Three Blind Mousketeers
Studio: Disney Release Date : September 26, 1936 Series: Silly Symphony
  1. General Info

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Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted     

Synopsis

The Three Mouseketeers must find different ways to escape the clutches of the devious Captain Katt.

Credits

Director

Dave Hand

Animator

Bob Wickersham
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Hardie Gramatky

Story

Webb Smith
Merrill de Maris
Otto Englander

Music

Albert Hay Malotte

Voices

Billy Bletcher

Layout

Ferdinand Horvath

Asst. Director

Jack Cutting

Producer

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

Television

The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 1, Episode 12)
The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 2, Episode 36)

Video Information

VHS

United States

Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : The Disney Dream Factory : 1933-1938

France

Si Disney m'etait Conte

Italy

C'era Una Volta un Topo
Pippo Pluto Paperino Supershow
Video Parade 18

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : The Disney Dream Factory : 1933-1938
A Tale of Two Chipmunks /The Unsinkable Donald Duck

Japan

Once Upon a Mouse
The Three Little Pigs
Disney's Cartoon Jubilee
Mickey's Jungle Trouble

DVD

United States

More Silly Symphonies Volume 2
Three Little Pigs
The Rescuers
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 2 : The Three Little Pigs

Germany

Zauberhafte Marchenwelt 5
Bernard und Bianca
Bernard und Bianca (Special Collection)

France

Les Aventures de Bernard et Bianca (The Rescuers)

United Kingdom

Walt Disney's Fables : Volume 5
The Rescuers

Sweden

Bernard et Bianca (The Rescuers)

BluRay Disc

United States

The Rescuers / The Rescuers Down Under

Technical Specifications

Running time: 8:43
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Type: Spherical
Original Language: English

Reviews and Comments

From Rod Bennett :

The title pun seems to have inspired this entire short, long before anyone thought of applying it to members of TV's "Mickey Mouse Club." The Bad Guy in this one -- the villainous Captain Cat -- is simply Peg Leg Pete sans deformity (but still with Billy Blecher's inimitable voice).

From Jerry Edwards :

Simply - this stinks! Except for the well-done special effects of the mouse reflections in the collection of bottles (making it appear to be a mouse army and scaring away the cat), the story and art is so haphazard there is little there to keep my interest. I find the mice so irritating that I find myself rooting for the cat.

From Ryan :

I didn't really care much for this short (as I'm not a big fan of the Silly Symphonies). It was rather dumb and not very funny at all. The cat should have gotten the mice and done away with them.

From Mike G :

The three blind mice characters do not have much appeal-- not to mention there are several occasions when they do things they plainly would need to see to be able to do! The gags showing how they elude the cat are obvious and rarely ingenious definitely a lesser Silly Symphony.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

In 1936, the Disney Studio was well on its way to producing the first major animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Therefore, output on the Silly Symphonies series slowed down, and there was a bigger focus on the Mickey cartoons, including more prominent roles from Donald, Goofy and Pluto. It can be reasoned that better artists were moving over to Snow White or the Mickey series. Perhaps that explains Three Blind Mouseketeers.

It’s not that this is a bad short, but it’s a one note joke, which is unusual for Disney. Yes, the lead characters are three blind mice who dress up like the Three Musketeers. As you would imagine, their blindness makes it difficult for them to do typical Musketeer things like swordfight, fight villains and the like.

So, the joke of the short becomes the way that the mice escape from constant danger, despite their blindness. The captain, played by a cat version of Pete, sets up traps for the mice, to no avail. We get an early example of how the short will go when the mice step out of their hole, looking for cheese, and the cat has set up an ax to swing back and forth in front of the hole. Oblivious to the ax, the mice stumble out of the hole and luckily avoid the ax.

