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Mickey Mouse and friends, brought back to the 1930s era sense of humor
October 19, 2013 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend is a new Disney short, featuring the reanimated corpse of Goofy. With this information, you might get the idea that this is not what you might expect from modern Disney cartoons, and you'd be right. It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount.

The cast behind the shorts are a seasoned bunch, starting with Paul Rudish, who is best known for his work with Cartoon Network Studios, where he worked on titles including Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack. Cartoon Brew has a full list of folks involved from Disney.
posted by filthy light thief (33 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was looking forward to checking these outs, but unfortunately they're not available in Canada.
posted by thecjm at 9:17 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bah! Does this Disney.com link work for non-US folks?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 PM on October 19, 2013


These are so good. I caught Croissant de Triomphe a while back, but hadn't seen the rest. Thanks!
posted by jason_steakums at 9:35 PM on October 19, 2013


I really liked the "WHAT?!" gag in Bad Ear Day; it reminds me of the first half of this classic Bert and Ernie routine which makes me laugh every time.
posted by peeedro at 9:35 PM on October 19, 2013


If Disney.com doesn't work outside of the US, Proxfree seems like a pretty good, free service. I checked it out on SNL's US-blocked service and it worked for me.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:38 PM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


The one called 'Dog Show' addresses, in the most disturbing way possible, the perennial question, 'if Pluto is a dog, what the hell is Goofy?'

I'm not warmly predisposed to Disney, but I will grudgingly admit that I like these.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:00 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Posted previously but there are some new shorts and more good links here!
posted by zsazsa at 10:20 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought Goofy already WAS a reanimated corpse. My bad.
posted by frodisaur at 10:28 PM on October 19, 2013


I will have to check out the others. I was pleasantly surprised by it's inventiveness and sight comedy.
posted by capnmarrrrk at 10:39 PM on October 19, 2013


Manages to capture a lot of the charm and inventiveness of early Disney shorts while avoiding the sentimental schmaltz which has pervaded much of their material since, say, the 1950s. I really liked this, and will probably watch the others.

Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 11:10 PM on October 19, 2013


Disney's TV toons have been taking some delightful leaps forward lately, above and beyond the Mickey Mouse revival (which is awesome itself).

The creator of "Powerpuff Girls" and "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends", Craig McCracken is pulling out all the stops for the frantic-but-fluidly animated "Wander Over Yonder" (YouTube clips: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). It's such a big deal, McCracken's wife and "My Little Pony: FIM" mastermind Lauren Faust agreed to play second fiddle in getting it made. And the voices: Jack (30 Rock) McBrayer is a riot as the interplanetary hillbilly/hippie/huckleberry 'Wander' and April (Regretsy) Winchell, after 20 years of cartoon voicing, finally gets her breakthrough role as 'Sylvia', Wander's badass BFF (and a steed who puts all the Ponies to shame). Okay, naming the main villain "Lord Hater" is a little too obvious, but you won't stop laughing long enough to think much about it.

It's the next step after the pretty-dam-good "Gravity Falls" and the okay-but-overexposed "Phineas and Ferb", making Disney a real quality competitor for TV toons.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:12 PM on October 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's interesting about these to me is that, for these series, Disney has again recast the role of Mickey Mouse. He's played here by actor Chris Diamantopoulos, best known for his role in the recent "Three Stooges" film as Moe and on the last season of "The Office", playing the fired boom mic guy.

And yet, it just seems like they hired him for just this series. The official voice of Mickey still seems to be Bret Iwan, the artist who took over for the late Wayne Allwine. All of the other voice actors for this series are the same (Allwine's widow Russi Taylor as Minnie, Tress Macneille as Daisy, Tony Anselmo as Donald and Bill Farmer as Goofy)
posted by inturnaround at 12:30 AM on October 20, 2013


Wait.... New Mickey Mouse shorts?
I would not have thought I could be curious, but here we are and I am. And it seems like it's not a cynical copyright extension grab from the text because "The uploader has not made this video available in your country".

I guess it's time I install this and see if it works.

Also:

I thought Goofy already WAS a reanimated corpse. My bad.

Alright, alright, Mickey's a mouse, Donald's a duck, Pluto's a dog. What's Goofy?
posted by Mezentian at 3:55 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not quite the 30s, I was sort of hoping they'd be in black and white, and stylistically, they're nothing like the originals. They were kind of cute, though I did cringe at the blatant Euro-Disney ad in Croissant de Triomphe, which was otherwise a lovely little tour of Paris.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:26 AM on October 20, 2013


Sort of a 30's Disney filtered through Spümcø...
posted by jim in austin at 6:11 AM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


In the behind the scenes/making of/interview with the creators clip, one of the people behind these said they didn't want the clips to seem like they took them out of the Disney archives, but to be inspired by the older humor and style, updated with modern animation methods. With that to frame the shorts, they achieved what they set out to do.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:30 AM on October 20, 2013


jim in austin > Sort of a 30's Disney filtered through Spümcø...

Fellow Spümcø allumni I recognize in the credits for Ghoul Friend: Aaron Springer, Kali Fonteccio.

