Old King Cole is a 1933 Disney cartoon in the Silly Symphonies series, based on several nursery rhymes and fairy tales, including Old King Cole. It was directed by David Hand and released on July 29, 1933.
It's a remake of the 1931 Silly Symphony short Mother Goose Melodies, but in color, more details and technically advanced animation.
One evening in Storyland, the story book "Old King Cole" opens itself and the king's castle folds open. Other story and nursery rhyme books do the same thing and several famous characters leave their homes to go Old King Cole's party. There, all characters have a small sing-and-dance act. When the Ten Little Indians get on the stage, their dance is so catchy that Old King Cole and all the other characters join in as well. After Old Mother Hubbard accidentally pushes King Cole into a fountain, the mice from Hickory Dickory Dock tell everyone that it's midnight and that everyone should go home. All the characters return to their books, and King Cole sings a farewell song to everybody and puts out a bottle of milk for the milkman before he runs back inside and the cartoon closes.
The cartoon featured popular Nursery Rhyme and Fairy Tale characters. Depicted in the cartoon in chronological order are:
- Old King Cole
- The Pied Piper
- Little Boy Blue
- A literally crooked man (There Was A Crooked Man)
- Old Mother Hubbard
- The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
- Mary and her lamb (Mary Had A Little Lamb)
- Little Bo Peep and her sheep
- Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- A cat playing the fiddle (Hey Diddle Diddle)
- Queen of Hearts
- Mary and her garden (Mary)
- Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater
- Jack Sprat
- Goosey Gander
- Humpty Dumpty
- The spider from Little Miss Muffet
- Simple Simon
- Three Little Kittens
- Three Blind Mice
- Ten Little Indians
- The butcher, baker, and candlestick maker from Rub-a-dub-dub, all dancing together in their washtub
- The mice from Hickory Dickory Dock.
In comparison with Disney's previous version of the same plot ("Mother Goose's Melodies") "Old King Cole" is in colour and has a more detailed look. Both story and animation are much better executed. This plot of this cartoon was very influential. Various cartoons have made use of a storyline in which story books come to life and the protagonists of the stories interact with each other. For instance Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (1938) and The Truth About Mother Goose (1957) by the Disney Studios themselves, the Betty Boop cartoon Mother Goose Land (1933) by the Fleischer Studios and Have You Got Any Castles? (1938), A Gander at Mother Goose (1940), A Coy Decoy (1941) and Book Revue (1946) by the Looney Tunes.