Before becoming a household name for theatrical animated features, the Walt Disney Company was known for making animated shorts; specifically under their Silly Symphonies moniker. You would see many adventures of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and so on. But every so often you’ll get something original.
In May of 1935 Disney made a theatrical short that is sure to attract the sweet tooth any classical animation fan. The Cookie Carnival, directed by Ben Sharpsteen, was an animated short about a parade being held in a land of cookies and candy. The purpose was to find a female contestant worthy of becoming the “Cookie Queen”.
We meet a character dubbed “Hobo Cookie”, come across a female Sugar Cookie (sometimes referred to as Miss Bonbon) who is sad that she can’t be in the parade. The Hobo Cookie then makes her a new outfit out of different frostings, sprinkles and other pastry toppings. He enters her into the parade and upon seeing her the judges instantly crown her the Cookie Queen.
After choosing her she is asked to pick a King. She rejects many of the different and colorful suitors and the Hobo Cookie makes his way past security up to the front. Before the guards can arrest him the Queen declares him the King. Everyone in attendance celebrates and both the King and Queen kiss, ending the short.
The two main characters were both voiced by Disney veterans Pinto Clovig (the original voice of Goofy) and Marcellite Garner (the original voice of Minnie Mouse). The overall story was inspired by the 1920s Atlantic City Boardwalk Parade (The predecessor to the Miss America Pageant).
Oddly enough this isn’t the first time Disney did an animated short dealing with sentient sweets. The first being in 1934 in a short called The Hot Choco-late Soldiers which was commissioned by MGM to be apart of their 1934 film Hollywood Party. Perhaps they wanted to revisit the concept and developed their own short.
Interestingly enough the short itself has since gone into the public domain in 1963 due to Disney neglecting to renew the copyright protection. It is one of the only Disney shorts that fall into that category (At least until 2024).
Sadly the short hasn’t seem much love from Disney since its original release. Outside of a few pieces of merchandise and a cameo appearance in the 2001 direct-to-video film Snowed in at the House of Mouse not much has been done with it.
But one thing it did do in recent years was inspire the Baroness Von Bon Bon level in the popular video game Cuphead.
What do you think of this forgotten short? Do you think it deserves to be left in the past? Or should it be remembered as a unique piece of Disney history?
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