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Hell's Bells

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : October 30, 1929

Running Time : 5:32

Synopsis

The devils of hell gather together for a mad frolic.

Credits

Director
Ub Iwerks
Music
Carl Stalling

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : More Silly Symphonies

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 Columbia Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Jerry Edwards : One of my favorite Disney cartoons - the animation is superb with numerous funny, weird gags. The hooded Grim Reaper enters and then departs. A huge spider swings back and forth towards the audience, then is consumed by flames. A snake-like dragon swallows a bat, sprouts the bat's wings, and flies off. Satan's demons play instruments made from skeletons and skulls. Demons milk a "dragon-cow" and serve the flaming milk to Satan. Satan feeds one of the demons to Cerberus, the 3-headed dog. Satan chases the other demon, who refuses to be dog food. The demon kicks Satan off a ledge and Satan is consumed by the flames.
From Ryan : This is one of the rarest Disney cartoon shorts out there. The Disney Company, with their family-friendly reputation, does not want to release this cartoon to the general public. It's quite a shame too because this is one of the best cartoons ever produced by the Disney. I love the animation of this short, especially the beginning where a spider bounces back and forth over to the audience. I also like the scene where the demons are milking flames from a dragon cow. The scene where Satan feeds one of the demons to his 3-headed hound, Cerberus is quite gruesome. Satan, however, is kicked off the edge by another demon and consumed by flames. Although this cartoon has not been officially released on video/DVD, segments of it can be seen on the Ub Iwerks documentary.
From Rob Drisdelle : I'll give this thing a 10. It's absolutely brilliant and revolutionary; it must've been something to see on the big screen in 1929. I bet people were running from the theatre when the spider part came around. Watching this makes it no wonder that Dali thought of Disney as a surrealist.
From Andrew Liebau : I really enjoyed this cartoon, and I think it is a real turning point in Disney character and emotion animation. When you watch Steamboat Willie and Playful Pan, it is obvious that Disney had gone leaps and bounds from the first to the latter. This change was probably the result of the increase in talented animators, such as Les Clark and others that year. I enjoyed most of the gags, but the best was probably when the two demons 'milk' the dragon-cow, and then feed the flames to salivating Satan! A true classic! I truly believe that this cartoon is not recognized enough when it's humor and technical innovations are taken into account. I rate this cartoon an 8 out of 10, next to such masterpieces of the time as Steamboat Willie and Mickey's Follies.
From Steven : This is an excellent cartoon with amazing animation by Ub Iwerks. I loved the part where the dragon ate the bat and sprouted wings. This is a disturbing yet amazing cartoon. I give it a ten out of ten.

Referenced Comments