The Triumphant Return of Mickey Mouse

After a frenzied few weeks of Papal watching and analysis (followed by the “Peace-o-Mind”-preserving decision to step back and settle into “Let’s Just Wait And See” mode), I find myself returning my blog to its regularly-scheduled (if a bit flippant, in contrast) programming. And so — a week or two later than I’d originally intended — a note-worthy event in the world of animated shorts, particularly for those of us who grew up watching Disney cartoons on Saturday mornings (and any other time we could get our hands on them):

Mickey’s back!

With the slapstick feel of classic Mickey Mouse, the series of cartoon shorts presents Mickey in a broad range of humorous situations that showcase his pluck and rascality, along with his long-beloved charm and good heartedness. Each cartoon short finds Mickey in a different contemporary setting including Santa Monica, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Venice, and the Alps, facing a silly situation, a quick complication, and an escalation of physical and visual gags. The stories also feature genuine heartfelt and heroic moments as Mickey explores and experiences life with his comical partners: Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.

Produced in 2D animation, the design esthetic for the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts reaches back almost 80 years and borrows reverentially from the bold style of his 1930s design, but not before adding a few contemporary touches. Designs for other characters have a similar approach, favoring a “rubber-hose” cartoon style for more exaggerated animation. Background designs closely reflect the graphic design sense of 1950s and 1960s Disney cartoons. And for those true eagle-eyed Disney fans, the production team has also included the occasional homage to other icons from the storied Disney heritage.

Yep, he’s back, alright. As of right now, however,  he’s back-but-not-embed-able. So head on over to Disney’s site to check him out

As IndieWire acerbically notes, the short’s not terribly exciting from a narrative standpoint. It’s certainly no “Paperman” (to pick a recent, high-profile, probably unfair comparison). And the new style seems a bit …sketchy in contrast with such lovingly-rendered classics as my beloved “Tugboat Mickey.” (The game tie-in feels a bit forced, as well.)

But it’s great to see Disney throwing its hat into the Animated Short arena once again. And besides, they have another 18 changes to re-capture the magic, right? (The announcement mentions: “Yodelberg” — Mickey longs to visit Minnie atop her mountaintop chalet but quickly realizes that the threat of avalanche has made the trek up the mountain more challenging than usual;” and “No Service” — Mickey and Donald try to buy lunch from a beachside snack shack but are unceremoniously turned down because of the classic “No shirt, no shoes, no service” admonition.”)

The rest of the series will be available in late June, I believe, and I can’t wait. It might never match up to its inspiration(s), but I’m sure glad to see the ol’ round-eared rodent back in the limelight. (HT: /Film)

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.