The Old Mill
The Old Mill poster.jpg
Poster for The Old Mill
Directed by Wilfred Jackson
Produced by Walt Disney
Music by Leigh Harline
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s)

November 5, 1937 (US)

October 15, 1978 (UK) (Disney London Short Film Festival)
Running time 9 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Old Mill is a 1937 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Wilfred Jackson, scored by Leigh Harline, and released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on November 5, 1937. The film depicts the natural community of animals populating an old abandoned windmill in the country, and how they deal with a severe thunderstorm that nearly destroys their habitat. It incorporates the song "One Day When We Were Young" from Johann Strauss II's operetta The Gypsy Baron.

Like many of the later Silly Symphonies, The Old Mill was a testing-ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney's multiplane camera, the film also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making The Old Mill would subsequently be incorporated into Disney's feature-length animated films, especially 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[1]

Awards and accolades


Disney California Adventure

The Old Mill is featured in the World of Color show at Disney California Adventure.


The three mills from the short were seen in miniature on the Storybook Land Canal Boats ride at Disneyland. Beginning December 20, 2014, they were replaced by landmarks from Disney's Frozen. The miniature windmills were put into storage by Walt Disney Imagineering.[4]

Disneyland Paris

The Old Mill is represented at Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris by a building resembling a Dutch windmill, which serves drinks and snacks.[5][6]


The Old Mill was released on Blu-ray on March 1, 2011, on the Bambi Diamond Editions Blu-ray disc as a special feature.[7]


The Old Mill was stated by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki as his favorite Disney film.[8]


  1. Thomas, Bob. Walt Disney: An American Original. Simon & Schuster, 1976, p. 134.
  2. The Old Mill at Internet Movie Database
  3. Most Popular Short Films, IMDb
  4. Slater, Shawn (December 5, 2014). "New ‘Frozen Fun’ Opens at Disneyland Resort January 7". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  5. Disneyland Paris - The Old Mill
  6. - Snacks
  7. Calonge, Juan (December 10, 2010). "Bambi Diamond Edition Blu-ray Detailed". Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  8. Collin, Robbie (2 August 2013). "Studio Ghibli: Japan's dream factory". Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 

External links

Category:1937 films Category:Disney animated short films Category:Best Animated Short Academy Award winners Category:Silly Symphonies Category:American animated films Category:Films directed by Wilfred Jackson Category:1937 animated films

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