During the mid-'30s, Mickey Mouse's fans ranged from the more than one million children who were members of the Mickey Mouse Club to Franklin Roosevelt, Mary Pickford, and the Nizam of Hyderabad; theater marquees announced "A Mickey Mouse Cartoon" with the feature titles. These wonderful shorts, many of which have never been released to the home market, remind viewers just how charming Mickey was before his popularity and role as a corporate symbol restricted his behavior. In these cartoons Mickey's personality was boyish, appealing, and slightly mischievous. The superb animation emphasizes that impish appeal. When Mickey dances with a deck of cards in "Thru the Mirror," he displays a stylish grace Fred Astaire might envy; in "Brave Little Tailor," his expressions and body language reveal his thoughts as he outwits Willie the Giant. It's virtually impossible to watch him without smiling. These shorts overflow with color and motion, and their lavish visuals pack an increased impact in an era of minimal television animation. Only Walt Disney would spend the money to animate a full deck of cards, a band flying through the air in a tornado, or a clutch of semitransparent ghosts, and only his animators could make those characters live on the screen. The prints have been lovingly restored without pumping up the color too much: the nuances of the delicate watercolor backgrounds still come through. Parents, Disney buffs, and animation fans will want this superb collection in their home libraries. Unrated: suitable for all ages. --Charles Solomon
A collection of twenty-six animated shorts in color starring everyone's favorite, Mickey Mouse, released between 1935 and 1938. Introduction by Leonard Maltin.
Cartoons: The Band Concert, Mickey's Garden, Mickey's Fire Brigade, Pluto's Judgement Day, On Ice, Mickey's Polo Team, Orphan's Picnic, Mickey's Grand Opera, Thru the Mirror, Mickey's Rival, Moving Day, Alpine Climbers, Mickey's Circus, Mickey's Elephant, The Worm Turns, Magician Mickey, Moose Hunters, Mickey's Amateurs, Hawaiian Holiday, Clock Cleaners, Lonesome Ghosts, Boat Builders, Mickey's Trailer, The Whalers, Mickey's Parrot, Brave Little Tailor.