his “theme song” as the card before his act lets us know. He proceeds to give us a full rendition of “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo,” which would be the opening music of his shorts for many years until the Mickey Mouse Club March came into popularity in the 50s.

In our last Mickey short, The Karnival Kid, I wrote about Mickey’s voice, and his squeaking tones that Walt supplied. In the comments (you must read those, people!) we debated whether it was actually Walt or Carl Stalling who supplied the voice. I have to say, after hearing this, it sound like Stalling to me, because the singing here does not sound like Walt.

Regardless, “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo” is one of my favorite Disney songs, although it’s seldom used today. Like I mentioned before, my favorite version is the Main Street Saxophone Quartet, but there are several others. This, though, was the first, and the first time I’ve seen Mickey belt out a tune. It’s very entertaining, although the vocal version is a little slower time than the instrumental version, which I prefer. Regardless, “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo” makes Mickey’s Follies a winner for me.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : As a kid, I was obsessed with the animation on Mickey when he sings his tune. Great, silly exaggeration we never quite see on him later.

You haven't seen the last of Patricia Pig. She's in The Shindig and The Whoopee Party too. And she's in the comics with her husband Percy Pig, though they're never more than supporting characters in the neighborhood.

Sometimes their surname is spelled Pigg, if only to add a little (weird) variety.


From Mac : Certainly it's first use in a Disney cartoon and maybe any cartoon is what I call the "woman beating" music and dance. This must be a famous routine, but I only know it from cartoons. Here it's a chicken couple who beat each other up in time to the music.

Since I don't know much about it let's find out more... OK going from the book "Silly Symphonies" (by Merrit and Kaufman) I learn the tune is "L'Amour d'Apache" – the Apache dance from Offenbach's ballet "Le Papillon" (the tune was used in Woodland Café). From here let's go to the never reliable Wikipedia and I find out:

"Apache is a highly dramatic dance associated in popular culture with Parisian street culture in the beginning of the 20th century. The name of the dance (pronounced ah-PAHSH, not uh-PATCH-ee, like the English pronunciation of the Native American tribe) is taken from a Parisian street gang (see Apache (gang)), which in turn was named for the American Indian tribe due to the perceived savagery of the hoodlums. The term came to be used more generally to refer to certain vicious elements of the Paris underworld at the beginning of the 20th century.

The dance is very brutal to the woman, and sometimes said to reenact a "discussion" between pimp and prostitute. It includes mock slaps and punches, the man picking up and throwing the woman to the ground, or lifting and carrying her while she struggles or feigns unconsciousness. In some examples, the woman may fight back."

Apparently the music from the ballet became the most associated with the dance. Who says you can't learn anything from cartoons?

Getting back to the cartoon itself - it's good to see Patricia Pig(g). I think I may have spotted her in the backgrounds of earlier Disney cartoons, but here she gets some proper screen time and is promptly booed off the stage. Oh well.

And of course it's the first use of "Minnie's Yoo hoo". I love how it's actually introduced on screen as "Mickey's Theme Song". This is the very first 'Disney Song' so it's the start of an important tradition. "Yoo Hoo" was Minnie's catch phrase back in this era, but you hardly ever hear her say it now. And, yes, the toothy animation in this scene is delightfully oddball and quite unlike any other scene in a Disney cartoon.


