Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Below are background paintings from Mickey's Choo-Choo accompanied by actual screen shots from the finished cartoon. One thing you should notice is that at times the film does not make full use of the background, opting instead for a close-up shot. Enjoy taking a looking at the art behind the action.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Of course, all Mouseketeers should know that the Mouse's recognized birthday is November 18, 1928 (the same day Steamboat Willie premiered).
If the above frame looks strange, it's probably because the animators used a mirror effect to create a larger group of animals by simply reusing animation. The technique saves time and money as well as creates two of every guest. Just behind Mickey stand two Clarabelles and two Horaces.
Notice how there are two candles on Mickey's cake. This leads me to think that perhaps this toon was originally planned for release in 1930 (Mickey's 2nd year) and for whatever reason was pushed back to the beginning of 1931. In any case, I suppose the film can be seen as a belated birthday party for the Mouse.
The cartoon ends with Mickey playing his xylophone (which seems to appear from nowhere).
Though not very special, The Birthday Party is an entertaining toon and goes on to inspire a few remakes involving not only Mickey and Minnie, but other yet to be seen Disney characters as well.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Luckily the Indian has no idea how to tie tight knots, and Minnie easily escapes. She uses an extremely hot coal from the nearby fire to chase the native away.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The toon opens with Mickey whistling happily on his way to Minnie's house. An interesting note here is that the tune Mickey whistles is actually "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo", the same song he infamously crooned in 1929's Mickey's Follies. The song served as Mickey's theme song (until what year we have yet to find out) and can be heard at the beginning of most of the Mouse's early toons.
Mickey makes it safely to Minnie's, where he is greeted lovingly by his sweetheart. It appears that the two mice are going out for a peaceful picnic. Before they leave, Minnie asks if she could bring along her "little Rover".
Her Rover turns out to be Pluto, with a name change of course. It's very interesting to me that Pluto, known as Mickey's best pal, began as Minnie's faithful dog. Well, technically Rover was Minnie's dog, so I suppose it's correct to say Pluto has always been Mickey's pet.
Mickey ties Rover up to the bumper of his car, and the trio are off for a relaxing day in the sun (luckily, Rover does not suffer the same fate as the dog in National Lampoon's Vacation).
Mickey and Minnie find a beautiful place to set out their picnic blanket. With the addition of lovely music from Mickey's record player, the pair have a relaxing dance through the woods. Unfortunately, the forest critters decide to have a relaxing lunch at the mice's expense.
One last little thing I'd like to share is this frame comparison from The Picnic and The Chain Gang. Remember how that toon is known for the appearance of the character that would eventually become Pluto? Well there you have it; with a few minor changes, a random bloodhound becomes a named dog with superstar in his future.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Unbeknowest to Minnie, the ferocious gorilla has managed to find her home and is right outside her window. The scene where the gorilla peers into Minnie's home is heightened by the superb animation of the character as well as the great use of lighting and shadows.
Mickey decides to throw a book at the tricky parrot, once again demonstrating his undying love for all animals.
Luckily the Mouse is able to distract the gorilla long enough to untie Minnie. Together the two mice trap and ensnare the ape, ending their nightmarish ordeal once and for all.