Poster

The Brave Little Tailor

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : September 23, 1938

Running Time : 8:56

Synopsis

Mickey, the tailor, kills "seven flies with one blow." The king, thinking that Mickey is talking about giants, sends him out to kill one, and offers him the hand of the Princess Minnie in return.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
King
Giant

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Fred Moore
Bill Tytla
Don Patterson
Milt Schaffer
Les Clark
Ollie Johnson
Frank Thomas
Riley Thompson
Jack Campbell
Don Williams
John Noel Tucker
Andy Engman
Frank Follmer
Cornett Wood
Art Palmer
George Rowley
Archie Robin
John McDermott

Source

Based on the story "The Valiant Little Tailor"

Awards

Nominated for an Academy Award (Short Subjects - Cartoons.) The award went to "Ferdinand the Bull."

Video

United States
Mickey Loves Minnie
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 7 : More of Disney's Best 1932-1946
Starring Mickey and Minnie
Germany
Hier ist Mickey
Micky's Lustige Abenteuer
France
Contes et Legendes de Jiminy Cricket
Salut Mickey
Italy
C'era Una Volta un Topo
C'era Una Volta un Topo
Le Meravigliose Fiabe del Grillo Parlante

Laserdiscs

United States
Starring Mickey and Minnie / Starring Chip 'n' Dale
Japan
Starring Mickey and Minnie
Hello! Mickey
Once Upon a Mouse
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born

DVD

United States
The Sword in the Stone : 45th Anniversary Edition
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 1 : Mickey and the Beanstalk
It's a Small World of Fun Volume 2
The Sword in the Stone
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Germany
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Alle Lieben Mickey
Die Hexe und der Zauberer
France
Tout le Monde aime Mickey
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Italy
Il Mio Eroe Topolino
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Sweden
Alla Alskar Musse
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Everybody Loves Mickey

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 22: Classic Mickey
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 51
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 50

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

  • This short marked the beginning of a departure for Disney as far as animation of the shorts is concerned. The Brave Little Tailor was very expensive to make, at a time when most of the money and talent was being directed towards feature films. ("Pinocchio" and "Fantasia" were in production at this time.) The expense of this short prompted Disney to re-examine the expense of the short subjects. Consequently, the animation of later shorts proved to be much simpler and less lush than this one, especially in the background art.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I wrote yesterday how nice it was to see Mickey back in a real starring role in Mickey’s Parrot. Well, in that short he had to share time with Pluto, but we see a real Mickey Mouse renaissance in The Brave Little Tailor, one of the all time classic Mickey shorts.

There’s so much to say about this short, that it is hard to really organize my thoughts. First of all, this is the first time I have seen one of the Mickeys and thought, “This could have been a feature.” The quality of the work in this, from storytelling to backgrounds to animation, is exemplary. It’s also a vindication of sorts for Mickey, who seemingly had been relegated to a background role, but now shows that he can be a leading man.

In case you haven’t seen it, this short revolves around the story of a town menaced by a giant. Mickey is a tailor in the town, who unwittingly gets sucked into ridding the town of the giant. How? Well, by a simple misunderstanding. After he kills seven flies in one shot, Mickey brags to the townspeople. Mistaking his bravado and thinking he meant giants instead of flies, the townfolk pull Mickey in front of the king, who sends Mickey out to kill the giant, in exchange for the hand of the Princess Minnie. Hilarity ensues.

The reason I thought this could be a feature was the storytelling. It is fantastic. Everything is set up perfectly, giving motivation for the king, Mickey and Minnie in a short amount of time. Not to mention the pathos – you feel so bad for Mickey when he is standing in front of the king bragging about his accomplishment, knowing that he doesn’t realize that the king thinks he is talking about giants, not flies.

Then, when you see Mickey out looking for the giant, there is a feeling of genuine terror that he will be eaten or crushed. That’s not easy to do. Mickey at this point was a star beyond all others, so to think that Disney would harm him is unthinkable. Yet, watching this short, you get that feeling, and that’s a credit to the power of this short.

