The Band Concert & Early Color Film Processes

Today we took a look at the first full color Mickey Mouse short, The Band Concert (1935). This Mickey cartoon debuted four years after Disney released Flowers and Trees, the first full color cartoon using the Technicolor three-strip process:

Wikipedia on Flowers and Trees (1932):

Flowers and Trees was already in production as a black-and-white cartoon before Disney saw Herbert Kalmus’ three-strip Technicolor tests. Deciding that Flowers and Trees would make a perfect test for the process, he had the black-and-white footage scrapped and the short redone in color. The color Flowers and Trees was a commercial and critical success, winning the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects.

As a result of the success of Flowers and Trees, all future Silly Symphonies cartoons were produced in three-strip Technicolor. The added novelty of color helped to boost the series’ previously disappointing returns. Disney’s other cartoon series, the Mickey Mouse shorts, were deemed successful enough not to need the extra boost of color, remaining in black-and-white until 1935’s The Band Concert.

The proprietor of the blog Two Strip Technicolor has prepared an amazing set of animated GIFs to illustrate early color film processes. Since the Los Angeles Unified School District firewall blocks all content from tumblr, I’ve added T.S.T’s GIFs here:

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