The Little Whirlwind
Studio: Disney Release Date : February 14, 1941 Series: Mickey Mouse
Cumulative rating:
(4 ratings submitted)


Minnie wants Mickey to clean up her yard - or else he won't get any of her just-out-of-the-oven cake. Mickey cleans the yard, but then wrecks it trying to get rid of a pesky tornado. And does he get his cake? What do you think?


Mickey Mouse
(Voice: Walter Elias "Walt" Disney)
Minnie Mouse
(Voice: Thelma Boardman)

Original Animators Drafts

(Click on thumbnail for details)


RKO Radio Pictures

Clips Used In:

Buyer Be Wise

Included in:

Four Tales on a Mouse


Mickey Mouse Tracks (Season 1, Episode 27)
Donald's Quack Attack (Season 1, Episode 19)


United States

Starring Mickey & Minnie
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 2


Joyeux Anniversaire Mickey


Topolino 70 Anni di Avventure
Buon Compleanno Topolino
Video Parade 20

CED Disc

United States

Disney Cartoon Parade Volume 4

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day / Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore
Starring Mickey and Minnie / Starring Chip 'n' Dale
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 1


Mickey's Family Album
Cartoon Carousel
Starring Mickey and Minnie
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too


United States

Mickey Mouse in Living Color - Volume 2
Starring Mickey


Alle Lieben Mickey
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Tout le Monde aime Mickey


Il Mio Eroe Topolino
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)

United Kingdom

Everybody Loves Mickey
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Alla Alskar Musse
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 2)


Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 1 : Starring Mickey

Netherlands / Belgium

Mickey Mouse In Living Color: Volume Twee

BluRay Disc

United States

Celebrating Mickey

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 8:34
Production No.: 2248
MPAA No.: 6392
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Original Language: English
Original Country: United States

Reviews and Comments

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From Ryan :

While watching this short, You can't help feeling sorry for Mickey as that annoying "little whirlwind" keeps blowing the leaves away. It is also, however, kind of humorous seeing him get frustrated. Imagine how funny this short would be if Donald were in place of Mickey. All poor Mickey wants is some of Minnie's cake. Well he gets it all right- after her whole yard is scattered with leaves from that pesky whirlwind. Only she just decides to throw the WHOLE cake at him, which splatters all over his face. The animation of this short was great and I liked the way the characters moved. It was animator Fred Moore who invented this style (at least I think he did someone correct me if I'm wrong).

From Erica :

This was one of my favorite Mickey shorts when I was growing up! The animation is great and unlike many of his later films in which he is only a supporting character, in this one he gets to take the spotlight. And what an original idea! I mean, who else could imagine a mouse wrestling with a baby tornado? I really liked the scene where he captures it in a sack and bounces around the yard trying to subdue it.

From Brad Bethel :

This is probably my favorite Mickey Mouse cartoon.

I liked how crafty Mickey was in this cartoon, even though he wasn't officially "the winner" of this short. It was fun to see Mickey bugging Minnie over how he wanted the cake she was just finishing.

The best parts of this cartoon came when he was having trouble with that troublemaking tornado while doing Minnie's yard work. I liked when the tornado led the leaves in a march, and later when the tornado fetched his mom to take care of Mickey. Mickey didn't speak (nor did he have to) between the time he started the yard work, and the time when Minnie saw the disastrous results from the trouble both whirlwinds caused. This is a good example of how the meat of a story can be presented sans dialogue. Although one would have to feel sorry for Mickey, the mischief played between he and the whirlwind made for great fun. The animation was particularly rounded and bouncy, and the music was very creative. In fact, the work of the animators just showed a lot of energy in this presentation.

During the time this cartoon was made, Mickey was getting less attention than Donald Duck and Goofy. But along with Fantasia, the animators still tried to keep Mickey functional as a cartoon character (instead of a corporate logo). Unfortunately, his role as an active character grew pale by the later 1940's (as by that time, he could no longer be seen in a regular cartoon without playing second fiddle to Pluto), and that led to the character's absence from theatrical shorts for about 30 years.

From Keiran Stones :

I didn't mind this but I wouldn't call this as my favorite Mickey short.

From Baruch Weiss :

I can't believe that Minnie threw the cake at Mickey's face. It's better to have a face on your cake then a cake on your face.

From Nikita :

This one was a real knee-slapper. I have the "Mickey & Minnie" Cartoon VHS tape that has this short on it. Brings back memories.

Seeing Mickey fight with that little tornado is really something to crack up about, especially when it never seems to give up. Poor Mickey had to nearly chase it down and then get pummeled by the big tornado, resulting in an angry Minnie and a cake in the face. Hahahaha…

Of course, I've always had a major crush on Mickey, so why wouldn't I like this one? Or was it Donald I had a crush on? CRAP! I'm stuck! I give this one a 9.

From Grace :

This is one of my favorite Mickey Mouse cartoons and it is so hilarious! While watching the short you can feel sorry for Mickey that he has to clean up the whirlwind's mess and to fight with him. I would say my favorite part would be Mickey being crafty even though he wasn't the winner, using the wrestling pose on the whirlwind like saying " you want a piece of me? And in the very end poor Mickey really wanted the cake but Minnie actually threw the WHOLE entire cake on his face! Speaking of Mickey that got splattered on the cake I actually thinking that I have a major crush on him or was it Donald? Yikes, pretend you didn't hear that!

