Monday, August 11, 2008

The Barnyard Broadcast - October 10, 1931

33rd in Mickey's cartoon series is the entertaining The Barnyard Broadcast. The film features Mickey and the gang putting on their own radio show and is, in my opinion, one of the better toons to come from this period.

The film begins with Mickey addressing his home audience from his very own radio station (located in his barn of course). This short is great because it features a lot of Mickey talking, a sign that Walt (the voice of Mickey for these early films) was becoming more and more comfortable with his character.

I find it amusing also that the name of Mickey's station is ICU.

ICU features an in-house band made up of Minnie on the harp and sax, Clarabelle on piano, and Horace on violin and occasionally the ever-interesting saw.

Pluto also makes a brief appearance in this short. No dogs are allowed within the radio barn it seems, so Pluto remains outside chained to his doghouse.

During the broadcast, a lone cat wanders into the open barn door and proceeds to ruin the show with its meowing. Mickey quickly shoos the feline away (how ironic...a mouse chasing a cat), but...

...the wily cat returns through a loose board in the door. It seems this cat is a mother of four, and all five felines manage to scatter around the barn no matter how hard Mickey tries to keep them out.

The four kittens play with the knobs and switches of the radio board, destroying bits of wire along the way. A funny little scene shows the kittens sucking on various knobs of the board thinking milk will come out.

Soon Mickey becomes so fed up with the cats that he goes on a rampage in order to get them out once and for all. As Clarabelle tries to get through her piece, Mickey suddenly thrashes the piano in half with his broom.

Mickey's chase takes him and the mother cat out onto the radio wires above the barn. There the Mouse swings and misses the pesky feline, and Mickey falls down through the water tower and the barn roof. The resulting crash completely ruins the broadcast.

Completely drenched and exasperated, Mickey tiredly signs off to his audience for the night, thus ending the toon.

Fishin' Around - September 25, 1931

Fishin' Around is Mickey's 32nd short film. The toon stars Mickey and his best pal Pluto.

The film opens with Mickey and Pluto enjoying the day in their rowboat. Notice the fantastic water reflection.

Once the Mouse and his pup find a nice quiet place, they worm up their hooks and begin trying to catch some fish. However...

...the fish have a different plan in mind. It seems the lake is full of smart, mischievous guppies who like to play pranks.

Pluto ends up falling into the lake in chase of the fish. This results in an interesting scene where the pup seems to be weightless. There is some great animation here as Pluto really does look like he is moving underwater.

One interesting scene is shown when Pluto uses his nose to sniff out the guppies' trail. The scene reuses animation from both 1930's The Chain Gang and The Picnic. Of course the scene is also interesting because Pluto seems to magically have the power to sniff while underwater!

Soon the law catches up with Mickey as it turns out he is fishing in a no fishing zone. The old sheriff tries to take the Mouse into custody, but...

...Mickey and Pluto are able to speed away and avoid any fines. Even with the sheriff in hot pursuit, the pair are able to live to fish another day.

One last scene worth mentioning is this one which features a sign in Hebrew saying no fishing.