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Mother Goose Goes Hollywood

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : December 23, 1938


From the opening scene where Mother Goose takes the place of the MGM lion, it's a trip through her famous rhymes with Hollywood stars taking the place of the storybook characters.


Donald Duck


Wilfred Jackson
Izzy Klein
Bob Stokes
Ward Kimball
Grim Natwick
Jack Campbell
Don Patterson
George Stallings
Thorton ("T") Hee
Dick Rickard
Leo Ellis
Peter O'Crotty
Ed Penner
Webb Smith
Izzy Klein
Edward Plumb
Inpiration Art
Ferdinand Horvath
The Blackbirds
Dave Weber
Clarence "Ducky" Nash
Thelma Boardman
Ann Lee
Sara Berner
Al Bernie


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

Cut Scenes

A number of black stereotypes and blackface gags have been cut from this short.


Verrückte Musikanten
Silly Symphonies Volume 1


More Silly Symphonies


United States
Disney Treasures : More Silly Symphonies


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 58: Silly Symphonies Go To the Birds
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 52
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 11, 1958

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.


From Jerry Edwards : I enjoy all the fun scenes in this short, especially those with Katherine Hepburn, but most of the fun scenes are censored on the Disney Channel due to the overwhelmingly numerous racial caricatures. What most tickles me about this short is the disclaimer at the start of the cartoon - "Any resemblance of characters herein portrayed to persons living or dead, is purely coincidental." YEAH... RIGHT!!!
From Ryan : This is one of my favorite Silly Symphonies. I love all the animation and background art as well as the portrayals of nursery rhyme characters by famous Hollywood stars of the time. One segment I particularly enjoy is the scene with W.C. Fields as Humpty Dumpty who is heckled by puppet Charlie McCarthy.
From Larry T : This is my all-time favorite Disney short. The Hollywood celebrities all worked into the Mother Goose nursery rhyme roles was a clever idea! Although the PC police have got to this cartoon, I feel the caricatures were all done in a fun sense and also in celebration of the personages' talents. Best joke: The M-G-M Lion parody.
From Ross : This is a Silly Symphony that I consider to be a spectacular masterpiece. Mother Goose Goes Hollywood features Hollywood movie stars from the 30's who are caricatured in this spoof of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. First, in the opening shot, we see Mother Goose portrayed as the lion from MGM. Then we see great caricatures of famous stars of long ago. First, we see Katherine Hepburn as Little Bo Peep. Next, is Hugh Herbert as Old King Cole, and the three Marx brothers, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo as the Fiddler's Three. We also see Ned Sparks as the jester, Joe Penner, who brings the bowl and says his catchphrase, "you wanna buy a duck?" and Donald Duck himself who pops out of the pot. Next, Charles Laughton, Spencer Tracey and Freddie Bartholomew as the three men in a tub, and who should pass by but Katherine Hepburn who's looking for her sheep, but there's water, water everywhere, an! d not a sheep in sight. The next scene makes me howl with laughter. It's W.C Fields as Humpty Dumpty being heckled by Charlie McCarthy. The next scene is just as wonderful. It's Stan Laurel as Simple Simon, and Oliver Hardy as the pieman. Laurel and Hardy performed wonderful slapstick comedy in their silent films. There's a great (but politically incorrect) scene when Hardy's going to hit the pie in Laurel's face, but Stan ducks, and the pie hits Katherine Hepburn turning her blackface. Next, Greta Garbo, in See Saw Margery Daw, wants to be alone. So, Eddie G. Robinson says, "O.K, babe, you asked for it." Next, is Eddie Cantor as Little Jack Horner singing "Sing A Song Of Sixpence," and who should pop out of the pie but Cab Calloway and his band along with Fats Waller and Stepin Fetchit, shouting, "Come on, Boy Blue, blow that horn!" And indeed, Wallace Beery, as Little Boy Blue blows his horn hot, turning blue in the face. Finally, is the scene at the end, when everyone is! swinging to the music. We see caricatures of Edna May Oliver, Mae West, Zazu Pitts, Clark Gable, and George Arliss. We see Laurel and Hardy again, a scene of Fats Waller playing the piano with the Marx brothers, Fred Astaire dancing with Stepin Fetchit, W.C Fields and Charlie McCarthy swinging it on the bass, and Cab Calloway hi-de-hoing some hot jazz singing. Charles Laughton even says a line from his film "Mutiny On The Bounty," and that is, "It's mutiny, but I love it!" The last scene makes me laugh, too. It's two caricatures of Martha Raye and Joe E. Brown who were best known for their big mouths. Martha kisses Joe, Joe screams, and the punchline at the end is another appearance by Katherine Hepburn who says, "I've lost my sheep. I can't find them anywhere. Rally I can't," and the cartoon ends. If you're a movie buff, like I am, watch this cartoon. It's beautifully animated, and the caricatures are great. It's my absolute favorite, and it's also a favorite of Leonard Maltin, famous film buff, too.
From Baruch Weiss : This seems quite odd for a Disney cartoon. Nevertheless, it's a great one. I loved all of it. Were those the Marx Brothers as the Fiddlers Three?
From Phil Soinski : The animation is spectacular of course, but the sound is one thing to notice immediately. The crystal clarity that the studio fine tuned is, also, part of the Disney legacy of their constant striving for improving always improving. The voices of Katharine Hepburn ( I had to make sure somebody spelled it correctly with an "A"-Kate was fussy about that!), Fields and Laughton are a particular stand-out. The set-up with Mr. Laurel & Hardy is also noteworthy as the boys always took their time in building a gag and it's quite obvious that Kimball and Davis were involved in structuring that scene and were fans. I think that is what is lacking in today's animation, alas, a love and knowledge of the theatre. You can see it again in the small gestures many of the characters make..a throw-away is what it is called in the trade, but subliminally there to capture the audience that their favorite star is really up there performing. That's the gem of those craftsmen/artist and it still works its magic! Great film and worth visiting again and again.

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