Even though you know that Mickey will come out on top, the short does a great job of building suspense. I will have to say that seeing the resolution, where Mickey the tailor wraps the giant up in “thread” to make him fall over had the Star Wars geek deep inside me giggling. It’s something that I’m sure George Lucas saw when getting ready for the Empire to strike back.

The Brave Little Tailor is simply Mickey at his finest. He takes the lead role easily, proving to be a brave, if a little foolhardy, leading man. His character in this short is the character he would have moving forward. Mickey is the guy who will charge ahead, despite knowing that he might not have a chance, but by luck, guile or skill, somehow manages to come out on top. He’s the guy we all would love to be, and we love to watch him do his thing.


From Jeff Overturf : This is for sure one of the all time classics. Some of Mickey's acting in this is at the peak of the animators craft.
From Mac : An excellent Mickey cartoon in which he gets to be the hero again. It's kind of interesting to note that from this point on Mickey has to be cast into a role in order to play the hero (in this case in a medieval fairytale world). This kind of thing had been done before (like in Giant Land or Ye Olde Days) but he could also be be a hero in his own world either at home (e.g The Gorilla Mystery and Mail Pilot) or off on an adventure (e.g Shanghaied or Mickey in Arabia).

Another thing I miss from the earlier cartoons is the consistent look of the characters. Before all the background characters were simple, but looked great and clearly fitted into one world. Now a lot of characters have more detail – lots more flesh and fur, skin tones and more detailed eyes, but they're uglier to look at and the different character designs don't fit together so well within one world.

The other minor complaint I have about this excellent cartoon is the ending. It comes a little too abruptly for my liking and I would have liked to have seen just a tiny little bit more of Mickey and Minnie together (perhaps ending with a shot of them together rather than the king's "yippee"). Like I say, this is a minor complaint, I could go on about what's good about this cartoon, but Ryan has already has it covered in his review!


