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The Milky Way (1940)

The Three Little Kittens tie helium balloons to a basket and travel up to the Milky Way, which is filled with all the milk they can drink.


Rudolf Ising (uncredited)
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Uncredited cast:
Bernice Hansen Bernice Hansen ... Mama Cat / Three Little Kittens (voice) (uncredited)


The three little kittens have lost their mittens and are sent to bed without dinner. From their room, they see the Milky Way and sail up to it, using a basket and helium balloons, passing through some fanciful astronomical bodies, until they reach a Milky Way filled with every conceivable form of milk, including milkweed and Milk of Magnesia. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A caccia di latte See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based loosely on the poem Three Little Kittens, which originated in England in the early 19th century. See more »


Featured in Animation Lookback: Hanna-Barbera Part 1 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A transitional film that somehow won the Oscar
2 September 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

THE MILKY WAY is a bit of a transitional film from the schmaltzy cartoons of the 1930s and the more enjoyable and irreverent films of the 40s and 50s. Younger viewers might not know that in the 30s, many (way too many) cartoons were filled with sappy music and cutesy images and in many ways THE MILKY WAY is one of the last of these dreadful films. Considering that it was made by Rudolf Ising (who made a career of this style film), it isn't at all surprising that I hated the film. There's just so much singing and saccharine that I found myself wanting to see it infused with some Tex Avery sensibilities.

On the positive side, the animation was exceptional and showed that even before good writers and directors came to MGM's cartoon division in subsequent years, the animation was already stellar. In many ways, you could see the roots of the upcoming and very successful Tom & Jerry cartoons in this film. If only this film had an edge--it might have been a lot better. As it is, it's only a very pretty bit of treacle with a few nice touches.

Amazingly, it somehow garnered the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Apparently, the Academy were saps for this sort of stuff.

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