Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom
Studio: Disney Release Date : November 10, 1953 Series: Adventures in Music

Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted


A History of music through the ages, from prehistoric man to the modern symphony orchestra.


Professor Owl
(Voice: Bill Thompson)



Charles A. Nichols
Ward Kimball


Ward Kimball
Julius Svendsen
Marc Davis
Henry Tanous
Art Stevens
Xavier "X" Atencio


Richard Martin "Dick" Huemer


Joseph S. Dubin

Character Design

Tom Oreb

Color and Styling

Eyvind Earle

Art Direction

A. Kendall "Ken" O'Connor

Music and Lyrics

Sonny Burke
Jack Elliot


Won the 1953 Academy Award (Oscar): Best Short Subject

Included in:

Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom

Cut Scenes

  • Some oriental and black stereotypes have been edited from this short.

Inside Jokes

  • Near the beginning, one of the students is reading from a Donald Duck comic book.


  • The first animated film released in CinemaScope


United States

Disney's Best: The Fabulous 50's


Il Meglio Di Disney
Il Meglio di Disney

CED Disc

United States

The Fabulous 50's

Laserdisc (CAV)


The Fabulous 50's


United States

Disney Rarities
The Fantasia Anthology
Fantasia 2000


Fantasia 2000

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 10:18
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Color Type: Technicolor
Negative Type: 35mm
Original Language: English
Print Type: 35mm
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording

Reviews and Comments

No comments posted. Be the first!
(You must be a logged-in user to submit comments!)

From Patrick Wilkinson :

I have found this useful in teaching a unit on "Sound" on the Middle School level.

From David Willmann :

This short has always been a favorite of mine. I first saw it when I was in Grade school. It was a great introduction into the world of music. It inspired me so that I took up an instrument (The Drums) BOOM! I played the drums from Elementary through High school.

From Lelia :

This is a great short! Funny and imaginative as well as educational. It's been available to music educators (I'm one) since probably before I was in grade school as an old-fashioned movie needing a projector. The copy my school has has long ago disintegrated, and for the life of me I cannot find it on video. I really wish Disney would re-release it in some way.

From Rich C. :

I have this particular cartoon on video. Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom is not just another great Disney cartoon, but is also the best example I can think of that represents the super-cool style of 50's "space age" animation. The images are all very geometric. Colors and outlines do not necessarily match. Different use of perspective and distance, especially, results in some very wild results. This cartoon is just super hip.

From Brad Bethel :

I saw this cartoon a bunch of times, and it's pretty interesting. The UPA designs are opposite of a normal Disney cartoon, but it's okay in this case. Some of the geometric designs makes the cartoon very funny at times. I used to play the trumpet, which I think counts 'toot'.

Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom won a 1954 Oscar for Disney, winning a competition with UPA's cartoons at the time. The cartoon was also among the 8 Disney cartoons listed in the book, "The 50 Greatest Cartoons" (1994). A true classic.

From Sue Schwartz :

Brilliant, gorgeous, and formative. I probably saw it at least 42 times between 1961 and l966. I would kill to see it again. "That's where the music comes from...."

From Ryan :

Despite the poor animation of this cartoon compared to that of cartoons of the past, I rather enjoyed this short that focuses on the history of music. It begins with Professor Owl teaching his students about music.

From Karla Ober :

Great educational 'toon! I use it as a springboard for teaching the four main instrumental groups.

From Andrew Leal :

Brilliant short, and long one of my favorites (and one of Ward Kimball's too few opportunities to direct a short, though he did handle several featurettes and TV programs.) Matter of fact, Ward Kimball animated the Roman trumpeter himself (according to Frank and Ollie's Too Funny For Words) and I'm informed by Animation Blast editor Amid Amidi that Art Stevens, who he recently made contact with, animated most of the string musicians. "That's where the music comes from!"

From Baruch Weiss :

This short is okay but only the music made it worth while. Because when it comes to music only Disney can do it. For Disney video trivia buffs Professor Owl was host for the Disney Sing Along Songs series.

From Cheryl Raine :

This is the most educational, entertaining, delightful, fun and clever movie ever made to explain the history of music. I teach elementary music and need to have it! I love the song, too!

From Sam Burnes :

I have used this in various schools over the decades and am now going to use it with post high schoolers. Its wonderful, lively, and teaches with lots of music and fun.

From Grace :

This is a excellent short. This is a great example of music history and it does have pretty much gags, scenes and music you'll enjoy. I highly recommend this short! P.S I'm so happy that it won an Academy Award plus it deserves it!

From Billy Joe :

This is a very important cartoon. It teaches the audience music starts from either a toot, a whistle, a plunk, or a boom. Professor Owl uses cavemen (who later make cameos in House of Mouse) as a fun example. The sounds start out as primitive noises produced by cavemen. As time evolved, the noises evolved making the beautiful sounds we hear today.

This cartoon's look and animation is rather abstract. The look may of inspired Pixar's only traditional animated short, Your Friend the Rat. Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom is also the first cartoon filmed in Cinemascope, which was widescreen. Following Disney cartoons, such as Donald Duck and Humphrey the Bear cartoons of the 1950s, "Lady and the Tramp", and even Goofy's most recent cartoon, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, were also filmed in Cinemascope.

From Neo Stryder :

One of the best cartoons ever created, it teaches us in a simple way how musical instruments evolved from stone age to XX Century. It keeps Disney's legacy of animation and music that sadly has been lost in recent years (except, maybe, in Phineas and Ferb). The difference from its previous animated short film, Melody, is this have not so many fun scenes or where some are more focused in the students. But is a perfect sample that animation and education are not two sides in a balance.

From Jonathan Harriman Lhota :

Those cavemen also appeared at the end of the Marsupilami episode "The Wizard of Mars" Which was a spoof of The Wizard of Oz. In that episode of Disney's Marsupilami, The cavemen from Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom had Beatles accent.