Silly Symphonies

film 56 of 61

The Old Mill

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

Okay, I’ll bite, or acquiesce to their obvious intentions. It’s a masterpiece! The opening tracking shot, in which Disney makes its first use of this multiplane camera, is amazing. Here’s an invention in which the technological and the aesthetical obtain a perfect balance. (Check out the opening of Disney’s Pinocchio too, as if you didn’t know it already.) The Old Mill is not quite storyless, since the storm actually takes the place of their usual melodramatic villains. But the return to normality is so symmetrical, and the antagonistic force is so impersonal/lacking in malice, that they manage convention and innovation at the same time. Beautiful painting, lots of quiet, nice, fun little bits, rising to involving heights, and resolving very into deceptive simplicity and quiet. When the stars aligned, and when they put their minds to it, what films!