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Water Babies

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : May 11, 1935

Running Time : 8:17


The water sprites living in a rustic pond awake with the dawn for a rollicking picnic. The festivities climax as "matadors" test their courage against an angry bull-frog.


Wilfred Jackson
Art Babbitt
Archie Robin
Cy Young
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Wolfgang Reitherman
Dick Heumer
Roy Williams
Nick George
Louie Schmitt
Ugo D'Orsi
Hugh Hennesy
Bill Cottrell
Leigh Harline
Character Design
Albert Hurter
Marion Darlington
Leone Ledoux

Cut Scenes

A scene where one of the babies rises to the top of the water rear-end first and is promptly slapped on the butt by another baby has been cut. Also cut was a scene where baby cowboys turn and bow away from the audience rear-end first.


United States
Silly Symphonies


Silly Symphonies / Animals Two by Two


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 13: Silly Symphonies Get Wet
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 22
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 4, 1957
The Mickey Mouse Club : April 17, 1957

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 Lisette de Pillis : This adorable short animation has captured the hearts of our young children. As adults we found it certainly very charming, but were surprised at the degree to which the film appeals to our toddlers. They ask to see the film over and over again, they want to see it before going to bed at night and when they wake up in the morning. Our two year old has to hold back tears when it is time for the Water Babies to go to sleep at night, until we assure her that they will be waking up again the next morning. By the way, we somehow got hold of the uncut version (I don't recall where). The animation is beautiful, the music is sing-able, we truly enjoy this precious film.
From Jerry Edwards : Silly, imaginative, enjoyable cartoon. The animation of the scene in which the water babies ride swans is beautifully done!
From Mike Campanelli : I find Water Babies (and its saltwater cousin, Merbabies) to be among the most adorable and touching of cartoon shorts. The idyllic world of the little water babies, from the daytime antics to their evening return to their lilies actually gives me a lump in my throat. Maybe I'm weird, but that's how it affect me!! Anyway, it's a very cute little flick.
From Ryan : I first saw this short when I received a video containing it (and two other Disney videos) for my seventh birthday. I liked it. I remember that my sister and I used to laugh at the scene where the two babies dunk one baby under water each time he comes up head first. He then came up butt first and the two babies gave him a good hard slap.
From Alicia : My all time favorite movie, children wise. Watched it 17 years ago and have always thought of it. Most people have never heard of it, but those who have cherish it. CLASSIC!
From Bobby : My son (now 20) loved this wonderful short, and wanted to watch it over and over when he was a toddler of around two. I have to admit, I think I enjoyed it as much as he did, or even more. The ending almost always made him want to cry, and often times he did. But we always reassured him the babies were simply going to sleep to rest up for another day of fun tomorrow.

It is my wish that more parents would get in touch with this wonderful fantasy word with their child and embrace it for all its worth. They grow sooooo fast and its so fleeting this magical time. Watching Water Babies with my son back then is a cherished memory I will never forget.

From Baruch Weiss : This is my favorite Silly Symphony. I loved it from start to finish.
From Linary Kingdon : I first became aware of the movie Water Babies back in 1987 when my oldest daughter wanted to watch it over and over at my mother's house at the age of 1. She (and I) absolutely LOVED the movie! At the end when the babies would start going home she would very passionately say, "No go home! No go home!" Then we'd rewind and watch it over and over. A couple years ago my mother asked me to find a copy of it for my niece. I was thrilled when I found copies for sale on the internet. I'll be surprising my daughter with my findings for her 22nd birthday this weekend. Thank you for having this site.
From Gijs Grob : Water Babies is sugarly cute, contains a lot of repetitive animation and is one of those Silly Symphonies obsessed with babies and their bare behinds (other examples are Lullabye Land (1933) and Wynken, Blynken and Nod (1938)). There is not much of a story either: the sexless water babies wake up, make fun and go to bed again (apparently a day only lasts seven minutes in their world). And yet, this is undoubtly one of Disney's most impressive efforts of the era. It feels like a showcase cartoon of the Disney studio excelling in lush pictures and beautiful theme music. Especially the opening scene (dawn) and the last shot (night) are stunningly beautiful. The Disney staff had reached yet another peak, and more was still to come.
From DaVon : I first saw this short on one of the very few Walt Disney Cartoon Classics video compilations I still have/own: Vol. 4: Silly Symphonies. And I used to play/watch this all the time when I was little and younger back in the '90s, around my preschool and elementary school years. It's a great and cute short, very enjoyable. Although I used to find that bullfrog kind of frightening, but I realize that for apparent reasons that clearly was the intention in fighting that matador baby in the gag, in looking so fierce. Fortunately, despite that fact ,it didn't give me nightmares. The animation is high-quality, just the whole thing is great. Recommended, as this really may be among the best, if not better, Silly Symphonies shorts. I give it an A+, just wonderful.
From Richard Sutor, Ph. D. : I first saw this cartoon when it was one of the featured cartoons on the old Mickey Mouse Club. (Yes, I am that old) Of course it was in Black and White and what captured my attention was the music. Here's was a cartoon with a classical sounding score perfectly timed to the action on the screen. There were interwoven themes and motifs - even counterpoint. Years later I purchased a film library (16mm sound prints) from a local photo shop that no longer wanted to rent films. I bought the collection without reviewing all the titles as there were about 350 reels. To my delight there were several Disney shorts included in there including this one. Several of the cartoon description have noted cartoons which were released to the home market. This one does not carry such a notation but I have the copy. When the Silly Symphony Disney Treasures were released I was originally disappointed Water Babies was not listed as being on either edition. It is, however. It's an easter egg which when found provides a bit of the back story of the water babies as shown on an episode of Disneyland. As noted by several other reviewers this cartoon has been a hit with my grandchildren. As toddlers each has become engrossed in it and ask to see it over and over. It became one of the special things to do when visiting with Grandpa. So this cartoon can be seen as testing the ability of Disney in-house composers to create a score that could carry an extended action sequence; a throwback to the original concept of the Silly Symphony, or a film designed to capture the interest and imagination of viewers at the earliest of ages. I say Well Done Wilf Jackson and Leigh Harline.

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