Mickey Mouse is back where he belongs – cheeky, impetuous and with a nice retro 1920s sheen, thanks to a wonderful new short Get a Horse! that will accompany Disney’s new animated film, Frozen.
With more than a tilt of the hat to cartoons like Steamboat Willie – try the whole milliners shop inverted at a pleasing backward-looking angle – the snippet of animation glory which introduced Mickey Mouse to the world in 1928, it is styled to resemble its animated forebears using a mix of the latest digital effects and ye olde hand drawn methods to get the desired visual effect.
It’s yet another sign after Disney’s recent series of shorts such as Croissant de Triomphe featuring Mickey Mouse and a host of The Mouse House’s iconic characters and utterly delightful Paperman, that Disney has rediscovered the playful sense of style, both visual and narrative, that made it so revered and well-loved in years gone by.
Celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 85th birthday, Get a Horse! features the famous mouse himself (who appears to have rather self-aware and cheeky clothes and shoes) along with his sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Horace the Horse and Clarabelle Cow out for a relaxing hay ride, complete with jaunty musical accompaniment, in the countryside.
All is well until Peg Leg Pete, in his new fangled motor ve-here-kel (vehicle), equipped with an aggressively loud car horn that rather rudely orders everyone aside to “make way for the future!”, tries to ruin their bucolic carefree fun by running them off the road.
While we only have the first minute of the cartoon to go by, and by all accounts it gets insanely manic and amusing just after the point where the clip ends, it possesses more sight gags, silliness and sheer charm than many other cartoons possess in their entire running time.
It’s great to see Mickey Mouse back in such fine form, and one can only hope that Disney pursues this back-to-their-roots approach to their cartoon making, even if it’s in spirit and not always looks, recognising that cheeky and charmingly subversive is what made them great in the first place.
You can see Get a Horse! in all its glory when Frozen opens in USA on 27 November and in Australia on 26 December.
* Check out the first minute of this old/new Mickey Mouse short …