Farmyard Symphony

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : October 14, 1938

Running Time : 8:11


A farmyard of animals go through their daily routine to the accompaniment of various classical themes.


Jack Cutting
Eric Larson
Fred Madison
John Bradbury
Ken Hultgren
Milt Kahl
Bernard Garbutt
Don Lusk
Paul Satterfield
Lynn Karp
John Sewell
Paul Busch
Dave Hilberman
Art Heinemann
George Stallings
Leigh Harline
Billy Bletcher
Lee Sweetland
Lee Millar
Dorothy Lloyd
Bea Hager
Melvin Gilley
Victor Rodman
Max Terhune


United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Silly Symphonies
Donald Ich bin der Grösste
Donald und die Entenbande
Paperino e la Sua Banda di Paperi
Silly Symphonies
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Silly Symphonies


United States
Disney Cartoon Parade Volume 1
Limited Gold Editions - Silly Symphonies


Donald Duck and his Duckling Gang
Silly Symphonies : Limited Gold Editions


United States
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 6 : Extreme Music Fun
Make Mine Music
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Zauberhafte Marchenwelt 2
Musik Spass Superstars
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Walt Disney Le Fiabe 3
Extreme Music Fun
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 6 : Extreme Music Fun
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Walt Disney's Fables : Volume 2
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 24: Symphonic Silly Symphonies
Walt Disney Presents: More About Silly Symphonies

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.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : It’s been a while since the Silly Symphonies featured a short that had everyday objects or settings combining to make music. The trend has instead been towards higher artistic value in the shorts, with great detail and feature quality animation, involved in the telling of a well crafted story. However, the old shorts still have a certain charm, and Farmyard Symphony brings both of those elements together.

Farmyard Symphony returns us to the barnyard setting that was so familiar in the early years of the Disney studio, both in the Mickey shorts and the Silly Symphonies. It’s been quite a while since Disney has highlighted a rural setting, so it’s a treat to see what the changes have been.

The animation is simply stunning in this short. The opening shots, where the camera zooms into the farm, are very reminiscent of the work in The Old Mill. The various animals are no longer caricatures or oddly shaped avatars of an animal. Instead, they are now fully drawn characters that move, act and breathe like real animals.

The driving force of this short is the rooster who gets up and crows the morning for the farm. He is able to strut throughout the farm, waking up the animals, causing the various gags to be set in motion. There’s not so much a story to the short as there is this through line of the rooster stirring things up, which is quite the throwback to the earlier shorts.

The rooster’s noise wakes up a group of pigs, for example, who try then to start nursing from their mother. One of the pigs can’t get in, and keeps trying to find a way to squeeze himself into the mix, to no avail. He ends up trying to squeeze his way in with a nearby cow – again, to no avail. It’s a familiar gag, but the work on the pigs is so good that it feels more real in this short than in others.

The rooster gets a big part to play later in the short when he starts wooing a chicken from the hen house. After waking up the hens, this chicken catches his eye, and thus begins the Farmyard Symphony.

As the rooster and chicken sing together, the rest of the animals join in. What’s interesting in this short, though, is that the sounds of the animals are not morphed together to form a real musical track, but are left as animal sounds. In the earlier shorts, you would have had real notes coming from the animals, but here, it’s much more natural.

This is a great example of how the Disney shorts evolved after the release of Snow White. Take this short and compare it to some of the previous Silly Symphonies, and it blows them away in terms of storytelling, animation and detail. The whole short gives a very peaceful, pastoral feeling, and ends up making the viewer smile. That, I’m sure, was all the Disney team wanted.

From Mac : Yep, this one feels like an early 30's Silly Symphony updated with late 30's Disney sensibilities. The action perfectly fits the music, but not in the same every-footstep-matches-a-note way of the old black and white shorts (I miss that!). Silly slapstick gags have been replaced by gentle caricatures of animal behavior and everything is much more sophisticated and beautifully done. I find this cartoon, with its nice selection of classical music an absolute delight and it's great to see how far Disney animation has advanced. However, it still doesn't take away from how much I enjoy those earlier, bouncy cartoons!
From Rod Bennett : Once again, we now see the fully mature feature animation style displayed in all its glory; the look of this simple 7-minute short compares quites favorably to "Snow White" and "Pinocchio." It's also a direct ancestor of "Fantasia" - told with the same absence of dialogue and set to a soundtrack of Beethoven, Rossini, and Wagner.
From Mark Kratzner : Max Terhune did voices of animal for the short. He was a cowboy sidekick but also a champion bird caller.
From Jerry Edwards : The elaborate dance routines quickly get tiresome for me, but this is one of my wife Liz' favorites. I do enjoy the continuing story of a young piglet trying to get something to eat for breakfast, with the satisfying ending of the piglet wallowing in a pile of corn. When my son Jeb was much younger, he was always very concerned about the poor little piggy getting something to eat. I've always enjoyed that the opening animation of the farm was repeated for the 1951 Chicken in the Rough short.
From Baruch Weiss : I love this cartoon. I loved the scene where the little sheep said "Mama" and then the mom licks him, that was cute! Also I liked where the Chicken clucked "Hiya Toots." That short excerpt was also used in the Walt Disney Cartoon Classics videos from the late 80's.

Referenced Comments