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Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is an educational Adventures in Music animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions, and originally released to theaters by Buena Vista Film Distribution on November 10, 1953. This marks the very first animated short produced in CinemaScope; showcasing many of its features very commonly (including stereophonic sound).

It features Professor Owl discussing the study of musical instruments - the subject of the day. Mr. Owl tells the class (and the viewer), in rhyme, about all music that originates from four core sounds: toot (brass), whistle (woodwind), plunk (strings), and boom (percussion).


A history of music through the ages, from prehistoric man to the modern symphony orchestra.



Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom has been listed on Jerry Beck's 50 Greatest Cartoons list, where, in a survey of numerous animation historians and people in the field, the short was voted the 29th best animated short.

Both of the Adventures in Music shorts found a long lasting legacy when footage was re-used for the interstitials of the Disney's Sing-Along Songs video series.



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  • In some television airings, including The Ink and Paint Club, the banjo scene was deleted due to apparently negative African-American stereotyping.
  • One of the students is seen reading a Donald Duck comic book.
  • An Academy ratio version of the short was also produced, with some slight differences, specifically removing some of the shots that took advantage of the wider screen. Prior to the release on DVD and streaming services, this was the version found on the Walt Disney Cartoon Classics: Limited Gold Editions VHS release.
  • This was the first short to be distributed by Walt Disney's own Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. Walt's contract with RKO ended after they refused to distribute the True-Life Adventures films. In the opening shot of the music shop, there is a fanfare similar to the one heard over the RKO logo in Melody, indicating that this was made in hopes of RKO still distributing.
  • This short considers pianos to be string instruments based on how they behave similar to harpsichords. However, pianos are classified as percussion instruments due to their use of hammers to produce the tone played.
  • Originally, this short was not conceived as a continuation of Melody, but was a separate short called Meet the Instruments with Sterling Holloway being proposed as a possible narrator.