El Terrible Toreador

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El Terrible Toreador
Directed by Walt Disney
Produced byWalt Disney
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by
Layouts byUb Iwerks
Backgrounds byUb Iwerks
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 26, 1929 (1929-09-26)
Running time
CountryUnited States

El Terrible Toreador is a 1929 animated cartoon produced by Walt Disney Studios in the Silly Symphonies series. [1]



The film opens somewhere in Spain. A lady is carrying a mug of beer above her head, walking rhythmically to the music of "Carmen". She walks over to a man in a white suit. The man gives her a coin, and she modestly puts it in her shirt. Then the lady does a quick dance in front of the man in the suit. The man tips her, and the money falls into a container on the floor. The lady just ignores him. Outside the building, a toreador is standing. When he sees the lady, with the man in the suit, he is fuming mad. So, the man in the suit grabs the lady, and soon the two fight over her. This ends with the lady walking away. Then another scene opens with a bullfighting ring and the bull (strangely reminiscent of Clarabelle Cow) and the toreador walk into there. Followed by a few gags and music performances, the toreador finishes up the scene by pulling out the bull's insides.


The film uses melodies from Georges Bizet's 1875 opera Carmen . It also uses short extracts from "Yankee Doodle Dandy", "Ciribiribin", and "Spring Song". [1]


Motion Picture News (November 9, 1929): "O.K. For Laughs. This is a cartoon burlesque of Carmen in tabloid form. The music of the opera is used for the accompaniment. Filled with laughs, the bull wrestling and throwing which is the final touch is sure to get over. Go to it on this one." [2]

The Film Daily (December 29, 1929): "This latest number in the Silly Symphony cartoon series is almost a continuous riot from start to finish. It has a Mexican locale, mostly in the bull ring, where the toreador, instead of setting in to kill his animal, does a "you chase me and I'll chase you" with the playful creature. A filler that can't miss." [3]

Home media

The short was released on December 19, 2006 on Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies, Volume Two [1] in the "From the Vault" section, because of the relatively graphic scene of the bull being pulled inside out. [4]

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  1. 1 2 3 Merritt, Russell; Kaufman, J. B. (2016). Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series (2nd ed.). Glendale, CA: Disney Editions. pp. 58–59. ISBN   978-1-4847-5132-9.
  2. "Week's Short Subject Assortment Unearths No Outstanding Releases". Motion Picture News : 38. November 9, 1929. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  3. "Short Subjects". The Film Daily : 9. December 29, 1929. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  4. "El Terrible Toreador - September 7, 1929". Silly Symphonize. February 12, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2019.