Symphony Hour is a 1942 animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions. The story depicts Mickey Mouse conducting a symphony orchestra sponsored by his oft-enemy, Pete. Obviously, it doesn’t go well! Or does it?
On the night of the performance, everyone is getting ready while Goofy is off to gather the instruments. However, he accidentally drops all the instruments under an elevator, severely damaging them and thus rendering them unable to make proper musical sounds. Unexpectedly, there is thunderous applause from the audience after the racket ceases and all turns out well in the end!
The general consensus is that the Big Figs created to represent this Short were made exclusively for the Disney Store as store-only displays, and were never sold to the public. But I got my hands on one:
Most Disney Big Figs are made of a resin material that is smooth to the touch. This would be good for durability. But these store displays are made of a porous ceramic compound, much like a piece of pottery. They are lighter than commercially sold Big Figs and thus subject to damage. This, and the very few that would have been produced, make them rare indeed!
An original, complete, piece should still have the three strands of plastic hair and the vintage brown patina paintwork. I have seen a restored Goofy for sale on eBay in recent times that had been repainted, and it was done with solid colours, ruining the vintage look.
It’s not uncommon for these pieces to have at least some damage, and this one is no exception. If you look very closely at the mouthpiece of the instrument at Goofy’s lips, there is a slight chip.
Goofy stands at about 24″ high at the top of the horn. Most commercially sold Big Figs or statuettes will be no more than 18″.
Even though this was never meant for the public, it still does have the Disney copyright stamped on the back of the base, or the seat.
Years after I found Goofy in a small town antique market, I came across this Classics Collection name plaque for Symphony Hour in a Pawn Shop:
The Disney Symphony Hour store display featured Conductor Mickey, Clarabelle on the Violin, Goofy on the Bassoon, and Donald on the Drums. Horace Horsecollar and Clara Cluck didn’t get a Big Fig representation:
This particular Disney Store display is thought to be the rarest of all of the releases created exclusively for in-store display only. I have just sold the piece I am featuring in this post for $1,000.00 CAN if you are interested in the possible retail value.
Goofy has had a place of honor in my home for over 15 years now. But it is time to let him go to another Disney collector. Space is becoming a premium and his value will be better used elsewhere.
That said, I am sad to see him go!
For more Big Figs that will be staying in my collection a little longer, check out my Sesame Street Bert, my Super Grover, and my Mickey & Minnie on the Moon.