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Wednesday, June 26, 2013


9:14 Minutes Of Lavish: Gulliver Mickey (1934)

The Mickey Mouses had become so special by 1934 as to require each to be presented as mini-events, polish and visual goodies on a constant upswing, surely a treat for those who liked observing progress of animation from the most accomplished shop in the industry. But what of Mickey in all this? He'd been softened to upstanding citizen status, much like lately anointed to cultural icon Walt himself. Gone was barnyard crudity and occasional sadism of a rat-like Mouse, replaced by Mickey in comfort surroundings of home and hearth not unlike his audience (at least ones affluent enough to see his cartoons), with a flock of child-mice charges whose origin goes unexplained. It's dream scene-ing that puts Mickey to Gulliver re-creation, and here's where Disney drawers show off what they've learned. WD spent way more on cartoons than anyone, took them more seriously from art and effort standpoint as well, all of which shows in spades when Mickey is assaulted by a seeming million Lilliputians. It's like outsized animated equivalent of Ray Harryhausen set-pieces to come. Is it funny? --- or better put, does that matter? For me, not much. Sometimes there's satisfaction enough in just being dazzled, which I surely was by this 9:14 minute demo of how far Disney/Mickey cartoons had evolved from Steamboat Willie beginnings.

2 Comments:

Blogger Reg Hartt said...

“Mickey Mouse, the artistic offspring of Walt Disney, has fallen afoul of the censors in a big way, largely because of his amazing success. Papas and Mamas, especially Mamas, have spoken vigorously to censor boards and elsewhere about what a devilish, naughty little mouse Mickey turned out to be. Now we find that Mickey is not to drink, smoke, or tease the stock in the barnyard. Mickey has been spanked. It is the old, old story. If nobody knows you, you can do anything, and if everybody knows you, you can’t do anything – except what every one approves, which is very little of anything. It has happened often enough among the human stars of the screen and now it gets even the little fellow in black and white who is no thicker than a pencil mark and exists solely in a state of mind.” Terry Ramsaye, MOTION PICTURE HERALD, February 28, 1931.
http://www.animatormag.com/archive/issue-09/issue-9-page-26/

8:08 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Donald Benson speaks to Mickey's extended mouse family ...


The mobs of little mice in nightshirts were explicitly identified as orphans in other cartoons. We see them trooping into "Mickey's Circus" for a free orphans' performance; Mickey, Minnie and Donald take them on an "Orphans' Picnic"; and "Orphans' Benefit" has them heckling the duck's famous rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Presumably those nightshirts are orphanage uniforms; in "Orphans' Benefit" we see two schoolmarmish matrons herding them in. They were basically a swarm of cheerful mischief-makers, usually at the duck's expense.


Later -- mostly in the funnies and comics -- Mickey had the obligatory nephews of uncertain parentage, Morty and Ferdy. Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, Tom and Mr. Magoo had from one to four such relations each.


Sylvester the cat was a little unusual in that he actually owned up to a son in some shorts, often with a faintly resigned Mrs. on the fringes

2:12 PM  

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