The same joke happens again when the mice find the cheese. Although the cat has set out elaborate traps for them, the mice somehow manage to blunder through and not get killed by the knives or bear traps. The ax gag was funny, but to repeat it was not as funny. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

When the mice sneak away with the food, the cat sleeps. The mice carve up the cheese and sausages and more, ultimately waking up their adversary. But instead of a straight up fight or elaborate trickery, the mice have to engage in some blind gags to get away. The best gag in the short, though, is when the mice are delivering their “All for one, and one for all” line, but when the cat comes near, they scream, “Every man for himself!” I laughed a lot at that one.

But after that, it’s just…uninspired. It’s interesting to see the cat play a shell game with one of the mice underneath a series of bowls, but it’s not particularly funny or clever. Same thing with the end of the short, when the cat runs away from the mice because he sees one of them cheering into a collection of bottles, and thinks the reflection in the bottles is an army of mice coming after him.

I think the problem is that the whole thing feels like a simple joke taken too far. It’s not entertaining for 8+ minutes to see these blind mice stumbling about. It could actually be offensive if you have thin skin. Not one of the better efforts in the Silly Symphonies.


From Brian :

Since this is from before the era of “political correctness,” I’m not too surprised that they don’t show sensitivity towards the feelings of the community of the blind.

I also don’t see any lack of artistry in this short. The drawing, color, and animation are quite good.

It’s also unusual to say that the story is especially lacking here, since it seems to me, after re-reading the last few reviews, that the Disney studio in general is a bit lacking on the writing side of things.


From Mac :

This is the Silly Symphony that every one hates – just check out the comments this short has received on Patrick's site. So I'm almost embarrassed to admit I really, really like this one. I like the music and the simple story. I like the rhythmic, repeating actions of the characters and I enjoy all the traps and the way the mice obliviously overcome them.

So there, I've confessed to liking this cartoon! Now let's move onto some stuff that shows how Disney is moving forward (even if you feel in other ways this cartoon is a step backward). This is one of the best-looking cartoons to date and, from a technical standpoint, it seems no expense has been spared. Oddly the presentation of this cartoon on the DVD isn't the best in terms of color (it somehow seems a little bright and faded), and I've seen it look better elsewhere. Still the colors are rich, there's some atmospheric lighting and shadows and some very clever visual stuff.

The backgrounds are highly detailed and the Disney artists do everything they can to make the viewer believe the characters are really inside this world. At one point the smallest mouse even goes 'inside' part of the painted backgrounds when he enters a green glass teapot. This kind of thing really adds dimension to the painted world in which the characters live. Captain Katt's lantern really glows – an effect quite like this I don't think we've seen before. There's also some great atmospheric stuff, like when the axe swings past the mouse hole, blocking out all the light on the other side, darkening the whole scene.

A lot of sophisticated stuff is done with shadows and lighting in this one, even more so than before. The backgrounds are beautiful and I don't even know how some of the visual effects were achieved (I suspect filters were used some how). Aesthetically speaking, you can see how Disney is developing as Snow White approaches.


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Screenshots

Submitted by eutychus


History

11/6/2012

  • Screenshots added by eutychus

3/29/2013

  • Video Link added by eutychus

8/28/2014

  • Animation type added by eutychus
  • Color type added by eutychus
  • Sound type added by eutychus

9/25/2014

  • Video Link added by eutychus

3/9/2015

  • Home video info added by Toonatic

9/29/2015

  • Home video info added by eutychus

9/11/2016

  • Home video info added by eutychus

2/12/2017

  • Television info added by eutychus

3/26/2017

  • Television info added by eutychus

6/14/2017

  • Credits added by kintutoons32

Sources

Dave Hand: Director
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Jack Cutting: Asst. Director
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Albert Hay Malotte: Music
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Ferdinand Horvath: Layout
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Bob Wickersham: Animator
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi: Animator
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Frenchy de Tremaudan: Animator
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Hardie Gramatky: Animator
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Billy Bletcher: Voices
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Webb Smith: Story
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Merrill de Maris: Story
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Otto Englander: Story
  • Verified by "Silly Symphonies" by Russell Merritt and J. B. Kaufman

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney: Producer
  • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)