Schmid is a German company famous to Disney fans for its licensed music box figurines featuring many of the most popular Disney characters, like the Fab Five and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The company folded in 1995 making interest in these collectibles a bit more intense.
This is what The Disney Wiki has to say about the Disney on Parade show:
“Disney on Parade was a series of traveling arena shows produced by Nawal Productions, a joint venture between NBC and Walt Disney Productions. Aimed primarily at children, the shows featured famous Disney characters performing in various comedy and musical routines, as well as condensed versions of famous Disney motion pictures. The shows toured in arenas across America, as well as around the world in places like England, Australia, South America, and Japan.”
After you’ve done that, feast your eyes on these:
Goofy may not be The Leader of the Band, but he is the leader of this parade! He’s the only one to have the name of the set, Disney on Parade, on his figure and he seems pretty proud of it. And who could blame him?
Goofy plays the song This Old Man which is an old English-language counting nursery rhyme. The origins of this song are obscure but may date back all the way to the 1870s! Who knew Goofy was so old-school in his musical taste? Well, nonetheless, “This old (Goof), he played one, He played knick-knack on (his) drum.”
And next we have the real Leader of the Band, Mickey Mouse, with his baton a twirlin’ and looking dapper in his bandsman uniform.
Mickey plays The Mickey Mouse Club March of course! This song was written by the Mickey Mouse Club host Jimmie Dodd and was published by Hal Leonard Corporation on July 1, 1955. But we have more band members to meet, so “Come along and sing a song and join the jamboree!”
Looking demure and marching right along behind her sweetheart is Minnie Mouse playing the xylophone.
Minnie plays her signature song Minnie’s Yoo Hoo. This song was first performed by Mickey Mouse in the 1929 Short, Mickey’s Follies. It was written by Carl Stalling and Walt Disney. If you remember the lyrics, then you know that Mickey’s girlfriend is “Neither fat nor skinny, She’s the horse’s whinny, She’s (his) little Minnie Mouse!”
Donald Duck is always ready to blow his own horn to prove he is every bit as good, if not better, than that over-rated mouse!
Donald plays When the Saints Go Marching In. The origins of this song are unclear. It apparently evolved in the early 1900s from a number of similarly titled gospel songs. The first known recorded version was in 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee Singers. As with many numbers with long traditional folk use, there is no one official version of the song or its lyrics. But if you like to swing, check out the version done by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra.
Daisy Duck seems to be carrying a Piccolo which is a small flute sounding an octave higher than the ordinary one. Fitting, as Daisy is no ordinary duck!
Daisy plays A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody. This was a popular song written by Irving Berlin in 1919 which later became the theme song of the Ziegfeld Follies. Ooh-la-la! Berlin had agreed with Florenz Ziegfeld to write one act for his follies, including a “Ziegfeld Girl number” to showcase the pretty girls in the show. The singer of the song in the show was tenor John Steel.
Pluto appears to be rocking a Kazoo or Gazoo which is a cigar-shaped musical instrument of metal or plastic with a membranous diaphragm of thin paper that vibrates with a nasal sound when the player hums into it. Fitting, being as Pluto can’t talk but can likely hum up a storm!
Pluto plays Happy Days Are Here Again. It’s a song copyrighted in 1929 by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics) and has been used in numerous movies. But perhaps most famously you may remember it as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful 1932 presidential campaign. Way to class it up, Pluto!
Before showing you the base with its design features I just have to make an observation: Wouldn’t this Marching Band be more successful if they all played the same song?
Each Schmid music box has a label underneath that is almost impossible to read due to the plastic base. But occasionally the base is positioned just so and you can read the name of the song (this is Daisy’s base) and the place of manufacture, being Sri Lanka. Also discernable is The Walt Disney Company copyright and the tag that the piece is hand painted.
This sticker is present on all Schmid music boxes that come with an on/off switch. One of the main things that will devalue this type of collectible is it being overwound.
Apart from the labels and printing on the underside of the base you can also see ‘Disney’ and ‘Schmid’ pressed into the side of the piece.
This is a complete set of six featuring the main Disney cartoon characters. Each character wears the same uniform and marches on an identical base decorated with colorful musical notes.
To conclude, I’d like to plagiarize Mickey’s theme song by saying that “We’ve sung things and we’ve looked at things from all around the world” and now it’s time to “Go Marching!”
FUN FACT: The German surname Schmid is a cognate of “Smith”, an occupational surname for a blacksmith. This spelling is more common in Switzerland than Germany. Go figure!