Poster

Musical Farmer

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : June 23, 1932

Running Time : 7:46

Synopsis

One of Mickey's hens lays a giant egg, and the whole farm celebrates, preparing to take a photograph of the great event.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Les Clark
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Johnny Cannon

Cut Scenes

Some scenes of long underwear were cut in the 80's.

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 44: Musical Mickey
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 28, 1955

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 United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : It’s back to the barnyard time for Mickey in the latest short, Musical Farmer. In many ways, this is a throwback to some of the earliest Mickey shorts, featuring extended musical sequences, Mickey playing animals as instruments, and very little story. This short, though, does have the fun touches that the 1930s Mickeys seem to have in spades.

This short features Mickey as a farmer, obviously, but he manages to make farming fun in his own way. He tries planting seeds, only to run into some crows who are digging up the seeds and eating them. This part of the short is honestly not that good, as the animation of the crows is reused again and again, without any real differences.

The funniest part of the short begins when Mickey and Pluto stumble into a scarecrow, and hatch a plot to surprise Minnie. They climb inside the scarecrow, and scare poor Minnie half to death by walking over and surprising her. This was a very fun sequence, because it highlighted Mickey’s mischievous side again, something we haven’t seen since some of the earliest shorts, like Plane Crazy or Steamboat Willie.

Then, we get even more of a throwback, as Mickey ends up grabbing some nearby ducks and converting them into bagpipes to kick off the musical sequence. It’s been a while since we have seen Mickey using farm animals as instruments, but it was a staple of his earliest appearances. I wonder if PETA was around back then? They couldn’t have liked this sort of thing.

The musical number serves a good purpose here, as it prods the hens to lay eggs in time to the music. From that point forward, the short involves a familiar story, about the hen who can’t lay eggs. This is where the standout animation takes hold.

As hens all around her lay eggs by the dozens in time with Mickey’s tune, a hen named Fanny frets because she can’t lay an egg. The emotions on her face are spectacularly done by the animators. When Fanny finally is able to put out a huge egg, the joy is evident immediately. The work on this hen is the best of the short, in my opinion.

The finale of the short is quite wacky, and a little different than what has taken place throughout the rest of it. Mickey runs to get his camera, to take a picture of the egg. The tripod starts chasing him (???) like it was alive, and then once he gets inside the hen house, Mickey uses too much flash powder, and blows the feathers off the hens.

Musical Farmer is a bit disjointed, because the three segments are related, but very different in tone. The first part is a standard Mickey short from the early days, the middle is a musical sequence that is served by a story, and the final is something more like you’d expect from Alice in Wonderland than Mickey Mouse. That makes for a fun, but somewhat schizophrenic short.


From Mac : I love this one! The musical sequence is great and energetic with some fun gags. Some of the funniest moments come as the music grinds to a halt because of the great surprise of fanny's giant egg. A cow pokes her heard out the bird house and Mickey is *about* to the play the plow as a xylophone before stopping in his tracks! I love how it's so obvious what he's going to do he doesn't even have to do it to be funny!

There's a wonderful innocence to the final scene with Fanny's egg being such a momentous event that a picture must be taken (and, yes, even the tripod gets caught up in the excitement)! Long before the days when everyone could just point and click with their camera phones, Mickey has to run all the way up to the attic to get his cumbersome camera equipment and record the special day.


From Danny Pickles : In one scene, we see two turkeys dancing together to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw", making this another one of those many shorts where the famous song is used.
From Ryan : Mickey and Minnie are both farmers in this short. This short in some ways has a connection to the 1929 short The Plowboy. Minnie is humming "Comin' Through the Rye" while milking her cow (I'm not for sure whether or not this is Clarabelle). The scene where Mickey and Pluto scare Minnie in the scarecrow outfit was just hilarious. I also liked the fact that each chicken had her own personal nest with her name on it. Two of them are Bessie and Tessie. Each hen is laying an egg in tune to the music except for Fanny who just can't seem to lay an egg. Bessie and Tessie shake their heads in pity and soon enough Fanny lays a bigger egg than any of those hens. I think this was one of the best Mickey shorts produced by Disney.
From Bill I. : This Mickey short is really funny. This had lots of great sight gags, Pluto digging holes with his tail so Mickey could plant his seeds. Mickey still had his mischievous side when he and Pluto Scare Minnie with the scarecrow outfit. One of the great gags is when Mickey comes out of the laundry dressed like a scotsman, and playing the goose like a bagpipe. At first I thought that Minnie might be milking Clarabelle, but after seeing all the other cows, I think not. Good scene with all the hens laying eggs and poor fanny could not do anything until she finally lays that big egg. Mickey was at his funniest trying to get the camera ready to take the eggs picture, and the tripod running around trying to catch up was just another reason the Mickey shorts were so popular. Great funny ending with the flash blowing up and all the hens feathers singed off! A solid 8.
From Jesus Daprice : I cannot really say what my favorite short is exactly, but my favorite character is Mickey Mouse and one of my favorite Mickey shorts is this one. I liked it because of all the hilarious gags in it such as the camera stand running to catch up with Mickey and when Mickey plays three geese like a bagpipe. Other parts I liked about it were when Mickey and Pluto were in the scarecrow outfit (it may not have scared the crows, but it sure scared the crap out of Minnie). Minnie discovers that it's them and trips them with a hoe. Mickey lands in a laundry basket and ends up wearing a plaid skirt and socks. He grabs a paintbrush, puts it on the skirt (ala kilt) , grabs three geese, and plays them as a bagpipe. Soon the whole farm is dancing. In the henhouse, several chickens are laying eggs in time to the music. One hen named Fanny, however, does not seem to be able to. Soon enough, with some very hard (and painful no doubt) effort, she lays a huge egg and the whole barnyard gathers to see it. Mickey quickly goes into the house and gets the camera and runs to the henhouse with the camera stand running along. Mickey takes a picture of Fanny and her egg, but obviously having too much powder in the camera, there is an explosion that causes the birds' feathers to float around the henhouse.