Monday, February 29, 2016

Let’s Review a TV Series: House of Mouse

For a show that basically acts as an envelope for showcasing short cartoons this has no business being good.

And yet it is really good.  Sure the made for TV animation is crummy when compared with the features or classic shorts, in fact it looks jarring when the old short are used here, but I have a really hard time caring.  Everything else is so wonderful and imaginative that it more than makes up for that.
First off who doesn’t love the idea of seeing all your favourite Disney cartoon characters gathered in one place?  It’s one of the things that makes Who Framed Roger Rabbit so good.  Doing it as a club works because it does give them an excuse to show short cartoons in a creative way, most episodes are even themed based so the shorts fit like sports day and music day.  It gets to show off Mickey is his strongest form as the host of the club, and showcases just how truly exuberant Wayne Allwine was when he voiced Mickey.  Having a constant setting also allows for problem to arise and by solved within the show itself too, like Pete being a rotten landlord, Scrooge trying to run things cheaper, and Donald feeling underappreciated and becoming the Duck Formerly Known as Donald.

The Duck Formerly Known as Donald along with other things like the Quackstreet Boys does firmly date this as a product of the 90s, which is fine for me it terms of nostalgia, but it’s also shown that Max is around the same as he was in A Goofy Movie, another firmly 90s creation, and dating Roxanne to boot.  So, having this firmly set in the 90s like the George Geff cartoons are firmly set in the 50s works for me.

What really works for me though is the love everyone clearly has for what they created here.  The shouts outs and winks to the audience are endless.  I mean who doesn’t love to hear Goofy sing ‘Soup or salad firs or biscuits, extra olives, doughnuts to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  Or Iago singing A Parrot’s Life for me; or Jimmy Cricket doing I’m no fool to Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen.  Almost every character got to have a spotlight doing something.  Minnie got to be the show runner.  Daisy is forever trying to get on stage with terrible acts.  Even secondary characters got to shine here like Horace Horse collar doing the lights and sound.  Clarabelle Cow being the town gossip.  If characters aren’t constantly showing up as sight gags in the audience then there are stage doing acts like the bid bad wolf playing jazz with the three little pigs under their play or filet contract.  And who could forget the great advertisements at the end of the show, my personal favourites being the Penguin Waiters and Dumbo Airlines.  Wayne Allwine even went on record to say the sound used in House of Mouse come from the Disney sound library which means Jimmy MacDonald was basically the Foley artist for the show.   

To conclude there is clearly such love for everything Disney here and I love it for that great effort.  Sure it would have been even better if the animation were specular to match, and yes it is dated in a couple ways, but for me this is still a great show and well worth checking out for anyone who hasn’t seen it before.

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