Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Hiya, Mickey!
August 8, 2013 9:41 PM   Subscribe

A new set of Mickey Mouse shorts have debuted this summer. Mickey heads around the world, getting into slapstick situations on his own and with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie.
posted by ocherdraco (53 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
I watched Stayin' Cool and it killed me. I love corny old cartoon slapstick humor like nobody's business, and the '90s-style Kricfalusi animation "updates" didn't bother me a bit. Sure, why not?
posted by mykescipark at 9:50 PM on August 8, 2013


Based on this and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show on Disney, I think that Disney is trying to leverage the traditional characters more. The brand identification in the U.S. has decreased.
posted by k8t at 9:59 PM on August 8, 2013


They have decided we Must Not be able to see these in Canada. The world is weird.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:17 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am naming my next goldfish "Gubbles".
posted by not_on_display at 10:31 PM on August 8, 2013


They have decided we Must Not be able to see these in Canada. The world is weird.

Try these:
No Service
New York Weenie
posted by RobotHero at 10:36 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


These are the first Mickey Mouse cartoons I actually LIKE. (Mainly a'cause they're actually FUNNY.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:42 PM on August 8, 2013


He has been wearing those red ones a bit too long.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:36 PM on August 8, 2013 [14 favorites]


Related: check out Disney Animated, an app covering Disney's history that was released by TouchPress on iOS a few days ago.
posted by archagon at 12:30 AM on August 9, 2013


The uploader has not made this video available in your country. YouTube doesn't even prune the playlist, so you have to click each video and get the message each time.

Are these shorts available in any country besides USA ?
posted by flif at 12:57 AM on August 9, 2013


Mickey and pals head around the world, trying to convince foreign governments to extend copyright AGAIN to protect Mickey's brand identity for eternity.
posted by EricGjerde at 1:21 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was watching these thinking "If Kricfalusi didn't make these directly, these people worked with him."

Ran down the credits a bit.

Yup.

You won, John K.!
posted by jscott at 1:38 AM on August 9, 2013


Get your geo-block bypassing proxy ready if you want to see these in Europe, it seems.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:47 AM on August 9, 2013


Well, I made it through Stayin' Cool. At least there weren't any fart jokes.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:50 AM on August 9, 2013


Man, I really liked Croissant de Triomphe, and I want to watch the rest.

Booooo.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:54 AM on August 9, 2013


Im not really up on Disney, the last time I was in Disney Land was 1959
...but, It looks like Disney is trying to re brand Mickey Mouse.
after all these years of resting on its laurels and copyright extensions
it has come up with a new Mickey, Donald, Goofy. Sixty's style background
more abstracted or simplified versions of mickey and friends and more of a
fast paced Ren and Stimpy type comedy.
I did find them entertaining.
posted by quazichimp at 3:51 AM on August 9, 2013


Better than your average copyright extenders.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:33 AM on August 9, 2013


Based on this and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show on Disney, I think that Disney is trying to leverage the traditional characters more.

You don't even understand how popular Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is. We don't have cable, my sister doesn't have cable, all of our toddlers know every character and have firm opinions about their favorite. It's the only thing they want to watch over at their grandparents, who have it DVR'd and "On Demand."

For decades, the original Disney shorts were tough to come by - basically, you needed someone who had an old 16mm reel of them from when they were re-released in the '60s - I remember them mostly from summer camps and drive-ins. This, of course, was stupid, as the theme park depended on kids all excited about meeting the characters - and for a long time, they were excited only because they were meeting characters that lived in a theme park, not meeting cartoon stars.

So, now the littlest kids who grew up with the new MMCH are ready to move on. Disney's there waiting with their favorite kiddie characters in new roles, yet still identifiable and relatable. These kids will now pester their parents even more to go to Disney World/Disneyland/Disneyveria. This is what a long term strategy corporate branding looks like. Damn, they're good. Evil, but good.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:39 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


You don't even understand how popular Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is.

I would favorite this a million times if I could.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:45 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Disney goes Spümcø?
posted by jim in austin at 4:47 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


We just discovered these recently, and my toddler daughter loves them!

(It is a good way to introduce kids to the Disney characters without subjecting them to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse... I watched an episode of MMCH with my nephew, and all the girl characters were wearing high heels and were only the "co-pilots" on Mickey and Donald's adventure. No thanks.)
posted by barnoley at 4:55 AM on August 9, 2013


This is good news because my "It's A Small World" short shorts are really starting to wear out.
posted by orme at 5:25 AM on August 9, 2013


Slap*Happy: You don't even understand how popular Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is.

