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Western Animation / The Band Concert

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The first color Mickey Mouse cartoon, and still one of his most popular of the Classic Disney Shorts, "The Band Concert" is a 1935 cartoon in which Mickey attempts to conduct Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" at an outdoor picnic. But he is frequently interrupted by Donald Duck, who keeps distracting the band into playing "Turkey in the Straw" with his infinite arsenal of fifes. Hilarity Ensues.


"The Band Concert" provides examples of:

  • Determinator:
    • Mickey and the whole band will finish the song, even if they have to do it while caught in a tornado.
    • And Donald will finish playing Turkey in the Straw, no matter how many of his flutes Mickey destroys.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Near the end the entire orchestra hangs from a large tree, resembling a Christmas tree.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The tornado sucks up things by engulfing them or by aiming the bottom of the funnel like a vacuum cleaner.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Mostly with Donald's long-billed appearance. Donald also seems to be almost a toned-down Screwball Squirrel archetype here, and is much shorter than Mickey.
    • Also Mickey himself. It can be a bit jarring for a viewer used to the mild mannered Only Sane Man character he later became to see him outright lose his temper and break Donald's fifes.
  • Empathic Environment: Parodied. When Mickey and his band are being carried away by the tornado, he summons the band to stop... and the tornado stops as well!
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Mickey conducts a music band for an outdoor concert.
  • Funnel Cloud Journey: Mickey and his band get sucked up by the tornado, and finish the concert inside of it.
  • Got Me Doing It: Some of the band members actually start playing along with Donald's rendition of "Turkey in the Straw". Mickey is not happy.
  • Hammerspace: Donald draws most of his flutes out of nowhere, including one from underneath his hat.
  • Mickey Mousing: Despite a lot of the music coming from on-screen instruments, there is still a lot of this going on.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: With the exception of Donald, none of the characters in the short have any lines of dialogue. There is some angry "Get outta here" shouting from the crowd at the end though, but the crowd was off-screen.
  • Nice Hat: Mickey and several of the band players wear them.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Mickey's reaction when he turns the next page of the "William Tell Overture" and sees the extremely complex section called "The Storm".
    • The audience when they see the tornado coming.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Mostly Rossini's "William Tell Overture", but also snippets of "Turkey in the Straw" and "The Streets of Cairo".
  • Running Gag:
    • Mickey's sleeves are too long and keep falling over his hands and baton.
    • Donald playing "Turkey in the Straw" on his fifes.
  • Serious Business: What started as Donald's relatively harmless hijacking of Mickey's performance quickly deranged into physical assaults with musical instruments and ice cream.
  • Shake Someone, Objects Fall: Donald gets caught in a trombone slider and dozens of fifes fall out of his shirt.
  • Skewed Priorities: When a tornado starts raging through the park, Mickey and the band continue playing instead of running for their lives.
  • The Show Must Go Wrong: Between Donald disrupting the concert, a bee getting in the way of Mickey's conducting and a tornado sweeping everyone away, Mickey and the gang don't seem to be having much luck.
  • Squirrels in My Pants:
    • A scoop of ice cream falls down the back of Mickey's coat, and his wiggling leads the band to segue into "The Streets of Cairo".
    • Mickey swatting at a bee during a quiet oboe solo causes the entire band to suddenly play with extremely loud and stacatto notes.
  • The Unintelligible: Donald, as always.
  • Visual Pun: Peter Pig, having lost layer after layer of clothing to tree branches, finally falls naked into a barrel (i.e., a pork barrel).
  • Walking Out on the Show: Subverted. The audience leaves not because they hate the show, but because they're wisely fleeing from an approaching tornado. When Mickey finishes, the only one left applauding is Donald.


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