In the early morning in a small town somewhere in medieval Germany, a One-Man Band musician starts playing in the town square. A little girl comes out to drop a coin in the wishing well, only for the musician to see her and put on a show in order to get her coin. She's about to give it to him when another One-Man Band musician appears on the opposite side of the square. A little musical duel breaks out as the two musicians battle for the girl's coin.
This film played in theaters before the Pixar feature Cars. Not to be confused with an entirely unrelated Disney short of the same name.
One Man Band provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The two musicians are Bass and Treble (indicated by the symbols on their posters), while the child's name is Tippy.
- Diegetic Switch: Played with. While the music is clearly being played by a full orchestra, ambient noises like echos and birds flying are used to indicate that all of the music you're hearing is coming exclusively from the two street performers.
- Escalating War: The musicians go to increasingly absurd lengths, playing louder, busting out puppets, and eventually scaring the girl enough that she drops her coin down a storm drain.
- Gratuitous German: The title card actually says "Die Ein Mann Band" and the end card says "Ende".
- Kubrick Stare: The little girl busts out one of these when she's glaring angrily at the musicians, both of whom are obviously quite a bit taller.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The little girl, greatly annoyed after the musicians scare her into dropping her coin, demands one of the second musician's violins. She proves herself a virtuoso, earning a pile of coins in the square—then tosses the coins to the top of a tall fountain—and leaving the two greedy musicians with nothing.
- One-Man Band: Surprised? Two of them, as it turns out, and they have a duel.
- The Rival: The musician is unpleasantly surprised to see another one-man band guy show up in the square.
- Shout-Out: Treble attempts to impress Tippy with a duckwalk.
- The Stinger: After the credits roll, there's a shot of one musician precariously balancing on top of the other one as they try to retrieve the coins from the top of the fountain.