Three Orphan Kittens (1935)

Walt Disney Productions
Directed by:
 David Hand

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: One of Disney’s Technicolor Silly Symphony shorts.  Three kittens are abandoned in a yard and make their way into the warm house where they explore a table of food, a roomful of toys and then a player piano.

Cartoon Kitties: This lovely little film won Best Short Subject, Cartoons at the 1936 Academy Awards and it’s little wonder why.  Not only is the story charming but there are some intricate reflection details that really stand out.  The poor kittens are thrown over a fence in a bag and find themselves stranded in the snow.

Three Orphan Kittens - kittens abandoned in the snow

Fortunately a basement window of the house is open and the kittens are able to get indoors.  They avoid the stereotyical black nanny and make their way onto the kitchen table where one battles a fruit pie.

Three Orphan Kittens - kitten fights with pie

Another kitten explores a mostly empty bottle of milk while the third gets into a scuffle with a pepper shaker.  Eventually the third kitten sneezes his way into the bottle!

Three Orphan Kittens - kitten in bottle

The highlight of the film is when the kittens encounter a player piano.  The inserted roll plays one of the most traditional player piano pieces of all time, Kitten on the Keys, written in 1921 by Zez Confrey.

Three Orphan Kittens - kittens discover player piano

Eventually all the noise brings the nanny running and she’s just about to throw the kittens back out into the snow when the little girl of the house catches her and begs to be given the kittens instead.  Two out of three of the kittens are content with their newfound owner but the third kitten, who is forced to wear a bonnet, isn’t so sure.

Three Orphan Kittens - kittens drinking milk in a buggy

Final Mewsings: The original Keyboard Cats!

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