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Steamboat Willie (1928)

Mickey Mouse, piloting a steamboat, delights his passenger, Minnie, by making musical instruments out of the menagerie on deck.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
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Mickey Mouse / Minnie Mouse / Peg-Leg Pete / Parrot (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Mickey is piloting a steamboat when Captain Pete comes to the bridge and throws him off. They stop to pick up cargo. Minnie just misses the boat and Mickey uses the crane to grab her. She drops her sheet music of "Turkey in the Straw" and a goat eats it. With help from Mickey, she cranks the goat's tail, and it plays the tune. Mickey accompanies on percussion and by torturing various animals, until Pete comes down and puts a stop to it, putting Mickey to work peeling potatoes. While this is the first sound Mickey Mouse, there's no dialog. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Details

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Release Date:

1929 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Barco de vapor Willie  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,986 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Roy O. Disney, Walt Disney came up with the idea of putting a soundtrack into his next Mickey Mouse cartoon after watching The Jazz Singer (1927). See more »

Goofs

After Mickey tosses the cat and it hits the trashcan lid, the lid disappears. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Steamboat Bill
(uncredited)
Music by Bert Leighton and Frank Leighton
Whistled by Mickey Mouse
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User Reviews

 
the other landmark short film of 1928
8 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

While in France as Germaine Dulac created a benchmark of short-subject, cinematic surrealism with The Seashell and the Clergyman, Walt Disney and his collaborator Ub Iwerks in America worked on Steamboat Willie, the most prominent of the early synchronized sound cartoons (it was revealed that this was not the first, contrary to other reports). It's also one of the more successfully simplistic and funny of the Mickey Mouse shorts (still in a silent-film way- the only sounds are little irks and bleeps from the Mickey and the animals). It also goes by fairly quickly for its less-than-ten minute run, if only by how quick and dopey the gags are. But in these minutes one gets the immediate sense of how much fun Disney has with his characters, and how the newfound use of sound changes how his creation uses the animals as musical tools. There's no story to speak of, just random things that happens and occurs because of Mickey (err, Steamboat Willie) on this boat on a river. And like the better Mickey Mouse shorts, his lack of speaking acts as an advantage. It's a must-see if you haven't seen it as a kid, but if you have it might still be worth another look.


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