Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jungle Rhythm - November 15, 1929

Jungle Rhythm is the 13th Mickey Mouse short. As you probably can tell, the cartoon takes place in the jungle and is a typical song-and-dance toon from Mickey's early years; however, it is enjoyable and features some interesting animation gags.

Before Pluto, Mickey was paired up with a large elephant serving as his exotic hunting "dog". The cartoon begins with the two out in the jungle searching for game while playing a few merry tunes on an accordion.

Unfortunately for hunter Mickey, he stumbles across an unfriendly bear and a ferocious lion. Teeth bared, the hungry animals scare Mickey out of his wits!

Luckily for Mickey a parrot and a monkey find his accordion and play a happy little jig. The music distracts the bear and lion, and soon the entire jungle is dancing to the beat. I like Jungle Rhythm for its visual gags, especially the funny ostrich dance seen above.

It's a habit of Mickey's to use nearby animals as musical instruments, and he does not fail to amuse here. Whether it's using tiger whiskers as a harp, tiger screams for melody, or a lion's tongue for an instrumental plucking, Mickey certainly is creative.

My favorite gag in this toon is the lion who does the hula. He uses his mane as a skirt and a nearby snake as an inventive lei.

All in all Jungle Rhythm does not present anything notable storywise, but its gags make it one of the better films in Mickey's early career.

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