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April 1, 2019
Steamboat Willie is a 1928 American animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. It was produced in black-and-white by Walt Disney Studios and was released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, although both the characters appeared several months earlier in a test screening of Plane Crazy. Steamboat Willie was the third of Mickey's films to be produced, but was the first to be distributed because Walt Disney, having seen The Jazz Singer, had committed himself to producing one of the first fully synchronized sound cartoons. The real first cartoon with synchronized sound was My Old Kentucky Home.
Steamboat Willie is especially notable for being the first Disney cartoon with synchronized sound, including character sounds and a musical score. Disney understood from early on that synchronized sound was the future of film. It was the first cartoon to feature a fully post-produced soundtrack which distinguished it from earlier sound cartoons such as Inkwell Studios' Song Car-Tunes (1924–1927) and Van Beuren Studios' Dinner Time (1928). Steamboat Willie became the most popular cartoon of its day.
Music for Steamboat Willie was arranged by Wilfred Jackson and Bert Lewis, and included the songs "Steamboat Bill", a composition popularized by baritone Arthur Collins during the 1910s, and "Turkey in the Straw," a composition popularized within minstrelsy during the 19th century. The title of the film is a parody of the Buster Keaton film Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928), itself a reference to the song by Collins. Walt Disney performed all of the voices in the film, although there is little intelligible dialogue.
While the film has received some criticism, it has also received wide critical acclaim, not only for introducing one of the world's most popular cartoon characters, but for its technical innovation. In 1994 members of the animation field voted Steamboat Willie 13th in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, which listed the greatest cartoons of all time. In 1998 the film was selected for preservation in the United States' National Film Registry for being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
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Disney Mickey Mouse fans will love this LEGO® Ideas 21317 Steamboat Willie building toy marking the 90th anniversary of the most famous cartoon character ever. Mickey Mouse made his screen debut in a 1928 black-and-white animated short film called ‘Steamboat Willie', which was also the first Disney film to have synchronized sound. This LEGO brick version of the S.S. Willie features steam pipes that move up and down and paddle wheels that rotate when the boat is pushed along. The boat's bridge has room for a minifigure and play-inspiring nautical details such as the ship’s wheel, life buoy and buildable bell. On deck there is a working crane to lift the ‘potato bin’ cargo aboard and this unique toy building set comes with new-for-April-2019 Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse minifigures, each with special silver-colored decoration, plus a parrot figure. An ideal LEGO set for kids and adults to recreate scenes from the original Mickey Mouse cartoon or simply build and display this striking monochrome model.
Build and display this collectible LEGO® set or recreate your favorite scenes from the classic Disney Mickey Mouse cartoon, ‘Steamboat Willie’. This unique toy building set includes 2 new-for-April-2019 minifigures: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, each with silver-colored decoration, plus Mickey Mouse's parrot figure. The iconic Steamboat Willie boat features a black-and-white color scheme, hidden wheels, moving steam pipes, rotating paddle wheels, adjustable crane and assorted elements including the ‘S.S. Willie’ boat name sign, ‘1928’ year sign and a ‘potato bin’. The boat’s bridge has space for a minifigure, a brick-built bell and assorted elements including the ship’s wheel and life buoy. The 2 steam pipes move up and down and the 2 paddle wheels rotate when the boat is pushed along. Accessory elements include Minnie Mouse's guitar and music sheet. This LEGO® Ideas creative toy building set comes with a booklet with building instructions, fun facts about the historic 1928 animated Disney short film ‘Steamboat Willie’, and information about this awesome retro set’s fan creator and LEGO designers. Steamboat Willie toy boat measures over 5” (15cm) high, 10” (26cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.
- This is the third LEGO Ideas product to be based on a Disney property, with the first two being 21303 WALL•E and 21314 Tron Legacy.