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The Old Mill is a 1937 Silly Symphonies short and is considered one of the most important shorts in the Classic Disney Shorts lineup. While the short has no plot or concrete characters, what carries it is its astounding animation quality-being made not long before the release of Snow White, it was meant to not only prepare the animators to the grueling task of completing the aformentioned film, but also to test Disney's then new Multiplane Camera. But the results are nothing short of jaw-dropping-naturalistic, fluid animation, rich, lush three strip technicolor, and some very, very impressive staging, mood and use of scenery. Also a source of Nightmare Fuel near the end.
This short holds the place of #14 on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list.
- Animation Bump: Oh yeah.
- By Wall That Is Holey
- Cue the Sun
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Yep, it's a mill. And it's really old.
- Malevolent Architecture: The storm turns the mill into one, as two birds have nested inside a pit where a cog fits. Thankfully, said cog had weathered away prior to the short's timeframe.
- Never Recycle a Building: The windmill's been there long enough to attract several varieties of birds, mice and a colony of bats, but the presence of bell-wearing cattle suggests that there's humans somewhere close by.
- No Antagonist: Unless you count Mother Nature.
- No Fourth Wall: Several of the creatures seem to be aware of the camera, turning to look at it while it pans by. The owl, in particular, seems to look right at the audience a good deal.
- Scenery Porn
- Serendipitous Symphony: During the storm.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: The two doves who just cannot back off from one another, no matter how bad the weather gets. And they're right there with each other come daybreak.
- Stock Footage: The cattail animation was later recycled for the climax of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. It also appeared in Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day and The Little Mermaid.
- When It Rains, It Pours. And thunders.