The Barnyard Battle

The Barnyard Battle is a Mickey Mouse short animated film first released on June 1, 1929, as part of the Mickey Mouse film series.[1] It was the seventh Mickey Mouse short to be produced, the fourth of that year.[1] As the title implies, it features a battle between an invading army of cats and an army of mice trying to defend their homes and farms.

The Barnyard Battle
Directed byUb Iwerks
Produced byWalt Disney
Music byCarl Stalling
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 1, 1929 (1929-06-01)
Running time
7:22 min.
CountryUnited States


Peg-Leg Pete was depicted as a leading soldier of the former army, and Mickey as a conscript of the latter one. Before joining the army, Mickey has to pass a physical examination. This scene depicts Mickey becoming the subject of physical and emotional abuse. After passing the examination, he is given a machine gun and is sent to battle. Mickey's combat efforts are comical in depiction but prove effective enough in forcing the enemy to retreat. Mickey is hailed as a hero by his fellow soldiers and then the short ends.

About the cartoon

This short is notable as the first to depict Mickey as a soldier and the first to place him in combat. The physical examination scene has since often been edited out, as being somewhat disturbing. However, modern viewers have often pointed to this scene as being the most memorable of the short.[2]

The mouse officer shouting "Company, forward march!" is the first character in the Mickey Mouse cartoons to speak a full sentence. Before this, characters have only communicated in single-syllable sounds and laughs, or in the case of Minnie Mouse, the greeting, "Yoo-Hoo!"[3]

The short did not clearly identify the war it depicted, but it has been noted that the cats are depicted as wearing military helmets similar to those used by the German Empire during World War I. On the other hand, the mice are marching in battle to the tune of "Dixie", a song written in 1859. The song was popular among the forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. The victory of the mice is celebrated in the tune of "Battle Cry of Freedom", known to have been popular among the forces of the United States during the same conflict. In any case, both wars were still within living memory of the audiences at the time of release and so it is possible that the details mentioned were intended as recognizable references to both of them.

Because the cats wear helmets that resemble German pickelhaube, the cartoon was banned in Germany in 1930 on the grounds of being "offensive to national dignity".[4]

Legacy and influence

An LCD Game & Watch-styled mini-game based on the short appears in the 2019 video game Kingdom Hearts III.

See also


  1. Kaufman, J.B.; Gerstein, David (2018). Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History. Cologne: Taschen. p. 40. ISBN 978-3-8365-5284-4.
  2. "Default Disney: The Barnyard Battle". Hilarity by Default. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  3. Grob, Gijs (2018). "The Barnyard Battle". Mickey's Movies: The Theatrical Films of Mickey Mouse. Theme Park Press. ISBN 1683901231.
  4. Bulik, Mark (September 26, 2014). "1930: Mickey Mouse, Censored". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
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