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Director: David Hand
Release Date: July 14, 1934
A blue fairy grants him that wish, giving him bat-like wings, but he soon discovers that these don’t bring him any luck: he is not allowed to join the xenophobic birds, not recognized by his relatives and called ‘a nothing’ by a group of crooked bats. Luckily, the same fairy releases him from his wings and in the end we see our little hero running to his mother in the sunset light.
This cartoon is one of many silly symphonies that seem to aim directly at kids and that are rather moralistic. This seems to be a strong trend in 1934 and it gradually led Disney away from carefree humor towards sugary sanctimony.
This cartoon is quite humorless, yet beautifully drawn. The blue fairy is a good try at the human figure (if not near Snow White (1937), let alone the blue fairy in ‘Pinocchio’, 1940), and the mice are drawn much more realistically than Mickey. Moreover, ‘The Flying Mouse’ is another stunning example of character animation: our main hero acts out his feelings mostly in pantomime. Nevertheless, we can feel his joy, his embarrassment, his fear and his grief. It’s this combination of ambitious designs and great character animation that makes Silly Symphonies like these stand out among the cartoons of the thirties.
Watch ‘The Flying Mouse’ yourself and tell me what you think: