Friday, March 4, 2016

Short Subject: The Gallopin’ Gaucho (1928)

Mickey versus Pete for the very first time.

Once again ‘Steamboat Willie’ was released earlier, but this finished production first and in fact was slated as a silent cartoon, which explains the animation of things like the word help and Mickey’s laugh, because there was originally no voices to convey that.

The story itself is a classic one with Pete abducting Minnie and Mickey riding off the save her on an ostrich with the world’s most awkward run cycle, I am glad those improved so much over time.  I am also glad Mickey no longer drinks or smokes.  Not because OMG the children, but because seeing his teeth come flying out to catch the cigarette is creepy.

It’s so interesting to see early designs of classic characters.  Pete in this case still has so much of a cat look with the sharper points to the ears, having and using his tail, and even walking on all fours briefly.  It’s also neat to see the rubber hosed style animation actually used within the short by the characters like Pete making his donkey’s legs longer so he can go downhill; also Mickey lengthening his tail to reach up to a window.

This is my second favourite out of the first three Mickey shorts, the first being ‘Steamboat Willie’.  That short just went all out with the sound and it feels very much like a spectacle for that era.  This one just has the music in the background and dubbed voices for already finished animation, except for the tango music that was nicely timed.  Mickey gets to show virtuous traits here unlike ‘Plane Crazy’ and I enjoy that.  For me it’s a fun bit of animation that sets the stage for the relationships to come and does some nice things with the style of animation as it was back then.  

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