The Barnyard Broadcast

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : October 10, 1931

Running Time : 7:49

Synopsis

Mickey and the gang have a rowdy musicale for the radio.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Les Clark
Charles Couch
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Joe D'Igalo
Norm Ferguson

DVD

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2

Television

Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 57
The Mickey Mouse Club : January 30, 1956

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 Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : After a series of Mickey cartoons that moved away from the barnyard setting, we’re right back in the country for The Barnyard Broadcast. It’s a short that uses the pretense of a radio broadcast to set up some fun gags, but is somewhat lacking overall.

Unlike previous Mickey shorts, there’s not a lot of contribution here from the other members of the cast. Pluto had taken over most of the action in some previous Mickeys, but here it is Mickey himself who is the star. He drives the plot, introducing the radio broadcast, and pointing out all the key players.

The cartoon opens in the barn, where Mickey, Minnie, Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar are providing the orchestra for Mickey’s radio broadcast. This opening shot is very fun, because it gives us a new look at Mickey. He is the master of ceremonies and the “business” man here. Mickey is not only running the radio show, but he also goes over to the corner and checks the equipment broadcasting the signal. It’s a subtle difference from the farmer/backwoods guy that Mickey was in the past.

Soon, though, we are given an antagonist, in the form of a cat that appears in the barnyard and starts messing up the show. The cat first meows into the microphone, but soon escapes Mickey and brings in its kittens. The kittens are the real stars of the show. They cause most of the mischief, suckling on the radio knobs, inhabiting a quartet of shoes, and driving Mickey to distraction all around the barn.

What’s interesting about this short is what doesn’t happen. We get an early shot of Pluto in his doghouse, and once the cat shows up, you would expect him to break free and go pursue the cat. Pluto does get free, but he doesn’t come back into the short. Similarly, when the kittens show up inside of a set of shoes, you expect a dance sequence to ensue, but it doesn’t.

On a side note, the kittens remind me a lot of Figaro, from Pinocchio. The main cat is not in that design, but the kittens are similar. They are quite cute characters, and rightfully so take over a lot of the spotlight.

The finale again goes to the mass chaos that we saw in some of the previous shorts. Mickey chases the cat all over the barn, out the side, up a set of telephone poles and eventually through a water tower, crashing into the barn in a splash. The look on Mickey’s face at the end is priceless.

The Barnyard Broadcast is a fun short, but there are some issues with pacing. The beginning with the animals listening to the radio is rather unnecessary, as the main crux of the short is the interplay between Mickey and the cats. Once the cat shows up, though, it’s a fun ride all the way to the end.


From Mac : We've had a few shorts away from the barnyard, but Mickey still seems to live on (or very near) a farm. One thing that is changing though are that the 'rules' of anthropomorphism in Mickey's universe are finally being set. Mickey, Minnie, Clarabelle and Horace are clearly people in their world. Whereas the livestock outside are just animals (including other cows and horses). There's no more playing instruments or talking from Pluto or that long-limbed cat (I'm sure it's the same one from Mickey Steps Out.)
From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : You're right in that the rule book seems fairly clear for the four main characters. It's interesting that we had Pluto playing a big anthropomorphic role in the orchestra previously, but now he's back to being a plain old dog. Very interesting.

Just like in Fishin' Around, though, I fell like this short really missed opportunities for fun gags. Having Pluto get into the mix in the barnyard would have made this infinitely better.


From Jerry Edwards : In a satire on radio broadcasting, Mickey runs the control room, attempting to monitor the show. All goes well until howling cats spoil the broadcast and the chase destroys the makeshift studio. Mickey signs off amid the debris. Several fun gags - my favorite is when the kittens suck on the voltage knobs of the broadcast equipment as if the knobs were nipples. One of the shorts that Disney colorized. The color does add to my enjoyment of the short.
From Ryan : This short was pretty good. I liked the scenes where the mother cat and kittens came into the radio station and started annoying Mickey, Minnie, Clarabelle, and Horace. In fact, the mother cat sort of reminded me of my calico cat when she rubbed her body around an object or meowed in an odd way. Again I have never seen the original black and white version of this short. I first (and only) saw it on the "Gotta Be the Shorts" marathon. It seems odd that you'd find colorized shorts on Vault Disney.
From Bill : I really enjoy the shorts with Horace and Clarabelle Cow in them. They just seem perfect together with Mickey and Minnie. It's a shame that Walt did not give them more parts, so to speak, in the shorts. The short was pretty good, had a nice group of gags; Mickey boarding up the door so the cats can not re-enter and they come up through the floorboards. I also enjoyed Mickey using horseshoes for chimes and Horace playing the "saw". Also funny was Mickey chasing the cats and causing all that destruction, cutting the piano in half and Clarabelle still playing it. A nice touch was when Mickey dedicates a song to his pal Pluto. The best part was looking at the dated radio equipment; State-of-the Art then, but so old today. A solid 8!

Referenced Comments