Like many of the later Silly Symphonies, The Old Mill was a testing-ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney's multiplane camera, the film also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making The Old Mill would subsequently be incorporated into Disney's feature-length animated films, especially 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Old Mill won the 1937 Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons. In 1994 it was voted #14 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.
The Walt Disney Classics Collection released The Old Mill (pictured above), a Numbered Limited Edition of 750 sculpted by Larry Nikolai as the second release in Silly Symphony Series which made its debut in February, 2007.
The Old Mill is very reminiscent of the Enchanted Places, introduced in 1995, beautifully crafted sculptures that recreated unforgettable film settings made of a special blend of resin and alabaster. Unique touches, termed "plussing" add to the incredible level of detail found in every sculpture. Oil and water based paints are used to convey textures, shadows and special effects. The Old Mill is plussed with pewter, wire, felt and wind sails that actually turn. Included with each sculpture are instructions for the windmill assembly.
For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of YouTube.com) is The Old Mill with an introduction by Walt Disney:
The Old Mill is a Silly Symphonies Cartoon ©Disney