Building a Building

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Building a Building
Building a Building.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Hand
Produced byWalt Disney
StarringBilly Bletcher
Walt Disney
Marcellite Garner
Animation byJohnny Cannon, Les Clark, Frenchy Detremaudan, Clyde Geronimi, Dick Lundy, Tom Palmer, Ben Sharpsteen
Color processBlack-and-white redrawn colorized (TV)
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • January 7, 1933 (1933-01-07)
(United States & Philippines)
Running time
7 minutes
CountryUnited States

Building a Building is a 1933 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Production and released by United Artists. A remake of the 1928 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit film Sky Scrappers, the cartoon depicts Mickey Mouse working at a construction site under the supervision of Peg-Leg Pete while Minnie Mouse is selling box lunches to the workers. It was directed by David Hand, his first directorial assignment at Disney,[2] and features the voices of Walt Disney as Mickey, Marcellite Garner as Minnie, and Billy Bletcher as Pete.[1]

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 6th Academy Awards, but lost to Disney's own Three Little Pigs.[3] This was the second Mickey Mouse cartoon nominated for an Oscar.[4]

The steam shovel Mickey pilots in this short reappeared in Epic Mickey during the Mickeyjunk Mountain level, while the short itself appears as a 2D level in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

Building a Building is an area in the Timeless River world in Kingdom Hearts II. Other shorts that are featured as areas of that world are Steamboat Willie, Gulliver Mickey, The Fire Fighters and Mickey's Orphans.


Mickey is operating a steam shovel at a construction site. Minnie appears on a cart pulled by Pluto; she is selling box lunches to the workers for 15¢ American (or about $3 in 2019, when adjusted for inflation).

After he uses the steam shovel to retrieve Minnie's hat (which had blown off and landed by where he was), Mickey accidentally throws dirt from the steam shovel onto Peg-Leg Pete (his peg leg is on the left leg rather than the right), the foreman, making him angry and shout, "HEY!!! Don't put dirt on the blueprint! What do you think you're doing?!". Mickey hurriedly brings up a load of bricks in a wheelbarrow. Meanwhile, Pete sees Minnie and flirts with her, though she is not interested. Mickey, distracted by Minnie, accidentally drops the bricks on Pete, who literally shouts out, "Hey, you blankety blank baboon!"

Finally, Mickey himself falls through Pete's blueprint. Pete has had enough and starts to strangle Mickey, but just then it is noon and an anthropomorphic steam whistle sounds for lunch. Mickey settles down to eat a fish sandwich, but it is stolen by Pete. Minnie offers to give him a box lunch for free (with "bologna, and macaroni, and a huckleberry pie", and corn on the cob). As Mickey is eating the lunch, Pete abducts Minnie from above with a crane.

Mickey chases after Pete, and finally wrestles with him high up on the building. Minnie grabs a pan of red-hot rivets and drops them down Pete's pants. This gives the mice enough time to run away as Pete pours water down his pants.

In the process of chasing Mickey and Minnie, Pete has an anvil fall on his head and fires rivets at them with a handheld pneumatic hammer. This turns on him when the hammer falls into his pants and gets attached to his peg leg. The mice escape down a chute riding a wheelbarrow, while Pete falls into a cement mixer and accidentally dismantles a large portion of the building.

Once he hits the ground, Pete declares to Mickey he's fired, who goes immediately into business with Minnie selling box lunches.


Piotr Borowiec said that this cartoon has better animation, stronger story lines, and better gags than the previous ones.[5] Studio art instructor Don Graham taught a class where students studied live-action films and compared Disney cartoons. In the class, the students compared Elmer Elephant and this cartoon. The students said that Building a Building was better. Michael Barrier disagreed about their decision, but he said that the students did have a point.[6]


  1. ^ a b Building a Building Archived 2012-08-23 at the Wayback Machine at The Encyclopedia of Animated Disney Shorts
  2. ^ Baloney and Maracroni and a Huckleberry Pie at 2719 Hyperion
  3. ^ "1933 Oscars - Academy Awards - Winners and Nominees". Pop Culture Madness. Archived from the original on 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  4. ^ "Building A Building". BCDB. 2011-11-16.
  5. ^ Piotr, Borowiec (1998). Animated short films: a critical index to theatrical cartoons. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 9.
  6. ^ Barrier, Michael (2003). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press US. p. 145.