The Band Concert

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : February 23, 1935

Running Time : 9:18


Mickey leads his band through a rendition of "The William Tell Overture" while Donald Duck and a passing tornado interrupt.


Mickey Mouse
Clarabelle Cow
Horace Horsecollar
Peter Pig
Donald Duck


Wilfred Jackson
Johnny Cannon
Les Clark
Ugo D'Orsi
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Ferdinand Horvath
Dick Heumer
Jack Kinney
Wolfgang Reitherman
Archie Robin
Louie Schmitt
Dick Williams
Roy Williams
Cy Young
Hugh Hennesy
Terrell Stapp


Won the Venice Film Festival Golden Medal (Best Animation - 1935)


The first complete Mickey Mouse cartoon made in color.


United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 10 : Mickey's Crazy Careers
The Spirit of Mickey
Donald Ducks Tolldreiste Abenteuer
Mickys Größte Hits
La Joyeuse Menagerie
Joyeux Anniversaire Mickey
Le Meilleur de Mickey
Cartoon Festival 1
Topolino e Soci
Cartoons Disney 1
I Capolavori di Topolino


United States
The Spirit of Mickey
Donald Duck : A Star is Born
Mickey's Greatest Hits
Milestones for Mickey


United States
Make Mine Music
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 2: Mickey Landmarks
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 30
Walt Disney Presents: Adventures of Mickey Mouse

Original Animator's Drafts

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

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 Tom Wilkins : Probably the greatest Mickey Mouse cartoon ever made, at least in my opinion. I guess politics were in order when 1935's Three Orphan Kittens won the short subject. For all 9:26 of the cartoon, Donald is at his best, especially in the harmony department. I guess William "didn't" Tell Donald to knock off what he was doing, which is a marvelous thing! Something else to consider, the 1941 short All Together has some of this animation reused.
From Michael Brown : It is, of course, a wonderful piece of animation. I do, however wonder what is the meaning of "Selections from Zampa"? As far as I know, the "Overture from 'William Tell'" is just that, the overture from an opera by Rossini, entitled "William Tell." This has been a source of confusion to me ever since I first saw the cartoon, and I would be grateful for any enlightenment you can give me.
From Calvin Daprice : It sure was funny when Donald kept annoying Mickey and the rest of the band by continuosly playing "Turkey in the Straw" on his flutes, but somebody just has to wonder where the hell he got all of those flutes. All identical too. It's like he had been planning this for quite a while.
From Joe Manning : I recently saw this cartoon on a laserdisc that I have at home. I think this was wonderful because it was a milestone in Mickey's career.
From Jerry Edwards : One of my top favorite cartoons - Disney or non-Disney. A wonderful choice for Mickey's first color cartoon. I love the gag of Donald being able to pull flutes out of nowhere when his previous flutes are taken away. I would have liked Donald more if Disney had kept this ability more often in later shorts. The only other short I can think of that Donald shows this "ability" is the 1937 Modern Inventions, where Donald pulls new hats out of nowhere each time a robot butler takes away his hat. The tornado sequence is especially well animated. I enjoyed the music they began to play prior to the tornado was titled "The Storm."
From Ryan : It's been a while, but Mickey has finally made his color debut. This was definitely a classic short. The funniest part was where Donald kept annoying the whole band by playing his various flutes that he had stowed away in his sailor suit.
From Richard P. Huemer : My late father, who animated Donald Duck in this film, regarded The Band Concert as the most perfect animated short ever made.
From Ted : I save the "10" ratings for those true classics that I savor watching again and again and again. This one is the best of the 10's! The fact that it is so darn musical AND full of precision gags makes it satisfying to see 2 or 3 times in one sitting... even slowing the action down in spots for a frame-by-frame analysis of what's going on! If I didn't have a VCR, I would buy one to have access to this classic cartoon.
From Gijs Grob : One of my all time favorite cartoons. The blending of the Wilhelm Tell Overture with 'Turkey in the Straw' is very natural, and the different parts of the overture are so convincingly altered in order, that I was surprised that they were not arranged that way, when I heard the original. There are some reminiscents of the black-and-white era (fleeing benches), but there is wonderful character animation, especially in Mickey and his oversized uniform, and Donald, with his multitude of flutes. The Band Concert is easily the greatest of all concert cartoons, including such fine pictures as "The Cat's Concerto", "The Magical Maestro" and "Baton Bunny"
From Taylor Kerekes : One of my favorite shorts. I've seen this short on the Disney Movie: The Spirit of Mickey. You know, Mickey should be a great conductor sometimes. Donald always kept annoying Mickey with those flutes, and I don't find that so funny. The tornado sequence in this short is great. And I sure like that section that Mickey's band plays to it called The Storm. I believe that the Storm section must've summoned that tornado. And they don't see anything except the music and seem oblivious to everything around them, including the tornado. This should definitely be a great music short.
From Baruch Weiss : From beginning to end this short has great music just like any other Disney short. It's also similar to a Warner Brothers short titled "Baton Bunny" because in both shorts neither Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny talk throughout the entire short and they have somebody disturbing them.
From Matthew Swartz : I'd give it an "8". They played the William Tell Overture out of order and I wish that the last time that you hear the William Tell Overture (before Donald Duck plays "Turkey in the Straw" at the end) was the actual finale to it.
From Billy Joe : Sadly, I don't own a whole lot of Disney's wonderful shorts. Fortunately, I own a copy of this masterpiece. The Band Concert was the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon. I think this film is very funny, because Mickey and Donald do not want to play the same song. It has some pretty funny cartoon gags as well. Oh, and I don't think that shaggy dog in the band is Goofy.
From Daniel : The Band Concert is a masterpice, the seminal Mickey Mouse cartoon. Wilfred Jackson's direction is fundamental to this films success, which is basically a throwback to Mickey's early, tightly synchronized outings (including the The Barnyard Concert, which is similar to this), except this cartoon is on a truly grand scale. As a director, Jaxon was focused on details, and also on music. This cartoon was a perfect fit for him.

