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My daughter went through a "mickey mouse phase", and had to feed her cravings by watching countless old cartoons on youtube. At the time, there weren't many dvds around of the old cartoons, Disney seemed to be focusing on the CGI stuff and the more modern Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Then, by luck, when I was in a branch of Woolworths (O.K.It was a while ago!), I came across this cute looking DVD for a fiver. There were 3 dvds in the set to collect, the other two featured Goofy and Donald.
The DVD box is yellow, with a big picture of Mickeys face on the front. the rear of the box contains a listing of the featured cartoons:
Thru The Mirror:
This one is great. it is a very early Disney take on ALice through the looking glass, which has Mickey dancing in a surreal world with playing cards. The music is really toe tapping.
This toon has Mickey venturing on holiday with his friends Donald, Goofy and Pluto, with plenty of slapsick gags.
Mickey and his friends take on a houseful of ghosts in a very early version of "ghostbusters"!
The Brave Little Tailor:
A fairy tale type story where Mickey takes on a giant that is plaguing a town. David v Goliath type stuff.
The Little Whirlwind:
Another old classic that tells the humorous story of a tiny tornado.
Mickey Down Under:
Mickey on hiliday again, this time to Australia, where the obvious boomerang inspired gags ensue.
The DVD runs for 58 minutes, which is about right for kids attention spans. Although the cartoons are old, they are beautifully drawn,unlike some of the newer cartoons, and the storytelling is excellent. There are 2 bonus games on the DVD, Lucky matches and Can you recall.
As DVD rental customers, we try to strike a balance between what we rent, renting some for us and some for the kids. My son is still young enough that he enjoys Playhouse Disney, and as he and my daughter have both been fans of Playhouse Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I thought it would be fun to introduce them to some proper Mickey Mouse. I thought it might be best to do this using the shorts rather than the full length offerings such as The Three Caballeros to start off with, and finding this title on the titles available to rent, gave it a go. Everyone Loves Mickey arrived in short order, and on a midweek evening, we settled down to watch it together.
This DVD is a treasure trove of classic shorts featuring Mickey Mouse. The "Everyone Loves" bit relates to the fact that interspersed between the clips is a stage where children from around the world talk about how they love Mickey Mouse, and tell various silly jokes of the sort that small children love. This part was not nearly as entertaining as it could be and neither myself or my children found these fun at all. Luckily these were all of about 2 minutes long each, interspersed between the cartoon features.The cartoon features were actually quite well chosen however, with many that I actually vividly remembered from my own childhood.
Thru the Mirror
The Brave Little Tailor
The Little Whirlwind
Mickey Down Under
Thru the Mirror is actually how it is spelled, by the way! In Germany it is known as Mickey im Traumland (Mickey in dreamland), which is a pretty good title for it as well. Mickey dreams that he steps through a mirror, and there finds a magical version of the world he has left behind. There, everything is alive, be it a hat stand, a pair of gloves, a pack of cards, or whatever else it may be. There he meets King Neptune and the king of Queen of hearts, and enjoys a dance with a pair of gloves. It's all marvelous slapstick nonsense based quite loosely on Alice in Wonderland, with the cards going to war as one gets black inked. Luckily, as Mickey is trying to run away his alarm clock goes off waking him up, as King Neptune comes to settle the matter. It was all very well done, moving coherently from one moment to the next providing giggles galore. I have to say that while I found this very funny, my children seemed to find it absolutely sidesplitting, especially at the dancing with gloves scene, with myself having to pause the DVD due to one child physically rolling on the floor waving their legs about in hysterical glee.
Hawaiian Holiday was made all the way back in 1937. back then, Hawaii was still only a territory and not a state. Add in the rarity of air travel, and you have a place that struck the popular imagination as an exotic paradise of a locale suitable for romantic, idyllic holidays. it was with this in mind that animators sent Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy on holiday there. The drawings in this short are particularly detailed and lush, portraying a picture postcard of a tropical island. There is verdant greenery, shimmering ocean waters, and the inevitable grass skirts as we watch Mickey and Minnie do a hula. Rather than a storyline, what we have is more like an "Our Hawaiian vacation" home video recording. After a few short moments of watching Mickey and Minnie doing a hula, we get the remainder of the vacation shots: Pluto the dog exploring the beach ad encountering a crab with the expected results, Goofy trying to surf the waves, and making his usual inept mess of it, and so on. It' not sidesplitting, but gently funny, and I certainly enjoyed it. I was a bit surprised that my two did as well, despite the slower pace from the frenetic slap stick predecessor.
