Poster

Blue Rhythm

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : August 18, 1931

Running Time : 7:19

Synopsis

Mickey and his gang gather to play "St. Louis Blues" in a concert hall.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar
Pluto

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Les Clark
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Joe D'Igalo
Norm Ferguson
Tom Palmer
Dick Lundy
Jack Cutting
Frank Tipper
Cecil Surrey
Charlie Byrne
Hardie Gramatky
Jack King
Rodolfo "Rudy" Zamora
Harry Reeves
Asst. Animator
Ed Benedict

Cut Scenes

A scene of dachshunds playing French horns was cut in the 80's.

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 44: Musical Mickey
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 7, 1956

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
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 : Mickey and Minnie perform musical variety acts from singing to dancing to playing various instruments. Mickey then leads an orchestra, whose music gets so violent that they break through the floor. Generally boring to me - nothing new, same old singing, dancing, and orchestra playing routine.
From Ryan : This was absolutely one of my favorite Mickey shorts. Even though there wasn't much action, the music was great (although I'd much rather listen to Smashmouth or Limpbizkit, but hey, those bands had not been born yet). I noticed that Pluto was given a human characteristic in this short as the trombone player who keeps tickling Mickey's back with the slide. The dachshund scene that was deleted had puzzled me, but I have been told that various shorts are edited not due to the fact of censorship, but due to the fact that they needed to fit within a certain time frame so Disney would just delete unimportant parts of the short.
From Sam : Though it does not feature a strong story or laugh-a-minute gags, this one still remains one of my favorites. With a mix of catchy music and delightfully rubber-hose animation, it's such a joy to watch as Mickey and friends put on their variety show that you can't help but smile. After viewing it, you can certainly understand how this and the other black-and-white Mickey shorts helped to lift the nation's spirit during the dark days of the great Depression. One thing you can say about Mickey, he sure knows how to bring the house down.
From pupspals : It's nice to see Minnie come out of her modern domesticated shell in this cartoon. Her solo is filled with (too much?) enthusiasm for the song. It's also rare to see her skirt drop during the song a couple of times. Pluto plays trombone which hits Mickey on the rear, so Mickey makes the slide shorter. Clarabelle plays both flute and string bass and her outfit only covers her udders. Hortense plays percussion The nameless other orchestra players are cute as well. I like it overall!
From Gijs Grob : Although Mickey and Minnie perform countless (and often tiring) sing and dance routines in the early Mickey Mouse films, this is the earliest 'concert cartoon' known to me. Here, Mickey and the gang are not performing for their own fun, but giving a concert in a large theater. It thus predates similar concert cartoons like The Band Concert (1935), Bugs Bunny's "Rhapsody Rabbit" (1946) Tom & Jerry's "Cats Concerto" (1947), introducing several piano and conductor gags.

This is also one of the few cartoons in which the music performed can be unmistakably identified as jazz. Minnie's blues singing resembles contemporary female vaudeville blues singers (e.g. Victoria Spivey) and the pig trumpeter performs in the growling jungle style of Duke Ellington. Mickey shows to be an all round entertainer, performing as a ragtime pianist, a scat singer, a conductor AND a clarinetist.

Blue Rhythm is a great cartoon, from the opening scene, in which Mickey's casting a huge shadow on the curtains to the grand finale in which the excited performance makes the stage collapse. This cartoon may have few gags, it nevertheless is a delightful ode to music, and jazz in particular.


From Bill : I know a lot of fans say they get tired of the old song and dance routine that the early shorts have Mickey and Minnie doing, but this one had some real catchy tunes and rhythm and the music was very enjoyable. The gags were not as numerous as some, but the opening scene with Mickey playing and his enormous shadow against the stage was well thought out and animated. It was fun, and moved right along.

Referenced Comments