And just to clarify, a commenter was confused about the fact that the film starts with the Overture to Zampa, but for the rest of the film features the William Tell Overture. This is because as the film starts, Mickey's band has just concluded Zampa. He then changes the card to "William Tell", the next number in the concert. This is, though, the composer's (Leigh Harline?) arrangement of William Tell, mixing the various movements in that Overture together, condensing it for one reel.

From Bill : Perhaps one of the most important cartoons of all, not just for Walt Disney. It excels in storyline, character development, gags and flow. Mickey and Donald are at their best, and other favorites like Horace and Clarabell complete the story. The animation was perfect, especially when the trees braided up Donald and the benches running away from the storm was a nice touch. If only cartoons were still made this way today!
From Maxwell Morton "Max" Goudiss : Contrary to popular belief, this is not the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon in living color. Parade of the Award Nominees, released on November 18, 1932, hold that honor and destination as the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon in living color.
From Michael J : This has always been a personal favorite of mine. The animation team pulled out all the stops for Mickey's long-awaited debut in Technicolor. Mickey's expressions are perfect as "the frustrated conductor" who is determined to lead his orchestra to glory no matter what!

I've always felt that Donald Duck seems to work better when his grating nature is balanced by another character who is a bit more easy going, which is why he worked so well as a supporting character for Mickey.

In this short, Donald is enjoying the orchestra so much and is so eager to join in the fun that he pulls out a flute and starts playing along. It's just unfortunate that he only knows one song... He's not mean-spirited or abrasive, just incompetent, and quite charming.

From Claude : Does the score to this amazing piece still exist? I think it would make a spectacular splash for a professional band to play this in sync with the video played on a huge screen. Disney should consider publication.
From Anonymous Kid : I used to watch this all the time when I was little and I still love it. I always wondered how Donald managed to hide a zillion flutes in his sleeves and up his shirt and in his hat.

Referenced Comments