Collection of Jimmy MacDonald's Sound Effect Devices
"Anything we wanted we could make."

Jimmy MacDonald


Jimmy MacDonald

Year of Creation



Sound Effect Devices


Perfect (Assigned) Sound Replication



Collected by

Agent Brady Brown



Usage Period

1940s to 1970s



John James "Jimmy" MacDonald (May 19, 1906 – February 1, 1991) was a British-born musician and the original head of the Disney sound effects department. He was also the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1947 to 1977, taking up the mantle from Walt Disney, as well as several other roles - including providing the class voice of Chip, of the chipmunk duo Chip and Dale.

Originally a drummer for a steamship band, MacDonald was often called to Disney studios to record music for it's early cartoons. As the cartoons got progressively more advanced, MacDonald was invited to stay on with Disney to create and head it's first sound effects department. MacDonald is renown for his advancements in sound design, as he and his team invented several devices and contraptions that could replicate a wide variety of auditory sensations for Disney animators to work with.


These six assorted devices were used by Jimmy MacDonald to create sound effects for Walt Disney's animated movies. When the devices are used, the sound produced is identical to what they are supposed to sound like. The rain devices will sound just like rain, the bear device will sound like a bear growling, etc. The devices range in size and shape, and include the following:

  • Bear - A vase open on both ends. Growling into one end creates the sound of a growling bear out the other.
  • Fire - A bundle of sticks. Twisting the bunch sounds like fire burning brush.
  • Rain - A barrel, filled with beans, on an axle. Spinning the barrel creates a sound like rain falling onto a roof.
  • Horse - Two coconut shells. Banging together replicates the sound of a horse running.
  • Walking - A pair of shoes. When hit on the floor, it sounds like people walking.
  • Snow - Leather Pouch filled with corn starch. Squeezing makes a sound like snow when walked on.

It is suspected that there are more, uncollected inventions by Jimmy MacDonald in existence.

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