My 6-year-old niece's favorite Disney character is Minnie Mouse, believe it or not. That would have been impossible in the 20-or-so years pre-MMCH.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:46 AM on August 9, 2013


My favorite is Daisy, she's the only one with any sense.
posted by oddman at 5:59 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also she's Tress MacNeille, which counts for a lot.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:59 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's weird is that Mickey Mouse is being played, not by incumbent voice Bret Iwan, but actor Chris Diamantopoulous. I'm not sure why that is, but it's interesting. He does do a pretty good job here.
posted by inturnaround at 6:18 AM on August 9, 2013


I'm happy to see Mickey Mouse cartoons being made by people who care about the end result.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a bunch of reanimated cartoon corpses with empty eyes acting out a five year old's fever dreams.
posted by helicomatic at 6:32 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


We can have this, but we can't have a half-decent Warner Brothers shorts revival?!

WHO'S RETHHPONTHIBLE FOR THITTHH?!
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:40 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Disney's there waiting with their favorite kiddie characters in new roles...

... it's not a big jump to disenchanted, cancer-afflicted high-school science teacher who has to go into selling crystal meth to pay for his treatments.
- but so then Goofy is his side-kick? What about his accent, his innate Goofiness?
- that's just it! We dump all that kiddy shit and just show Goofy as a real person. A real person stuck in a real situation. And the same with Minnie and Daffy and the rest.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:41 AM on August 9, 2013


My children will watch nothing but MMCH. Thomas, Daniel Tiger, Cat in the Hat ... all sit to rot on the DVR.

We've watched many of these and enjoyed them. Anything to get away from horrible CGI.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:46 AM on August 9, 2013


helicomatic: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a bunch of reanimated cartoon corpses with empty eyes acting out a five year old's fever dreams.

Yes, but it has very catchy music performed by They Might Be Giants.

o/~ Hot Dog / Hot Dog / Hot Diggity Dog / We're splittin' the scene / We're full of beans o/~
posted by hanov3r at 6:48 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


ROLL CALL!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:49 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


OMG, even Mickey Mouse is dealing with pet obesity! (which is odd, since his own shorts seem to be held up by some sort of Think System.)

As a lover of the classic shorts, I am also a lover of these new ones. I like both the similarities and the differences. I hope that some of the kids who grow up on these will eventually come around to the same point of view.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2013


I'm not entirely sure that this sticks true to the "heritage" of Mickey cartoons, but I am nevertheless glad to see Disney actually reviving some of the better IP in its back-catalog.

That being said, the idea that Disney would eventually hire Kricfalusi to create a series of Mickey shorts would have seemed completely insane in the 1990s. Perhaps that's a sad indictment of Disney's current state.

When was the last time that Disney successfully did something with its portfolio of "classic" characters? DuckTales?
posted by schmod at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rescue Rangers? Goof Troop?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:57 AM on August 9, 2013


The Yodelberg short is a particular favorite around our house.
posted by BrianJ at 7:04 AM on August 9, 2013


schmod: That being said, the idea that Disney would eventually hire Kricfalusi to create a series of Mickey shorts would have seemed completely insane in the 1990s.

The idea that Kricfalusi would deign to work for the collapsing hulk that was Disney at the time might have been insaner.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:08 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And Mickey has his pie eyes back!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:08 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Death to the tyrant mouse who keeps us from our rightful inheritance in the public domain. Also, the character is terrifically racist, his original design drawing heavily from minstrel show signifiers.
posted by Gin and Comics at 8:27 AM on August 9, 2013


*puts my fingers in my ears and hums loudly*

I can't hear you, Gin and Comics!

Seriously, though, I've never heard that before. Is there truth to that?
posted by BrianJ at 9:15 AM on August 9, 2013


I clicked the link expecting to see an article of clothing.
posted by grog at 9:16 AM on August 9, 2013


The brand identification in the U.S. has decreased.

And yet the only thing I could think of with most of these is how international they are. Or at least, how closely they correspond with countries that have Disney theme parks in them. It's calculated enough to almost drain the charm, but the talent on display makes up for it, imo.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 10:23 AM on August 9, 2013


BrianJ: "Seriously, though, I've never heard that before. Is there truth to that?"

In university I read that Mickey's design was influenced by "darky" iconography, and more specifically, Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. Mickey's gloves (see Al Jolson and the "formal wear" of minstrel shows), and his face (as sort of mirror image or reversed blackface) were given as examples. This was a years ago, though, and I'm having difficulty digging up citations for you.
posted by Gin and Comics at 10:38 AM on August 9, 2013


Seriously, though, I've never heard that before. Is there truth to that?