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : There's an apocryphal story—maybe coming from a period magazine, though I'm not sure—where The Brave Little Tailor originally had a little more of Mickey and Minnie in the ending. As they kiss, they're distracted by one more annoying fly—which Mickey swats at and misses! I'd go as far as to say such an ending would have improved the (already great) cartoon immensely.
From K. Richard : Doesn't this short contain another instance of Pluto talking? The knight/soldier who overhears the gossip of Mickey's deed and reports it to the king appears for all intents and purposes to be Pluto.
From Jesus Daprice : This seems to be a very well-known short. I have three Mickey Mouse porcelain figurines. Steamboat Willie, this one, and Sorcerer's Apprentice. It also seems to have been released on quite a few videos and has a lot of graphics. I wonder if this short was a favorite of Mr. Walt E. Disney.
From Jerry Edwards : I've always enjoyed what I consider to be a Mickey Mouse/Silly Symphony hybrid short. Mickey playing the brave little tailor works for me. I enjoy the story and especially the scene in which Mickey is trying to avoid being swallowed by the giant.
From Ryan : This is a very famous Disney short. If you look at Mickey Mouse merchandise, I can guarantee you that you'll find something related to this short. This could be considered a sequel to the 1933 Mickey short Giant Land. The animation of this short was wonderful and the storyline was good.
From Peter Fannelli : The first time I ever saw this cartoon was when I was five years old, and it frightened me. The scene in which Mickey is outside of the castle and he hears the giants massive footsteps made me hide under my blanket. There is also a scene in which Mickey gets swallowed by the giant, a scene which also gave me the chills. My favorite part of this cartoon is the part in which Mickey takes down the giant by tying him up. In the end when Mickey looks up at the defeated giant and then brushes of his dirty hands, you will have an urge to get up out of your seat and cheer for the him.
From Peter : I love this short! Even being 15 years old, after seeing this short Mickey Mouse will always be my hero! This short was very well-made compared to other shorts. The artwork was very unique, and the giant almost looked like a real human being. One scene that I thought was very unnecessary was the scene in which Mickey gets swallowed by the giant, and just dangles inside of his stomach for 2 seconds. One of my favorite scenes in this short is when Minnie kisses Mickey on the face about 55 times and all of her lipstick is smeared all over his face. All and all, I think that this is one of the best Mickey Mouse films ever made, and I plan on watching it again very soon!
From Kevin : One of the best shorts I've ever seen.
From Sam : One of the most recognizable Disney shorts ever created, it remains one of the best as well. The animation is very well done, the story is well told, and Mickey's acting is at it's best. My favorite scene is the one in which Mickey is retelling the king his tale of how he killed "seven with one blow". A masterpiece of animation.
From Betsy : This is one of my favorite Mickey cartoons, and a perfect 10. The animation is great for its time and Mickey (as always) is the heroic star. The scene where Princess Minnie kisses Mickey all over his face then their kiss at the end are not only two of the more classic and romantic Disney moments but also one of the cutest. Being a Mickey fan for many years this one has been close to my heart and mind as well as been on my list of Favorite Mickey Toons. This one really shows how Mickey was and is the heroic little guy who did big things and triumphed-with Minnie by his side.
From Chris Perdue : I give this short a ten for its story and its animation. I was made familiar with the story, not with the short itself, but a book and record read-along package my parents bought me as a little child. It wasn't until I was about twelve or thirteen that I got to see the short. I remember watching it with my little sister, who when she saw Mickey in the stomach of the giant, was scared to death for him. She cried all the more when water started pouring in on him. It was real enough to her that she was scared for Mickey.
From Gabe Bennett : In several episodes of the Disney TV series, "The Adventures of the Gummi Bears", notably "Close Encounters of the Gummi Kind", there is a peasant character (he appears to be a woodcutter) who looks exactly like the Giant from this classic cartoon. A little nod to the classics from the Television Animation Department perhaps? Also, I'm surprised that the scenes in this cartoon featuring the Giant rolling a cigar out of the hay and smoking haven't been censored (or have they? I haven't seen this one in many years.)
From Linda : I love this movie. It's so funny how Mickey is so excited about killing the flies and how everyone misunderstands and thinks he's talking about killing giants. I was lucky enough to get an original sericel of the movie.
From Baruch Weiss : This was 2 out of 3 times where Mickey was pitted against a giant. The first one was the 1933 black and white cartoon Giant Land then again in the 1947 cartoon Mickey and the Beanstalk. Anyway great short, I liked the scene where one of the guards comes rushing up to the castle then falls on his stomach then we hear the screeching breaks effect, I wonder what Jimmy MacDonald used to create that sound?
From Andrew : No one's mentioned yet that this was Mickey and Minnie's last appearance in their original designs. After this they would be given pink facial skin and eyes with pupils. The end of an era. Even so this is one of Mickey's most spectacular cartoons, with the magnificently stupid giant terrorizing the land (to him, Mickey would be about the size of an actual mouse to a normal human). If they show this cartoon on TV today, I really hope they didn't cut the scene with the giant using a wood stove to light his hay bale cigarette.
From Bryan Hensley : This 1938 masterpiece wasn't Disney's only oscar-nominee that year; Ferdinand The Bull was one too... and it won! Believe it or not, both shorts are in Disney's Animation Collection released in 2009! (This one in volume 1, and Ferdinand in volume 6!) I have three different versions of The Brave Little Tailor on DVD. (The Sword In The Stone 45th anniversary edition, It's A Small World of Fun volume 2 and the latest one I just mentioned.) The Sword In The Stone's version was unrestored, I's A Small World of Fun has a restored cut, and Disney's Animation Collection is still a restored version, except for the iris-in shot at the beginning, which didn't mention it being "Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution Co. Inc.", and an second iris-out shot at the end logo. This is a great and award-worthy short and all, but has it always had tons and tons of white specks flying around in certain scenes? (Like Mickey's tailor shop for instance.) What's up with that anyway? Nevertheless, it's still a remarkable short to anyone who sees it, including me.
From John Lattarulo : I just acquired an original production sketch of Mickey and Minnie from this short. I have never seen this short but I am looking forward to it.

Referenced Comments