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The Old Mill is a 1937 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Wilfred Jackson, scored by Leigh Harline, and released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on November 5, 1937. It depicts the natural community of animals populating an abandoned windmill in the country and how they deal with a violent thunderstorm that nearly destroys their habitat.

Like many of the later Silly Symphonies, the short was a testing-ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney's multiplane camera, the short also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes, reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making it would subsequently be incorporated into Disney's feature-length animated films, especially Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The short won the 1937 Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons. In 1994, it was voted #14 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. It is ranked at the IMDb top short list as the 17th greatest short film ever.

Disney Parks

The Old Mill was a snack bar and ferris wheel type attraction at Disneyland Paris, but the attraction component closed in the year 2000.

Tom Sawyer Island at the Magic Kingdom features an homage to the Old Mill in the Harpers Mill walkthrough, with a animatronic owl in the rafters and a bird nest in a broken cog of the mill wheel.

Footage of the short is also featured in the World of Color presentation at Disney California Adventure.

Releases

Television

Home video

VHS

DVD

Blu-ray

Trivia

Gallery


v - e - d
Sillysymphonylogo
1929
The Skeleton DanceEl Terrible ToreadorSpringtimeHell's BellsThe Merry Dwarfs
1930
SummerAutumnCannibal CapersFrolicking FishArctic AnticsMidnight in a Toy ShopNightMonkey MelodiesWinterPlayful Pan
1931
Birds of a FeatherMother Goose MelodiesThe China PlateThe Busy BeaversThe Cat's OutEgyptian MelodiesThe Clock StoreThe Spider and the FlyThe Fox HuntThe Ugly Duckling
1932
The Bird StoreThe Bears and BeesJust DogsFlowers and TreesKing NeptuneBugs in LoveBabes in the WoodsSanta's Workshop
1933
Birds in the SpringFather Noah's ArkThe Three Little PigsOld King ColeLullaby LandThe Pied PiperThe Night Before Christmas
1934
The China ShopThe Grasshopper and the AntsFunny Little BunniesThe Big Bad WolfThe Wise Little HenThe Flying MousePeculiar PenguinsThe Goddess of Spring
1935
The Tortoise and the HareThe Golden TouchThe Robber KittenWater BabiesThe Cookie CarnivalWho Killed Cock Robin?Music LandThree Orphan KittensCock o' the WalkBroken Toys
1936
Elmer ElephantThree Little WolvesToby Tortoise ReturnsThree Blind MouseketeersThe Country CousinMother PlutoMore Kittens
1937
Woodland CaféLittle HiawathaThe Old Mill
1938
The Moth and the FlameWynken, Blynken and NodFarmyard SymphonyMerbabiesMother Goose Goes Hollywood
1939
The Practical PigThe Ugly Duckling