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Elmer Elephant

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : March 28, 1936

Running Time : 8:29


Poor Elmer is teased unmercifully by the other kids at Tillie Tiger's birthday party because of his long nose. But soon, he is shown that his trunk can be very handy when a fire breaks out.


Elmer Elephant
Joe Giraffe
Joey Hippo
Tillie Tiger (Voice: Alice Ardell)


Wilfred Jackson
Asst. Director
Graham Heid
Hamilton Luske
Paul Hopkins
Bob Wickersham
Wolfgang Reitherman
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Milt Schaffer
Eddie Strickland
Ward Kimball
Maurice Noble
Ferdinand Horvath
Bianca Marjolie
Ted Sears
Earl Hurd
Leigh Harline
Character Design
Charlie Thorson
Alice Ardell


United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 14 : Animal Tales
Contes et Legendes de Jiminy Cricket
Le Fiabe Volume 2 : Il Brutto Anatraccolo e Altre Storie
Le Meravigliose Fiabe del Grillo Parlante


United States
Cartoon Classics : Animal Tales


Dumbo : Big Top Edition
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 2 : The Three Little Pigs
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Dumbo (Special Collection)
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


United States
Dumbo (Two Disc 70th Anniversay BluRay/DVD Combo Pack)


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 53: Silly Symphonies at the Zoo
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 14, 1955
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 28, 1956

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 Rod Bennett : This short is pretty unique; it's done in a very unusual style not employed in any other Disney film. First of all, the character models themselves don't look at all "Disney" to me; I believe they may have been inspired by a popular comic strip series from the period that I recall - all about jungle animals and running regularly in The Saturday Evening Post (but, darn it, I've forgotten the artist's name). Also : there's a great deal more "modeling" (with shadow) on the figures here than we get to see in any other Disney effort until "Who Framed Roger Rabbit!" All in all, this one strikes me as wildly experimental and I, for one, would like to know more about its origins.
From Jerry Edwards : A nicely done cartoon that makes me care for Elmer Elephant. I believe I had read the book adapting the cartoon story long before I saw the short. Elmer was one of the first new Disney characters to appear on merchandise items since the Three Little Pigs. The jungle fire department, made up of monkeys, is played for laughs.
From Andrea : Found this on the Dumbo DVD. My 3 year old is enchanted and asks for this short more often than Dumbo, the film itself. Charming characterization of Elmer and I just love Tilly Tiger's voice.

We don't get many Silly Symphonies shown in the UK and if they're like this I'd love to see more.

From Ryan : While this cartoon is very well animated, I really don't care too much for it. I find it way too cute for my taste. I do, however, enjoy the climax of it when all the animals are trying to extinguish the fire.
From Hal Niederbrach : Elmer Elephant is one of my favorites of the Silly Symphonies .The only thing I dont like is the taunting. I dont think anyone knows except me that one of the cubs whos at Tillie Tigers party looks like a bearlike Mickey Mouse with his 1939 to today look. I like the ending which has Elmer and Tillie kissing and IT IS an enjoyable cartoon.
From Kay : OMG! It was so cute! I loved how Tillie Tiger was drawn! It was so great in the end when they got together.
From Chris : This is a very sweet one, whose relevance looms larger today than before. You genuinely feel for the characters, you want to see Elmer come through victorious and prove everyone wrong (without violence of course). Joe Giraffe proves the wonderful words of reason. A must have on any enthusiast's lists.
From Wesley Fleming : I have it on a video my mom taped for me. I love it! My favorite is when the teasers sing about his nose.
From Dino Cencia : Oh my god, this cartoon is so sweet! Also, I liked Tillie Tiger. She's so cute and sweet and she has the same clothes and hair bow like Minnie Mouse. I liked the part when Tillie Tiger blew out the candles on her cake, it didn't go out, so she asked Joey Hippo to blow them out for her. So he said ok and took a deep breath and blowed the whole cake into Elmer Elephant. Then Tillie Tiger cleaned him up and Elmer gave Tillie some flowers for her birthday. And she kissed him on the trunk. Aww! So sweet! Then the other kids (or animals) teased Elmer about his long nose (or trunk.) Also, last, I loved the part when there was a fire at Tillie Tiger's clubhouse, Elmer saves her from the fire by getting water from the birds and he sucked the water in his trunk and put the fire out just like a fire hose. Then Tillie was about to fall but Elmer saved her with his trunk and carried her down safely. "My hero!" Tillie Tiger said. Then the two friends were about to kiss, Elmer's trunk was in the way but he moved his trunk to kiss Tillie at the end. Aww so cute and sweet! I give this cartoon a 9000.
From Baruch Weiss : While watching this cartoon I can't help but feel sorry for poor Elmer as the kids (including a monkey who's wearing Mickey Mouse's pants) make fun of him, Tilly shouldn't have allowed this and should have just kicked everybody else out of her party. Other than that, I loved it espically at the end where Elmer is kissing Tilly, but censores it by hiding it behind his ear!
From Gijs Grob : A beautiful cartoon. it's full of cute animals, but despite its cuteness it never becomes cloying. Its storyline is very straightforward and really heartfelt, like the best of Disney's works. Elmer visits the birthday party of one of his jungle friends, the extremely cute girl tiger Tilly. He appears to be her favorite guest, but all the other animals (including some non-tropical foxes) mock him because of his trunk, singing "your nose is like a rubber hose". Moreover they bully and taunt him and send him away. Unhappy, Elmer wanders through the jungle, but then he encounters even stranger-looking animals: an old giraffe and three Jimmy Durante-like pelicanes, who comfort him a little. Then, suddenly, there's a fire in Tillie's treehut. Elmer comes to the rescue, and with help of his nose and of his new odd friends he saves Tillie from the anthropomorphized flames. Thus being the hero of the day he wins Tillie's love, displayed by a kiss.

Elmer Elephant has the looks of a storybook. It's beautifully animated, with lots of shadows, and has well-designed characters. Especially the hippo, who has an absurdly low voice, is a wonderful character. It's both surprising and a shame that no other cartoon has been made with these cute characters in their beautiful jungle forest. Of course, the idea of a kind elephant being mocked for a handicap would later return in "Dumbo", making Elmer Elephant its immediate predecessor.

From Sydney Simmonds : Tillie Tiger kinda sounds like Minnie Mouse when she is giggling. She sure had been bitten by the lovebug and fell in love with Elmer. But since she likes him a lot, why didn't she speak up for him when he was being teased about his trunk. I would do that if I was Tillie.
From Thomas Bauer : In the cartoon Elmer Elephant, why did Walt Disney make the cartoon in a way that Elmer Elephant is first ridiculed about his trunk and then the others attendants of Tillie Tiger's birthday party become bullies to him about his trunk? He didn't do anything to any of them and they all physically abuse him by tugging on his trunk. When the hippo tugs on elmer's trunk, the monkey stands right behind him bent over so Elmer would trip over him and tumble down the hill they were on top of when the hippo suddenly lets go of his trunk. They make him feel self-conscious and insecure about his trunk and when he kicks his trunk , it snaps him in the face and make him cry. I feel they should have all been kicked out of Tillie Tiger's party for that, especially the tiger that led it who said "Hello, Elmer" in an intimidating way to him.

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