Lonesome Ghosts is one I remember quite vividly thanks to a Fisher price toy I had as a child. This toy was shaped rather like an old cine camera and you put these long yellow cartridges in, and wound the handle. The cartridges had various silent clips of various Disney features, and this was one that I had. It was absolutely one of my favourite toys until it disappeared one day from my toy chest during a parental clear out, and it was fantastic to reacquaint myself with it via the original short. It's winter and four greenish ghosts (fantastically transparent by the way, even though it was 1937) are bored and lonely. They decide to play a prank on some unsuspecting rubes, by calling them up and giving them a good scare for kicks. As it happens, they have seen an advertisement for Mickey, Donald, and Goofy's Ghost busting Services and think it will be an especially fine hoot to lure the trio over. So, they give them a call and pretend to be customers. the trio arrive , and the naughty ghosts do their best to give them a fright, but Mickey and his friends are not ready to throw in the towel, with hilarious results that the ghosts had not expected. not only very funny, but the colouring technique here is especially nice to look at. The use of light and shadow are wonderfully done, almost chiaroscuro in parts.
The story of the giant killing tailor is one well known to many, thanks to the popularity of the English fairytale. Here it is retold as The Brave Little Tailor , with Mickey in the title role as the tailor who kills some flies and gets mistaken for a giant killer, summoned by the king, and sent to dispatch a fierce giant who is terrorising the land. It's absolutely delightful, being an unpolitically corrected namby pamby retelling of an old classic. It is suitably full of lightweight dread in all the right parts, and full of hurrah inducing triumphs in others. Mickey of course, wins the hand of the fair Princess Minnie for his service to the kingdom, which suited my happily ever after fan of a daughter.
In the enxt feature, Minnie has just taken a cake out of the oven, and Mickey sure would like a piece. She tells him she will give him some cake if he rakes the leaves up out of her front garden, and he readily agrees. Sadly for Mickey, The Little Whirlwind spies the leaves, and decides to have fun. Blowing the leaves hither and thither, taunting Mickey by making the leaves march about, and so on, giving Mickey much grief. Mickey is determined to get those leaves raked up though, just as he promised Minnie, and doggedly keeps at it. he finally triumphs, only for Mummy Whirlwind to show up to take care of the "bully" spoiling her son's fun. Oh boy, the look on Minnie's face when she brings the cake out and sees her garden! Despite being mostly visual, the gags are classic slapstick and certainly hit the funny spot.
The last feature on the disc is another little vacation short. This time, its Mickey Down Under, as Mickey and Pluto visit Australia in 1948. doing the Outback touristy thing, Mickey and Pluto manage to get into affair bit of bother when they try exploring the wildlife up close, and to play with a boomerang. It was funny, and my kids really laughed at the antics, but quality wise it lacked that something special that the Hawaiian version had. It wasn't a complete waste of time, but not the best short on the disc by far.
Altogether, the shorts and the interspersed live action kiddie clips give this disc a 58 minute running time. This makes it ideal for families with younger children as its not too terribly long, and if they have shorter attention spans, the fact that these are shorts means you can stop the disc after a short, and watch the rest later without having an interruption in story continuity.The first time e watched it, we watched it all the way through, then off and on during the week we kept the disc, the children pout it on and watched it by episode. I noticed my son especially enjoyed Thru the Mirror and Lonesome Ghosts, while my seven year old daughter seemed to prefer The Brave Little tailor and The Little Whirlwind best. the disc also comes with to extras, which my two found interesting only the once:
Lucky Matches Activity
Can You Recall Game
These were basically memory games played via the remote. Fun once, never played again during the week before being sent back.
My children thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to the original incarnation of Mickey and his friends, and so we have gone to rent other titles in the Everyone Loves series. As great as it was rented, if I were to buy a Mickey shorts DVD, I would go for a boxed collection free of the annoying short clips of the children telling bad jokes and saying how much they love Mickey and mugging at the camera, though. Able to ignore it in the short term, that would be rage inducing over time as the disc was brought out to play.