Fiddlesticks (film)

Fiddlesticks is a ground-breaking 1930 animated cartoon film. It is the first complete sound cartoon to be photographed in two-strip Technicolor,[2] and was also Ub Iwerks's first cartoon since he departed from Walt Disney's studio.

Directed byUb Iwerks[1]
Produced byUb Iwerks
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byDrawn by:
Ub Iwerks
Backgrounds byFred Kopietz
Color processHarriscolor.
Distributed byCelebrity Pictures
Release date
August 16, 1930
Running time
6:12 min

The film was simultaneously released with King of Jazz, a musical revue, and was released with a cartoon depicting how Paul Whiteman, the music director of the film, "became the King of Jazz".

Plot synopsis

Flip is seen dancing on lilypads until he reaches land and dries himself off. He walks to a party, where he performs a dance for the audience, accidentally climbing to a spider web. He also performs a duet, playing piano alongside a mouse (who bears a striking resemblance to Mickey Mouse, which Iwerks co-created with Walt Disney during his days at Disney's company) playing the violin. They perform two songs. In the first song, the mouse starts crying, and so do Flip and the piano. The second song makes Flip start hugging the piano, which then kicks Flip. The cartoon ends with Flip beating on the piano; he kicks all the piano keys into the air, and they drop onto him.


Fiddlesticks was the first film in the Flip the Frog series. The sound system was Powers Cinephone, the same system used for Disney's Steamboat Willie (1928).

The unnamed mouse in the cartoon bears a striking resemblance to Mortimer Mouse, the original concept behind Mickey Mouse, both of whom were first animated by Ub Iwerks.

The cartoon appeared in the music video for Eminem's song "The Real Slim Shady".


  1. Bradley, Edwin M. The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926–1931. p. 225.
  2. Robertson, Patrick (2011). Robertson's Book of Firsts. London: Bloomsbury. Retrieved 24 May 2017.

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