Five times Mickey Mouse did classical music
Walt Disney's legendary creation Mickey Mouse made his debut in 'Plane Crazy' in May 1928. Mickey Mouse and classical music came together in a number of short, animated motion pictures. Watch five of the best here.
The Sorceror's Apprentice (1940)
Mickey Mouse’s finest ever movie moment was his role as The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia. Disney acquired the rights to the music in 1937 and planned to release a stand-alone short. However, at the suggestion of the conductor Leopold Stokowski, the idea eventually expanded into the full-length masterpiece.
The Band Concert (1935)
Mickey’s first outing in colour tells the story of a ropey concert band struggling to get through a performance of the overture to William Tell by Rossini. There are some major distractions to contend with including a tornado, a scrap with a bumble bee, and Donald Duck’s street vendor playing 'Turkey in the Straw' on top of it all.
Mickey's Grand Opera (1936)
The Mouse-tro returns to the podium again to conduct opera diva Clara Cluck and Donald Duck in a Romeo and Juliet-style duet, although the music is ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ – the quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto. Meanwhile backstage, Mickey's dog Pluto has crashed into a magician's props and chaos ensues.
The Opry House (1929)
Mickey takes to the stage as a vaudeville performer and finds himself competing for attention with a bolshie piano. Listen out for Rachmaninov's Prelude in C# minor, quotes from Bizet's Carmen played by a goat violinist, and the first appearance of Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt in a cartoon, which was later to be reprised in numerous other cartoons.
The Orphan's Benefit (1934)
Mickey and friends put on a benefit show for a group of unruly orphans. It’s the first time Mickey and Donald Duck appeared together on screen. Florence Gill voiced the ‘Barnyard Nightingale’ Madame Clara Cluck, who sings ‘Chi mi frena in tal momento’ from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, accompanied by Mickey on piano.