From Way Up North in Dixie: A Black Family's Claim to the Confederate Anthem:
Perhaps unconsciously, Nathan drew a suggestive link between Disney's mouse and minstrel music, but it isn't hard to see their affinities. Of the many examples of minstrelsy's enduring legacy in popular culture, "Dixie" can confidently be assigned top spot on the music charts, and surely Mickey Mouse is the most graphic offspring of blackface minstrels' portrayals of the plantation slave. Black, wide-eyed, childlike, falsetto-voiced, and ever the clown, Mickey Mouse even takes his costuming from the burnt-cork brotherhood: see the oversized white gloves, suspender buttons (minus suspenders), big feet, coy stance.
There was also Mickey's Mellerdrammer from 1933 (youtube.)
posted by sysinfo at 10:39 AM on August 9, 2013


Also see Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy, page 169 & onward.
posted by sysinfo at 11:00 AM on August 9, 2013


The concept sketches for Mickey just look like a mouse to me.
posted by Biblio at 11:06 AM on August 9, 2013


I don't mean to sound dismissive. I honestly just see a mouse. I think some of the white face/white hands design comes from what is easy to see against a black body when animated. I understand that others see a minstrel, and do I find that argument interesting. I think Mickey, like Oswald before him, developed out of the trickster tradition. If he was intended to be a minstrel, did his contemporary audience make that comparison? And what was the purpose? Did Disney intend for Mickey to be viewed by the audience the same way they would view a minstrel? Or was it unconscious? I've been a Disney fan for a long time and I've never heard this before. I'll have to read more about it.
posted by Biblio at 11:18 AM on August 9, 2013


The concept sketches for Mickey just look like a mouse to me.

Bosco, on the other hand...
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:27 AM on August 9, 2013


The concept sketches for Mickey just look like a mouse to me.

Well sure, the really damning stuff is all locked away in the Disney Vault.

More seriously, I wouldn't say that Mickey was designed or meant purely as a minstrel character, no. I would suggest reading both of the book excerpts I linked, though, especially the second which addresses some of your questions. Also worth looking up as to intentional references to blackface/minstrelsy/etc would be Ub Iwerks - co-creator of both Mickey and Oswald - and his works such as Little Black Sambo (also see Disney's later Song of the South, though I think he was more involved on the technology side of that.) More if you're interested: The Colored Cartoon: Black Representation in American Animated Short Films. (Page 54 notes similarities between Iwerk's Sambo and Mickey, fwiw.)
posted by sysinfo at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2013


I watched the credits twice and I didn't see Kricfalusi's name either time. Where is it? I also don't see any mention of Mickey on his blog, where he rather obsessively documents whatever he's working on.

Assuming he's behind them, good on him. I've always thought there was something kind of sad about his career arc. After he got fired from Nickelodeon, his work got relegated to weird little Internet cartoons that would be seen by hardly anybody. Combine that with his bitter (albeit interesting and usually correct) criticisms of basically all modern animation. It always seemed that his career wouldn't be back on track until he was at the helm of another beloved franchise. I wouldn't have thought in a million years that Mickey would be that franchise, but it makes a sort of sense.

He was behind Cartoon Network's very short lived revival of Yogi Bear in 1998-9. Those cartoons weren't great, but it seemed like a world that he could have grown into and made his own.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:20 PM on August 9, 2013


I'll also say this: part of what made the original Ren and Stimpy special was the constant testing of boundaries, the obvious tension between Nickelodeon and Kricfalusi. That tension was gone after Kricfalusi left Nickelodeon, and it was also gone (for the exact opposite reason) on the later episodes that he made for Spike TV. I'd imagine Disney providing enough pushback to match John K's mischievousness.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:25 PM on August 9, 2013


I would love Metafilter to recommend other shorts (Disney or otherwise) on Youtube for watching with the 2-5 year olds. (Besides these, we loved Buster Keaton's One Week).
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 3:48 PM on August 9, 2013


My 3 year old loves the old Donald and Chip and Dale cartoons. Cracks up like there's nothing funnier. There are a ton on youtube.
posted by zorrine at 8:29 PM on August 9, 2013


It looks like JohnK is not involved directly (you know Disney would never touch him with a ten-foot pole), but several of the people responsible are his proteges, such as Aaron Springer, Stephen DeStefano & Kali Fontecchio.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:11 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Barbara Mertz, whose writing career encompassed ov...  |  John Boorman's Lord Of The Rin... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments