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The Robber Kitten

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : April 20, 1935

Running Time : 7:48


A discontented young kitten tires of being mothered at home and runs away seeking adventure as a highwayman. A scary encounter with a genuine robber, however, soon sends him flying home to Mom.


Ambrose's Mom
Dirty Bill


Dave Hand
Bob Wickersham
Marvin Woodward
Hardie Gramatky
Hamilton Luske
Bill Roberts
Bill Cottrell
Frank Churchill
Billy Bletcher
Clarence "Ducky" Nash


United States
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 5 : The Wind in the Willows
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 33: In the Nursery with the Silly Symphonies
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 8
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 63
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 13, 1955

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 Jack Bumble : This short really relates to my childhood. I was a mischievous little guy and I often stole things from people including cold-hard cash. I never ran into anyone like Dirty Bill though, but I had a friend who was an excellent pickpocket (later got arrested and sent to reform school). When I was finally caught stealing a toy at my local toystore, the security guard showed me a video about shoplifting and the consequences. It just scared the bejesus out of me and I quit stealing from that day on. I guess this would be my favorite short.
From Jerry Edwards : Fun, enjoyable cartoon. I had this in black and white from the Mickey Mouse Club for years before I found the original color version. The color definitely adds a great deal to the cartoon. The opening of Ambrose robbing a stagecoach driven by his toys is quite similar to the more recent opening scene of Toy Story.
From Ryan : While I am not a big fan of the "Silly Symphonies," I liked this short. It had a good plot and the animation was wonderful. The kitten ran like the wind after his mother wanted to give him a bath. Cats sure hate baths!
From Jeremy Fassler : An OK short. The song that Dirty Bill and Ambrose sing is kind of catchy, if a little stupid. Overall, not one of my favorites.
From Dino Cencia : A great short! This is one of my favorites, and I give it a 920 out of 920.
From Matthew Cooper : This is a very good cartoon, and also one of my most favorite Silly Symphonies! The only thing that I find odd about this short is that while Ambrose and his mom are cats and Dirty Bill is (probably) a dog, the passengers and driver of the stage-coach that Ambrose robs in his fantasy are people! This cartoon must have been made around the time of The Three Little Pigs because if you look closely in the scene where Ambrose runs past his mother, you can see a picture of a cat being booted off a wall labeled FATHER. That same joke was in the Three Little Pigs, except the picture was a string of sausages. To sum it up I'd like to say that Ambrose's toys shown at the beginning remind me of Pinnochio.
From Gijs Grob : The Robber Kitten is one of the more annoying entries in the Silly Symphony series, despite the strong characterization of the little rascal Ambrose (or 'Butch' as he is preferred to be called) and the experienced robber Dirty Bill. It's a slow-paced, childish cartoon dripping with morality. The setting is vague and pretty unconvincing: Bill is clad in a mediaeval Robin Hood-like costume, while Ambrose is clad in 17th century fashion. A much sillier world as that of in The Cookie Carnival was brought with much more bravado. All too typical for the Silly Symphonies of the mid thirties, The Robber Kitten is nothing more than beautifully animated pulp.
From Tom Wilkins : I must say that I am not too thrilled with either name. Ambrose (well, Butch) fantasized about the gangster life by shooting some of his toys with his toy gun. Through all of this, the kitten is disturbed because he does not want to be named Ambrose anymore, since he wanted to portray gangster life (which movies were very popular back in 1935) in the real world. Despite the mother kitten's orders for him to come down and take a bath, Ambrose plays the average teenager of our decade by sneaking around the bath behind the mother's back, snatching all the cookies out of the cookie jar and into his little bag, and exiting out the window, where coincidentally he falls into the awaiting barrel of water. (So much for not wanting a bath.)

During Ambrose's travels, he runs into Dirty Bill, an animal that is not worth description because he is so hideous looking. Despite his looks, the two become friends...or so we thought. After Ambrose shares a story hallucinating on how he robbed a stagecoach, one of the much shorter climaxes of the Silly Symphonies take place. Bill pulls the Benedict Arnold out of his hat and wants to take what he thought were jewels in Ambrose's bag. Of course he got the unwelcomed snack instead as the kitten flew like Desmond Howard back into the house and into the bath, where Mom was about to give Ambrose a brush spanking.

The moral: Listen to your mother, my children! Ambrose sure learned his lesson the hard way - his crazy antics cost him a chance to appear in the 1935 award winning Disney classic, Three Orphan Kittens.

Oh - and one thought on Dirty Bill: he never took a bath and he never will? Could this be why he is so successful at robberies...all because he stinks so bad? Where's his mom to tell him he needs a bath?

From Mike : While not one of my favorites I can at least appreciate that he does learn his lesson at the end. I personally would've loved to have seen Dirty Bill get caught by a sheriff.

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