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Bugs in Love

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : October 1, 1932

Running Time : 7:03


Inventive insects turn a junk yard into an amusement park. The fun is cut short however, by the arrival of a shifty (and hungry) hobo crow.


Bert Gillett
Les Clark
Norm Ferguson
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Dave Hand
Joe D'Igalo
Charles Hutchinson
Ed Love
Bill Roberts
Fred Moore
Frank Tipper
Eddie Donnelly
Hardie Gramatky
Jack King
Tom Palmer
Earl Duvall
Bert Lewis


The last Silly Symphony made in black and white.


United States
Disney Treasures : More Silly Symphonies


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 38: Infested Silly Symphonies
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 40
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 35
The Mickey Mouse Club : January 26, 1956
The Mickey Mouse Club : April 16, 1957

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


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : For some strange reason, the latest Silly Symphony, Bugs In Love, returns to black and white, after the advent of color with Flowers and Trees and King Neptune. Despite that, it remains an extremely entertaining short that features some top shelf animation.

In truth, this short is really a remake of The Spider and the Fly, an earlier Silly Symphony that also focused on bugs (flies in that case) falling in love then being menaced by a large adversary. In that case it was a spider, but here it is a crow. Then as now, the other bugs rally behind the young lovers to defeat the villain.

The opening of this short shows the bugs at play, and it’s a fascinating piece of work. We see the bugs making makeshift amusement rides from corsets, record players and a plethora of other devices. It brings to mind not only the Pixar film A Bug’s Life, but the real life representation of that film, A Bug’s Land, at Disney’s California Adventure. Again, one always has to wonder how much inspiration for later Disney projects was drawn from these early films.

The young lovers in this case are great characters. The female bug plays hard to get a little, flying into her home to put on makeup, apply lipstick and wait for the male to come and woo her. The personality oozes from both of these characters, in some really fine work by the Disney staff. Without either of them uttering a word, you feel their affection for each other. Okay, they may write words, but the tale is told even before that happens.

The crow that comes in to attack the two is a masterful villain as well. He is instantly recognizable as the bad guy, and the sense of menace is palpable when he shows up. The crow’s movements and attacks are realistic and terrifying. He manages to lock up the male and chase the female across her home, knocking furniture flying along the way.

The bugs attacking the crow is really the weakest part of the short in my opinion. It could be because we’ve seen it so many times before, but the intensity seems lacking in this one.

It’s interesting here that the male bug is not the dominant figure in the short. Usually, in this style of Disney short, the male saves the female from the dangerous villain, but in this case, that doesn’t happen. The male gets bottled up, literally, at first, then once he’s released he gets captured in an eye dropper. It’s the work of the bugs at large and his woman that gets him out.

The final scene ends up with the two love bugs kissing in triumph. The work in this short on these two characters is fantastic. As a viewer, you find yourself rooting for them throughout and hoping for the best. They end up together, as in any good Disney short, and you end up with a very emotionally satisfying and consistent ending. Bugs in Love is just that – an emotionally satisfying short that features some very nice animation.

From Mac : This one was actually in production at around the same time as Flowers and Trees and before King Neptune, which makes it a little less surprising that this Silly Symphony is in black and white. Don't forget to listen to David's commentary on the DVD if you want to find out more about this cartoon and what became of its characters.

There's a lot of good ideas in this one. If the Silly Symphonies had stayed in black and white, I wonder if the characters in this one might have been developed further in animation and appeared again. As it was, Disney already had hugely popular recurring characters in the Mickey Mouse series whereas the Silly Symphonies offered new experiments in color.

From Rod Bennett : This one is a virtual remake of The Spider and the Fly, with the crow taking over where the spider left off.
From Jerry Edwards : Last Silly Symphony in black and white. As already mentioned, basically just a remake of The Spider and the Fly. One fun bit is the assorted junk used as amusement park rides for the bugs.
From Ryan : This short's opening title is rather different from that of other Disney shorts. Instead of the copyright being printed in Roman numerals, it is printed out in numbers. Several bugs are at a local dump where they have constructed a bug-size playground. A crow comes and tries to eat some of the bugs. One part that is rather unusual for a Disney short is that a female character rescues her boyfriend rather than it being the other way around. This is a wonderful cartoon with exceptional animation.

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