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The Tortoise and the Hare

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : January 5, 1935

Running Time : 8:37


A retelling of Aesop's fable where the hare learns that slow and steady wins the race.


Max Hare (Voice: Ned Norton)
Toby Tortoise (Voice: Eddie Holden)


Wilfred Jackson
Louie Schmitt
Dick Lundy
Milt Schaffer
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Hamilton Luske
Eric Larson
Les Clark
Dick Heumer
Ward Kimball
Bill Cottrell
Frank Churchill
Character Design
Joe Grant
Ned Norton
Eddie Holden
Pinto Colvig
Alice Ardell
Marcellite Garner


Based on the story "The Hare and the Tortoise"


1935 Academy Award (Short Subject - Cartoons)


When we first see the four bunny girls, their dresses are in the order blue, orange, blue and yellow from left to right. However when we see them from the reverse in a subsequent scene, the dresses are in the same order from left to right when they should have been reversed as well.


United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 7 : More of Disney's Best 1932-1946
Starring Silly Symphonies
Meister-Cartoons von Walt Disney
Contes et Legendes de Jiminy Cricket
Les Chefs-d'Oeuvre de Walt Disney
Le Meravigliose Fiabe del Grillo Parlante
I Capolavori di Walt Disney


United States
Silly Symphonies / Animals Two by Two
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Academy Award Review of Walt Disney Cartoons


United States
Timeless Tales Volume 1
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 4 : The Tortoise and the Hare
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Zauberhafte Marchenwelt 4
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Walt Disney's Fables : Volume 4
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 49: More Storybook Silly Symphonies
The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 1: Award Winners

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
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 J. D. Weil : There has been a continuing dispute among animation buffs that the character of Max Hare was a prototype for Bugs Bunny. From my point of view, they were, and are separate characters. But, there is a common point between them, and that is Chuck Thorsen. Thorsen designed Max Hare (and Little Hiawatha, for that matter) and he also designed one of the embryonic Bugs Bunny's (He appears in "Hare-um Scare-um"). Probably because of this, the controversy still rages.
From Jerry Edwards : While not one of my favorites, I still find this a fun, enjoyable cartoon. The main interest for me is how the original Aesop Fable is adapted for the cartoon.
From Ryan : I enjoy this fun little cartoon. I really enjoy the part bit of dialog where Toby Tortise tells Max Hare "May the best man win." Max responds with "Thanks, but I'll try not to beat you too hard!" Max Hare's character, as stated before, was probably the inspiration for Bugs Bunny. In fact, there were some Bugs cartoons based on this fable where Bugs races Cecil Turtle.
From Baruch Weiss : To those who read this comment can anybody please tell me why is Mickey's face on the screen during the title presentation? He doesn't appear in the cartoon. The same thing happened in Elmer Elephant. Although it's kind of weird it's quite cool because if it were real you could pull of his face and then you'd have a blank Mickey Mouse icon. Anyway back to the cartoon, I haven't seen this cartoon in a while, but I remember quite a bit of it, I enjoyed Max Hare's character!
From Dino Cencia : As I read Baruch Weiss' comment, I think maybe I can help him out. I agree with him that when I watch Silly Symphonies cartoons, the Mickey Mouse title card comes on first . I think that sometimes the Mickey Mouse title comes on for Silly Symphonies because sometimes on other different Silly Symphonies title cards, it says "Mickey Mouse presents Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies" with the cartoon name at the bottom. Anyway, back to the cartoon. This is one of my favorite Silly Symphonies cartoons. My favorite part is when Toby Tortoise was running to the finish line when Max Hare was speeding to catch Toby to win the race, Toby won and he feels proud of himself. I give this a 596 out of 596.
From Gijs Grob : A classic re-telling of Aesop's fable, and a very good one. Both protagonists are very defined characters: the shy and honest Tony Tortoise and the flamboyant but brashy Max Hare. The latter steals the show, impressing four cute girl bunnies with his tricks in speed, playing baseball and tennis with himself. But, as we all know, his showing-off makes him forget the race, and he looses, leaving all the honors to the tortoise. The Tortoise and the Hare is one of the best Silly Symphonies of the period in its strong characterization, its humor and the absence of focus on sweetness and morality. It's also exceptional among the Silly Symphonies in lacking a theme song or dance routine (even though the characters speak in rhyme most of the time).
From Bryan Hensley : This oscar-winning Silly Symphony is still a great one after nearly 75 years! Who'd have thunk Max Hare was a pioneer for what Bugs Bunny would look like? This short had a sequel called Toby Tortoise Returns, and both of these are in Volume 4 of Disney's Animation Collection! Both racers were in the audience of Mickey's Polo Team the next year, before their sequel short. In that short and Toby Tortoise returns, it's mostly Silly Symphony characters who make up the audience! (One noticable exception was Goofy!) Anyway, in this short, Max Hare really was "The blue streak" when he runs past anything or anyone! When he was showing off for the girl bunnies, he was a one-rabbit sports team! As for Toby Tortoise, he just kept on running and wasn't distracted much at all, even though he shushed the audience to not wake Max up from his "nap". Slow and steady does win the race, even if a speed demon like Max Hare wasn't napping at all! The race ended up neck-and-neck, quite literally! I hope you all enjoy this oscar-winning racing classic from 1935!

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