From Jerry Edwards : The main interest in this cartoon is the "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" song. One fun gag I enjoyed was a hen having to quit in the middle of her act in order to lay an egg.
From Ryan : Like The Karnival Kid, this is also an important milestone in Mickey's career. In his musical career that is. This is where he first sings his theme song, "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" that is used in the opening titles of many of his early cartoon shorts. I wonder why Disney stopped using it when Mickey began making color cartoons. There were several funny scenes like the pig doing an opera and her skirt keeps falling down. I guess that is why that scene was censored, but thank God it has been reinstated.
From Bill : I think one of the nicest features of the Mickey shorts is the music. No matter what the short, you can always expect to hear some lively tune with all the characters dancing and bobbing in time. This short stands out for me as the premiere of "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" which always started the shorts for the first few years. This is still the time when Mickey is rough and ready and Minnie is not yet the sugar sweet gal she eventually turns into (nothing wrong with that.) I personally like the shorts with the music in them. I guess today they just don't make 'em like they used to.
From Gijs Grob : Mickey and his friends give a concert on the barnyard. First we see dancing ducks, then a rather tough 'French apache dance' between a rooster and a hen, followed by a pig singing in an ugly operatic style. The latter is probably the first character in animation history who is funny because of a typical voice. Highlight, of course, is Mickey himself who performs his own theme song (which is announced as such!), titled 'Minnie's Yoo-Hoo'. It's the first time we see Mickey sing and this song seems to be the raison d'etre of this otherwise quite dull cartoon.
From Christian : What the heck is up with Mickey's voice in this?! He sounds totally freaky! If Walt did his his voice in this one, did he have a cold or something? My rating: 4 out of 10 because of the voice.
From Princess Pepper : This is the sign the funny little bird shows to announce Mickey's performance in the silly and a bit awkward Mickey's Follies. (1929) Who'd have thought such a silly little song could be a theme song? In this short, the theme starts the short, and then Mickey sings it in full. Then of course he plays a few instruments and plays it on himself. His singing is almost in crooner style. There are a few short numbers before his solo, but the short is mainly a vehicle to present this theme song, "Minnie's Yoo Hoo." The catchy music was written by the talented Carl Stalling and the lyrics by Walt Disney. It is clear of the latter's involvement as the song feels like it is something Mickey would sing, and Walt really was Mickey. When you hear Minnie's Yoo Hoo it completely invokes Mickey Mouse, even more so than the later song heard in conjunction with him, Mickey Mouse Club March. Minnie's Yoo Hoo is quite frankly, an adorable song.

Disney has had a long history of sheet music distribution, but Minnie's Yoo Hoo was the very first piece of music released. (in 1930, even before the notable "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" in '33) It went on to be the beginning and end theme for all Mickey Mouse shorts of the early '30's, each time being played different. It ended its reign with shorts in the mid '30's. It was not given a long hiatus as it was heard on the original Mickey Mouse Club, before the Mickey Mouse Club March came to be so popular. Once the march came into popularity in the mid '50's, Minnie's Yoo Hoo was rarely heard again in Walt's lifetime. (though it was heard on a few "Disneyland" shows and that show's many subsequent names.) However, in 1972 the song was revived with the Ward Kimball directed and produced show The Mouse Factory. This was a delightful show that interspersed bits of live action with the Fab 5 and their agent with shorts. Two decades later, the song still has a place. It is heard daily as area music in Disneyland's home of the classic characters, Mickey's Toon Town. And seventy years after its debut in a Mickey short, Mickey will be starring in a series again. And what is the theme song of the new Mickey Mouse Works? Minnie's Yoo Hoo of course!


From Lyrics :

I'm the guy they call little Mickey Mouse
Got a sweetie down in the chicken house
Neither fat nor skinny she's the horse's whinny
She's my little Minnie Mouse.

When its feeding time for the animals
And they howl and growl like the cannibals
I just turn my heel, to the henhouse steel
And you hear me sing this song.

Oh the ol' tomcat with his meow meow meow
Old hounddog with his bow wow wow
The crow "caw caw" and the mule "he haw"
Gosh what a racket like an old buzz saw
I have listened to the kookoo koo his "koo koo"
And I've heard the rooster's "cock a doodle doo"
With the cows and the chickens they all sound like the dickens
When I hear my little Minnie "yoo hoo!"

Oh the blue bird down in the cherry tree
And the busy buzz of the bumble bee
Evening bells a ringin, whip-poor-will's a singin
Well they don't mean much to me

For my heart is down in the chicken house
Where I long to be with my Minnie Mouse
And I'll meet her there mid that fragrance rare
Sing to her this melody.

Oh the ol' tomcat with his meow meow meow
Old hounddog with his bow wow wow
The crow "caw caw" and the mule "he haw"
Gosh what a racket like an old buzz saw
I have listened to the kookoo koo his "koo koo"
And I've heard the rooster's "cock a doodle doo"
With the cows and the chickens they all sound like the dickens
When I hear my little Minnie "yoo hoo!"


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