A girl is sewing in her playroom when a boy sneaks in and lets loose a horde of mice into her doll house. She discovers them and is fascinated by them, one in particular who can speak. They chat for a while, and the mouse tells them a story of a wizard friend who tried one day to make a potion that would render all things beautiful. He turns lizards into doves and a toad into a squirrel successfully, but when his back is turned another bottle accidentally opens up and spills into the beauty elixir. When he tries it on a batch of caged mice, they turn into little devils that chase him around his shop. They wreak havoc and eventually turn him into a giant rabbit, but he’s then saved by the doves, who mix a potion that reverts him to his human form and the devils back into mice.
Dinner Time was one of the first publicly shown sound-on-film cartoons and premiered in New York City in August 1928, three months before Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, which premiered on November 18th, 1928. However, Dinner Time was unsuccessful and Disney’s film would go on to be widely touted as the first synchronized sound cartoon.
Dinner Time is an American animated short cartoon produced by Van Beuren Studios. The musical score was composed by Josiah Zuro. The film is part of a series entitled Aesop’s Fables and features the Paul Terry creation Farmer Al Falfa who works as a butcher, fending off a group of pesky dogs.