Every time I watch one of these new Mickey shorts, I laugh my ass off, and then I get very sad, because I'm pretty sure that if my buddy Ricky hadn't killed himself a couple years ago he'd have ended up working on these.
posted by egypturnash at 6:57 AM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Whenever I see these 1930s style characterizations of particular cultures, e.g the French & the Japanese & the Swiss, I always wonder what the equivalent American stereotype cartoon would look like.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:33 AM on October 20, 2013


These are…actually pretty great. That somewhat flat, stylized, high-contrast style from mid-century (à la early Loonie Tunes) really works here. But I wonder how this style appears to children now?
posted by LMGM at 7:41 AM on October 20, 2013


Wow. Not a big fan of Mickey Mouse. (More of a Donald Duck man, myself.) But these are great. Can't imagine how kids (if they are the target audience) would react to them. (Why is Goofy dead? Did I miss something in the Disneyverse?) But as someone who read the comics and watched Wonderful World of Disney as a tyke, I love the look and gags.

Thanks for posting these.
posted by the sobsister at 7:57 AM on October 20, 2013


Children? Trix are for kids, my friend--not cartoons.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:57 AM on October 20, 2013


All that digital animation... it hurts...

Seriously, for a company as large and well-heeled as Disney, there's absolutely no excuse for not shelling out for proper ink-and-gouache hand animation. Even with tablets becoming as good as they are, doing it all in Flash is not the same at all.
posted by fifthrider at 10:00 AM on October 20, 2013


Disney stopped inking in 1961. They stopped using paint and photochemical altogether in 1990.
posted by whittaker at 10:14 AM on October 20, 2013


Disney stopped inking in 1961. They stopped using paint and photochemical altogether in 1990.

So I hear; it's a disgrace. If Japanese companies can still use ink-and-scan workflows on shoestring budgets, there's no reason that Disney should resort to this sort of nonsense.
posted by fifthrider at 10:19 AM on October 20, 2013


Japanese companies generally switched to the same type of digital system Disney uses starting in 1998 onwards.

Nobody inks. Disney replaced it with xerography of a cleanup artist's output in 1961 and refined that process with several technological refinements like colour xerography and APT before going with all-digital CAPS in 1990. Everybody—including Japanese studios— scans in the cleanup artist's drawings and paints them digitally, AFAIK.
posted by whittaker at 10:35 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


You mentioned that it had a "Flash" kind of look. To me, the "Flash" look of animation means that computer-assisted in-betweening was used extensively. I agree, that's a cheap and disappointing style but it has nothing to do with whether or not they used real ink and paint.
posted by whittaker at 10:38 AM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came for the Goofy-falling-off-a-cliff yell; was not disappointed. These are great cartoons -- the stereotypes are a little problematic in some, though.

As a kid, I always wondered why we never had to pull to the side of the road and pour water into the radiator of the car, thanks largely to Disney shorts where this happens a lot.

Thanks for the links to Wander Over Yonder. I love that little show. It's hard to stay upset about something with the Wander Over Yonder theme song caught in your head.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2013


Everybody—including Japanese studios— scans in the cleanup artist's drawings and paints them digitally, AFAIK.

There's a big difference between doing that and working directly in vector, as appears to have been the case here. It's especially jarring in this case because Disney's decided to do the backgrounds in the same way - save for the most dire cases of budget constraint, Japanese studios still typically do their backgrounds in gouache. (Albeit usually with some filtering and color correction.)

To me, the "Flash" look of animation means that computer-assisted in-betweening was used extensively. I agree, that's a cheap and disappointing style but it has nothing to do with whether or not they used real ink and paint.

Beyond the digital tweening, there are other signs that that these shorts weren't done with real ink and paint at any step of the process beyond the storyboarding - the way the aliasing is handled at the edges of the sprites, the regularity of the curves, and the uniform outline thickness being particularly telling. The overall look reeks of vector, with some limited stock phototexture.
posted by fifthrider at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2013


Stupid fucking pointless geo blocking.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:09 AM on October 20, 2013


I thought these were great, and also noticed a strong Spumco influence. The digital animation is a little hokey, but I also thought to myself, "hey, as far as digital animation goes, it actually looks pretty good." Also, the 3-d train hopping from Tokyo Go was the first time I've seen 2-d to 3-d transitions that were kind of cool. In terms of both content and aesthetics, I'd still rather watch something like The Venture Bros., but not everything can be the best, can it?

On the other hand, I'm a cynic, so I can't just stop there. I'm a thirty year old curmudgeonly male without children and full knowledge that Disney has never tried to cater to my demographic. Disney is a huge company...too huge to take risks with their brand without thinking through all the possibilities. To me this means (1) Disney spent almost nothing on producing these and (2) Disney is trying to hop on some of that sweet Adventure Time/ Brony style fandom bucks. Darn you capitalism, giving me more things that I like!
posted by GrumpyDan at 11:42 AM on October 20, 2013


The uploader has not made this video available in your country.

Sorry about that.


Have fun guys
posted by Namlit at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2013


fifthrider > there are other signs that that these shorts weren't done with real ink and paint at any step of the process beyond the storyboarding

I hate to burst your bubble, but nobody in the industry has used real ink and paint for anything more than the occasional vanity project since about 2000. The old desk with a circular hole for the animation disc has been replaced wholesale by a Cintiq with the studio's preferred animation package on it.

Also, there's a 50-50 chance the boards were drawn digitally as well. Some people like kicking back with paper storyboards and pencils, some people like doing it in the computer.
posted by egypturnash at 9:14 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


This pretty cool. I'd never heard of it before visiting the disneyshorts page

Animash
posted by DigDoug at 11:03 AM on October 21, 2013


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