Saturday, July 23, 2011

Silly Symphony Shorts

Silly Symphonies
In 1929 Walt Disney and Carl Stalling came up with the idea of a series of shorts that combined music and animation. The music became central to the story. Between 1929 and 1939 75 Silly Symphonies were made. They were a spring board to the development of feature length animated films. Disney used them to ready the studio for making his first full length film, Snow White.

The Silly Symphonies did not depend on reoccurring or already established characters or themes as Oswald and Mickey Mouse cartoons did. The animators found the Silly Symphony series a pleasant change from working with the same character all the time. It was a challenge they relished.

These became a testing and training ground. They were used as a training ground in work on improving animation techniques in drawing specific effects and or character styles. For example they were used to experiment and stretch the ability to draw fire and water effects as well as a realistic human character. There were used to work on developing characters with personality and practice rhythm and timing. Many of these techniques and technologies were used for years and some are still used today.

The Silly Symphonies were used to try out new technology such as the Multi-Plane Camera. The Multi-Plane Camera was used to give the flat animation depth. The first film to use the Multi-Plane Camera was the Silly Symphony, The Old Mill in 1937. The Multi-Plane Camera was created by Disney animator Ub Iwerks. The last Disney film to use this process was The Little Mermaid in 1989. They were also the first animated film to use color.

These shorts were so well received they received 7 Academy Awards for Short Subject.

Here is a listing of the Silly Symphonies by year:

1929

The Skeleton Dance

El Terrible Toreador

Springtime

Hell’s Bells

The Merry Dwarfs

1930

Summer

Autumn

Cannibal Capers

Night

Frolicking Fish

Arctic Antics

Midnight in a Toyshop

Monkey Melodies

Winter

Playful Pan

1931

Birds of a Feather

Mother Goose Melodies

The China Plate

The Busy Beavers

The Cat’s Out

Egyptian Melodies

The Clock Store

The Spider and the Fly

The Fox Hunt

The Ugly Duckling

1932

The Bird Store

The Bears and the Bees

Just Dogs

Flowers and Trees

King Neptune

Bugs in Love

Babes in the Woods

Santa’s Wrokshop

1933

Birds in the Spring

Father Noah’s Ark

The Three Little Pigs

Old King Cole

Lullaby Land

The Pied Piper

The Night Before Christmas

1934

The China Shop

The Grasshopper and the Ants

Funny Little Bunnies

The Big Bad Wolf

The Wise Little Hen

The Flying Mouse

Peculiar Penguins

The Goddess of Spring

1935

The Tortoise and the Hare

The Golden Touch

The Robber Kitten

Water Babies

The Cookie Carnival

Who Killed Cock Robin?

Music Land

Three Orphan Kittens

Cock o’ the Walk

Broken Toys

1936

Elmer Elephant

Three Little Wolves

Toby Tortoise Returns

Three Blind Mousketeers

The Country Cousin

Mother Pluto

More Kittens

1937

Woodland Café

Little Hiawatha

The Old Mill

1938

The Moth and the Flame

Wynken, Blynken and Nod

Farmyard Symphony

Merbabies

Mother Goose Goes Hollywood.

1939

The Practical Pig

The Ugly Duckling

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