Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wild Waves - December 21, 1929

Wild Waves is the 15th cartoon in the Mickey Mouse shorts series. While the toon features great animation, the overall story leaves me wanting more.

Wild Waves opens with Mickey as a beach lifeguard singing to the various beach critters. The animation of Mickey singing and rocking here and there to his musical beat is fantastic and telling of the increased flexibility and freedom of his design. Whether it was a minute change in Mickey's body structure or the Disney animators found their niche, this toon sees a Mickey bursting at the seams with personality and vigor.

Minnie enters as a lovely beach-goer ready for a nice day of playfulness and basking in the warm sun. I'm always partial to these older cartoons because they act in some ways as time capsules, preserving thoughts, fashions, and attitudes of the time period. Minnie's very '20s-'30s bathing suit is just one example of this.

Though all she wants is to have fun, Minnie unfortunately is caught up in a oversized wave and taken out to sea.

Thankfully lifeguard Mickey is on duty to save the day, but after being rescued from a frightful situation, Minnie breaks down and cries.

Here Mickey and Minnie share a short conversation in which Mickey tells his beloved to calm down. An interesting thing I noticed in this toon and a few previous ones is that whenever the two mice converse all music and sound effects stop. This was probably done to better hear the voices, which is understandable, but in later toons the conversations flow much more naturally.

From there, Mickey decides to lead all the beach animals in a happy melody to cheer Minnie up. Seal lions, a walrus, and even beach penguins (?) all dance merrily as Mickey plays a lovely tune on his net-harp.

In the end Minnie is delighted by her lover's attempts at making her happy and plants a wet one on Mickey.

Wild Waves is a decent cartoon with good animation but just an ok story, especially when compared to its predecessor The Haunted House.

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