Thursday, March 17, 2016

TV on DVD Review: Mickey Mouse - Season 1



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Creative, fun shorts with Mickey and friends
Cons: Style a little odd; a couple shorts don’t quite work
The Bottom Line:
Mickey in new shorts
Filled with wonderful sight gags
Will please all his fans




Mickey Makes a Wonderful Return to Shorts

While short animated pieces are beginning to make a bit of a comeback before Pixar and Disney animated features, they don’t have the audience they once did.  Disney is looking to change that with a series of shorts on The Disney Channel focusing on their original star, Mickey Mouse.  The first group of those cartoons are collected in Mickey Mouse Season 1, and any fan of the classic Disney characters will love it.

Now, if you sit down expecting a TV show, you will be disappointed.  These harken back to the golden age of the shorts, the late 1930’s.  There is no continuity between shorts, and there is no attempt to create any.  In one, Mickey is making a delivery of croissants in Paris.  In the next, he’s climbing the Swiss Alps.  Goofy is a friend in one, running a lunch counter in another, and a spooky character in a third.  Treat each as its own story, and you’ll be fine.

And you’ll want to treat each one separately because there are some great shorts here.  For some of them, Mickey is on his own, such as the short that finds him trying to take a picture of a baby panda at a zoo.  Others involve him and Minnie, such as the one where he is trying to avoid causing an avalanche in the Alps while he climbs up to meet her.  The rest of the gang can get into the act, such as one where Mickey and Minnie try to fix Donald and Daisy’s relationship and cause more problems.  Then there’s poor Goofy who comes along on a date and becomes a third wheel.  Speaking of Goofy, he finally has to act like a dog when taking Pluto’s place at a dog show.

There are a couple of these shorts that are just weird, or end weirdly, but they are the exception.  I find most of them to be fun and creative.  Like the old shorts, they aren’t necessarily dialogue heavy.  You need to be watching to follow the story and catch all the gags.  There are some wonderful sight gags in these shorts you will absolutely love, too, worthy of the classics.  They do include brief gags that include jabs at characters from Disney animated movies or the parks, and these Easter eggs are always fun to spot.

About the only thing that doesn’t work for me is the style.  They designed it to harken back to the 30’s animated shorts, but they’ve also included a bit more modern feel to it.  Even after watching all of these shorts, it still doesn’t quite work for me.  I can’t completely place my finger on why, but it’s a small issue.

This first “season” consisted of 19 shorts, and they are all included in this collection.  All but one are 4 minutes long.  That exception is “Potatoland,” which is close to 8 minutes long.  This one finds Donald and Mickey going to great lengths to make Goofy’s lifelong dream of visiting the potato themed amusement park come true.  Fans of Disney parks will absolutely love it.

Because these are shorts, everything is on one disc.  In the way of extras, we get a five minutes behind the scenes featurette with interesting info from the people behind the scenes on how they came to create this new series.

I’m now thinking I need to pay more attention to watch the new shorts when they appear on The Disney Channel, and I hoping we get more releases from the series.  Mickey Mouse Season 1 is a delight.

Included Shorts:
1. Croissant de Triomphe
2. No Service
3. Yodelberg
4. New York Weenie
5. Tokyo Go
6. Stayin’ Cool
7. Ghoul Friend
8. Bad Ear Day
9. Gasp!
10. Panda-monium
11. Third Wheel
12. Dog Show
13. ‘O Sole Minnie
14. Sleepwalkin’
15. O Futebol Classico
16. Potatoland
17. The Adorable Couple
18. Flipperboobootosis
19. Tapped Out

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