The Cookie Carnival is an animated Silly Symphony short produced by Walt Disney Productions and it was originally released on May 25, 1935. Its plotline is a parody of the story, which is loosely based on the fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann, which in turn inspired the ballet "The Nutcracker" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
- Hobo Cookie (voiced by Pinto Colvig)
- Sugar Cookie Girl (aka Miss Bonbon) (voiced by Marcellite Garner)
- Cookie Carnival Judges
- Miss Jello Mold
- Cookie Queen Contestants:
- Miss Banana Cake
- Miss Coconut
- Miss Licorice
- Miss Orange Crush
- Miss Peach
- Miss Peppermint
- Miss Pineapple
- Miss Strawberry Blonde
- Cookie King contestants:
- Dandy Candy Kids
- Old Fashioned Cookies
- Angel Food Cakes
- Devils Food Cakes
- Upside Down Cakes
- The Rum Cookies
In this confectionery-themed Cinderella-story, a sad Sugar Cookie Girl is turned into the Queen of the Cookie Carnival (aka Miss Bonbon) by a wandering Hobo Cookie. The short is an homage to the Atlantic City boardwalk and its "bathing beauty" contest—which eventually became the Miss America pageant—of the 1920s and 1930s.
Various sweets and goodies of Cookietown are preparing to crown their new Cookie Queen. A parade of potential candidates passes by, all based on various cakes and other sweets. Far from the parade route, on what would appear to be the wrong side of the peppermint stick railroad tracks, a Hobo Cookie overhears an impoverished sugar cookie girl crying. She explains that while she wants to be in the parade, she doesn't have any fancy clothes to wear—he gives her a makeover, concocting a dress of colored icing and candy hearts. He covers her brown hair with golden taffy ringlets, covers her face in powdered marshmallow, paints her lips with red heart shaped candy, and adds a large light purple bow to the back of her dress as a finishing touch. Now all dressed, she is entered as the final contestant in the parade: Miss Bonbon.
The judges, who have thus far been disappointed in the candidates, all promptly declare Miss Bonbon the Cookie Queen on sight. The Hobo Cookie is practically trampled in the sudden surge of the crowd as they carry Miss Bonbon to her throne, where they place a golden crown on her head. She's then presented with a large layer cake which appears to be a carousel of different vaudeville acts—every Queen needs a King, so Miss Bonbon has to choose a husband from those featured.
After being presented with two tap dancing candy cane men, two Barbershop singing old fashioned cookies, two enchanting angel food cakes, two scat-singing devil's food cakes, two acrobatic upside-down cakes, and three tipsy rum cookies, Miss Bonbon refuses each of them with a giggle and a shake of her head. The judges, with no other suitors to present to her, offer to have her marry one of them (or all three of them).
At that moment, the Hobo Cookie, who has been attempting to get a closer look, sneaks up onto the dais. He is hit on the head by the guards who split his cupcake paper hat to look like a crown and tear off a piece of the jelly roll red carpet so that he looks like he is wearing a ermine-lined robe. Miss Bonbon tells the guards, "Stop! I say! Don't crown the King that way!" He is free to go and takes his place beside her. Their closing kiss melts the lollipop intended to screen them from view.
The short was one of the first directed by animator Ben Sharpsteen, who had gained notoriety for his work for The Hot Chocolate Soldiers used in the MGM film Hollywood Party; with this short allowing for a similar style to be used to that short involving a world made of confections.
Pinto Colvig, most known for the voice of Goofy, provides the voice of the Hobo Cookie. Vaudeville was dying out by the time the short made its debut, but audiences would have been familiar with each of the acts represented by the different cookies.
When Miss Bonbon is being outfitted, she transitions from her cookie-like shape into a more human look (especially apparent between creating her skirt and powdering her cheeks). This might make her another early example of visually realistic human characters in Disney shorts, and even a precursor to the Snow White look in Disney's first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She was designed by legendary character designer Grim Natwick, who designed Betty Boop for the Fleischer studio and eventually would design Snow White.
- The Mickey Mouse Club, October 26, 1955
- Mickey's Mouse Tracks, episode #15
- Sing Me a Story with Belle: "What's Inside Counts"
- The Ink and Paint Club, episode #1.18: "A Bunch of Silly Symphonies"
- Walt Disney Cartoon Classics: Limited Gold Editions - Silly Symphonies (VHS)
- Walt Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies (DVD)
- Disney Princess: A Christmas of Enchantment (DVD)
- The Hobo Cookie and one of the judges make an appearance in House of Mouse's "Pete's Christmas Caper".