Monday, March 7, 2016

Short Subject: Mickey’s Rival (1936)

The first appearance of Mortimer Mouse.

And ‘Modern Inventions’ I take it back I’ve discovered a more boring title card.  It’s the name in black type on a white background woohoo how thrilling.  Seriously we couldn’t have Mickey and Mortimer facing off, or gloved fists ready to punch each other out, or even just a still shot of the picnic with Minnie fawning over Mortimer and Mickey sulking with his coffee and doughnut nothing?

Thank goodness the short itself is more interesting.  Not only is it fun watching Mickey be jealous, but in addition to that we get to see Mortimer prank Mickey, annoy a bull, and then drive off like a coward; then Mickey fighting the bull and his car getting in on the action too.  The car designs took a bit of getting used to mostly because I’m used to Susie the little coupe style for animated car design and it’s far less…floppy.  Still seeing it and Mickey work together to fight off the bull at the end was nice.

Mortimer himself I didn’t really like.  He’s just a prankster and a show off.  The modern personality of slick used car salesmen is far more appealing to me, because it contrast Mickey so much more.   Also Minnie why are you surprised Mickey got jealous?  You’re treating the guy like your boyfriend, feeding him food, giggling over everything he does, and ignoring Mickey throughout it all.  I half expected Mickey to get in his depressed car and leave you there.

The animation is really nice here.  Seeing the bull smashing into the fence as Mortimer taunts him is great, and I actually expected the fence to break instead of the bull going through on open gate.  The folds created by the picnic blanket as everyone gets tangled in are so good and I love the fast timing as Minnie goes up and down the tree.  Although her run cycle is awkward, it looks like her shoes are facing forwards as she runs and yet she’s moving sideways.

I’m going to declare this short average overall.  The animation is good except for Minnie’s run cycle.  Mortimer is a bit boring when compared to his modern day iteration, but seeing Mickey be jealous is so much fun.  Finally the fast pacing of the bull fight at the end keeps the energy up and me engaged, even if I do kinda wish Mickey would just leave Minnie in the tree.         

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