Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Cactus Kid - May 5, 1930

18th in Mickey's black and white cartoon series is The Cactus Kid, an entertaining remake of 1928's more primitive The Gallopin' Gaucho.

The toon begins with gaucho Mickey riding through the Mexican desert on his trusty steed, Horace Horsecollar. It's nice to see Horace being featured more and more in these cartoons even though he is still stuck with playing bit parts.

Minnie stars alongside Mickey as a beautiful cantina gal. Though her role in this toon is the same as her role in The Gallopin' Gaucho, it's amazing how much better the animation is here. It had only been two years, and yet the Disney Studios clearly had made leaps and bounds in the animation process.

Soon Peg-Leg Pedro shows up looking for some love in all the wrong places. An interesting note here is that Pete speaks for the first time when he says to Minnie, "You give me little kiss, yes?"

Luckily for Minnie Mickey is right there to defend his love; however, Pedro is not amused by the Mouse's act of bravery.

What follows is a sporadic gun fight between Mickey and Pedro, one that takes place in the pitch black darkness of the cantina. I marvel at this short sequence because it's such a fantastic use of special effects and shadows.

Pedro manages to escape in the dark with Minnie and a short chase ensues, ending with Pedro hanging on for dear life on the side of a cracking cliff.

The cliff's edge soon gives way and Pedro is sent tumbling down the side with a huge boulder behind him.

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