Birds, mice, frogs, and other creatures are enjoying nature when a storm approaches forcing them to take shelter in “The Old Mill.” But, when they are inside the mill, they learn about other dangers that could cause them major issues. The short, from 1937, is one of the older projects on the Disney+ streaming service and one that clearly tells its story without any dialogue.
The animation in this short is beautiful. I’m sure it’s been remastered since its initial release in the 1930s, but you can see the painstaking work the animators put into it to bring all of the creatures, the approaching storm, and the old mill to life. And, while those who know what goes on in a mill would know what to look out for, it’s easy to understand why birds, mice, and frogs wouldn’t understand there are other dangerous things inside the mill. The animation does a great job of conveying a sense of safety and dangers at the same time.
I, personally, enjoyed the lack of dialogue in this short. Some shorts need dialogue and some don’t and this is one that doesn’t. Every emotion is perfectly told with the animation and the music. I didn’t need talking birds, mice, or frogs. I think that would’ve distracted from the storytelling. Despite how much I enjoy this without the dialogue, I think it might be harder for some younger viewers to appreciate. Many kids need dialogue to help them along the way. Many don’t as well, but this one could have a negative reaction, from some, for its lack of dialogue. But, for me, it was great.
I really enjoyed this short. It’s one of my favorites from the 1930s available on the streaming service. This one makes me want to watch more of the shorts and see much more of the amazing works from early Disney. I’ve seen several and not all of them have been hits. That being said, many of them still hold up and I can’t wait to check out more.
Ranking: 4 stars out of 5
What did you think of “The Old Mill?”