From April :

We are sharing the Mickey shorts with our two-year-old daughter, and this is by far her favorite. She always asks to see "Mickey and the Leaves." I like it for showing to a very young child because it's a Mickey cartoon that doesn't feature Pluto being picked on and tossed around - some Mickey and Pluto cartoons seem less appropriate for toddlers who are still learning to be gentle to animals.

This cartoon is also unique because it features Mickey and Minnie with three-dimensional ears - ears that change position. It is a style that didn't seem to last long, and looks kind of weird when you compare it to "traditional" Mickey.

From Dino Cencia :

This Mickey Mouse short is the best! Mickey is trying to clean Minnie's yard, but a pesky little whirlwind comes and annoys Mickey while trying to clean the yard. My favorite part is when Mickey chases the little whirlwind with a rake to send him out, all of a sudden, Mama Whirlwind comes and chases Mickey all over the countryside, making the yard a huge mess everywhere. Then Mama Whirlwind sucked Mickey into Minnie's fountain and the tornados are gone. Minnie brings Mickey's cake out to give and when she came outside, a big huge mess was all over her yard! Minnie: ''Oh, you clown!'' Mickey: ''Surprise!'' Then last in this cartoon, Mickey: ''Well, I guess I don't get the cake, huh''? Minnie: ''Oh yes you do!'' Then she threw the cake in Mickey's face and covered from head to toe. This is my favorite Mickey and Minnie Mouse cartoon. They are my favorite characters. And I will see them at Disneyland and say: ''Mickey and Minnie Mouse, good to see you! I love you guys and you are my favorite characters and I love your cartoons!'' I give this cartoon 100 out of 100.

From Mike :

This is one of Mickey's funniest cartoons. I still have a hard time containing laughter when the whirlwind made the leaves march. The end scene when Minnie throws the cake at Mickey was pretty funny.

From Alexander Komar :

This short subject almost blends in with the Tom & Jerry series at MGM. Mickey resembles Tom, Little Whirlwind resembles Jerry, Mama Whirlwind resembles Spike the Bulldog, and Minnie could possbily resemble Mammy Two-Shoes.

From Soren :

That's a great Mickey Mouse short. It's one of those cartoons where you can clearly see the contribution of Mickey as a character. In many Mickey's shorts people keep saying that having Donald in his place would have made it funnier, because Donald has more exaggerated reactions; but it's a very superficial statement. Donald's funny reactions are "limited" to his anger and frustration(and he's a comedy genius for that, no doubt about it), but Mickey gives more dimensions to this kind of situations. You will never root for Donald like you do for Mickey, cause Donald is usually the cause of his own frustration, and he often deserves it: that's why you laugh; Mickey instead has the best intentions and tries to do his best: his laid back approach and his surprised reactions to the failure make the situation funny in another kind of way. That's why I think this particular short is better with Mickey than any other character.
See all comments by Soren

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

Ah…classic Mickey. It’s like slipping on an old comfortable robe and letting the warmth just snuggle you tight. Really, this is a classic era of Mickey shorts, even if they are few and far between at this point. The best Mickeys are most likely in the past, but the ones being produced in the late 1930s and early 1940s have some classic imagery and great characterization of Mickey.

The Little Whirlwind is one of those that you’ve probably seen, you just didn’t know it. It starts with a familiar gag to anyone who’s watched cartoons – Minnie bakes a cake and sets it in the window, then the smell wafts out and literally picks up Mickey and floats him along to the window. I know I’ve seen it in Looney Tunes shorts as well, but it’s still funny.

Mickey peering in the window at the cake is some of my favorite animation of the short. The ripples and effects of his ears and head swelling and shrinking through the glass of the window is ingenious. It serves to make an already sympathetic character even more so, just through the use of gestures and some fun visuals.

The deal is struck that Mickey will clean Minnie’s yard in exchange for the cake. Here is where the titular problem enters the picture. The whirlwind blows through the yard, disrupting Mickey’s efforts to clean up by moving his leaf basket, spewing things around the yard, and generally causing mayhem.

What I love about this short is the way things build upon one another, over and over again. The whirlwind first starts with small tricks, then develops an “army” of marching leaves, and eventually ends up as a huge tornado, sucking up the entire countryside. No matter what Mickey tries, the problem keeps getting worse and worse.

It’s an interesting choice to have Mickey in this short, because you’d normally associate Donald with something like this. I could easily see Daisy having baked the cake and Donald trying to get it. It would have been a very different short, though, because Mickey deals with the situation with a mixture of irritation, smiles and fear, depending on what he’s presented with at the time.

The end sequence, with Mickey perched in the fountain and Minnie glaring at him because of the mess the twister made is very funny. It’s a classic image of Mickey on the fountain, and his smile even when the cake ends up on his head kind of sums up where the character is very neatly. Mickey’s always going to try his best, but if things don’t go his way, he’ll shrug his shoulders, chuckle and keep going. That’s part of what we love about him.