Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Beach Party - November 5, 1931

The Beach Party is Mickey's 34th cartoon film. The toon features Mickey and the Gang spending a relaxing and fun day at the beach.

The toon begins with Mickey, Minnie, Clarabelle, Horace, and Pluto on their way to the sunny and playful beach. The animation of the Gang just frolicking in the sun is simple, yet so very well done.

This toon has some interesting gags. One I like is when Mickey uses Pluto as a pump to fill his inner tube. Another good one is Horace's failed attempt at diving into the ocean. This gag in particular is very similar to later stunts performed by the yet to be created Goofy.

Another clever gag occurs when Clarabelle accidentally loses her swim trunks. The hilarity goes even further of course when Mickey accidentally finds them.

Clarabelle, still trunkless, finds her bottoms washed up on the shore; however, when she grabs for them she is shocked to discover they move! After thwacking the trunks with a nearby plank, Clarabelle is amazed to see it was Mickey in her bloomers. The look on her face in the last panel is priceless as she leaves Mickey dazed and confused.

One gag I enjoy again and again is the use of Clarabelle's cow bell as a dinner bell. The gag originated in 1930's The Shindig in which Horace uses Clarabelle's tail as a doorbell.

A picnic on the beach is the perfect way to spend the day. Horace tackles the corn and is especially fond of the watermelon.

It seems Clarabelle has a soft spot for olives. It's hilarious the way she pops the olive jar in order to pop an olive into her mouth. The scene turns even funnier when she accidentally pops the entire jar into her throat, and Horace is forced to kick the jar out. Perfect slapstick comedy.

Pluto has his fun too when Mickey plays fetch with his pooch. Unfortunately, the sausages Pluto thinks he fetches turn out to be the tentacle of an angry octopus.

As the octopus goes on a rampage, the Gang fights back with whatever they can find. Remember Horace's fondness for watermelon? He puts his seed-spitting skills to use against the octopus.

Clarabelle too puts her skills to use as she pops olive after olive at the angry sea creature. In another example of hilarity, the Gang uses the cow as a makeshift olive jar shooter.

It isn't until Mickey manages to throw a nearby anchor at the octopus that the problem is solved and the day returned to peace.

The toon ends with the octopus being sent back to the depths from which it came and the Gang laughing and waving goodbye on the beach.

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