Poster

Figaro and Frankie

A Figaro Cartoon

Release Date : May 30, 1947

Running Time : 6:51

Synopsis

Figaro is hungry for a small, yellow canary named Frankie.

Characters

Minnie Mouse
Butch, the Bulldog
Figaro
Frankie, the Canary
Figaro's Angel

Credits

Director
Charles Nichols
Animation
Marvin Woodward
George Nicholas
Robert Youngquist
Blaine Gibson
Backgrounds
Art Landy
Layout
Karl Karpe
Story
Bill de la Torre
Eric Gurney
Music
Oliver Wallace

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I: Minnie
Germany
Figaro und Cleo
France
Les Aventures de Mickey et Minnie
Italy
Gli Aristogatti
Cartoon Classics : Minni
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Minni

CED

United States
Limited Gold Editions - Minnie

Laserdiscs

Japan
Minnie : Limited Gold Edition

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : The Complete Pluto Volume 2
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 9 : Best Pals : Mickey and Minnie
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 10 : Best Pals : Mickey and Minnie

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 6: All Figaro All the Time
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 48
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 29, 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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I started watching Figaro and Frankie with skepticism, because the previous attempts at incorporating Figaro (from Pinocchio) into the world of the Fab Five Disney characters were not great. When I started watching, though, I was struck by the fact that this was something I had seen before. Here was a black cat with white belly chasing a yellow canary – it was Sylvester and Tweety.

There’s no two ways about it. This is the exact formula that made Looney Tunes a ton of money – a cat chasing a canary, getting scared away by the homemaker. I immediately wondered how this could be. I mean, Disney wasn’t intentionally copying from Looney Tunes were they? A little more digging revealed something that was astounding.

The first short that featured Sylvester and Tweety teamed up in cartoon was 1947’s Tweetie Pie, a short that would go on to win the Academy Award. That short was released on May 3, 1947. In the short, Sylvester “rescues” Tweety from the cold, is stopped from eating him by his owner and spends the rest of the short trying to get the canary out of its cage so he can eat the bird.

That was the short released on May 3, 1947. On May 30, 1947, Disney released Figaro and Frankie, where Figaro the cat tries to shut up Frankie the canary by getting him out of his cage and eating him. 4 weeks apart, Warner Brothers and Disney released nearly identical concepts, starring characters that had only been in a few previous films. There’s no way Disney could have known about Warner’s film, and I doubt that Warner knew about Disney’s.

Now, Figaro and Frankie takes a significant detour towards the end, as Figaro gets thrown out for “eating” Frankie, only to see the canary survive and be menaced by Butch, the bulldog from the Pluto shorts. We get a typical angel on the shoulder moment when Figaro’s conscience shows up, but it’s nothing new. Figaro and Frankie is rather unremarkable and not that well made, but it's curious.


From Angie Honeycutt : This cartoon reminds me of what happened with my cat and bird. One time my bird was singing and my kitty came and tried to eat him. The bird flew away and was never seen again. I hope the animal shelter finds him.
From Ryan : This short demonstrates how a little canary like Frankie tests Figaro's patience. It is kind of similar to those Sylvester and Tweety shorts. Figaro has had enough of Frankie's constant tweeting and decides to get rid of him. I enjoy watching these Figaro shorts as I enjoy Figaro's bratty personality.
From Baruch Weiss : This short wasn't too bad. It's kind of similar to the 1941 short Lend a Paw. In this short Figaro lives with a bird and the bird drives him nuts, but in the end he saves it from Butch the Bulldog. I saw the good angel, but where was the Devil?

Referenced Comments