Friday, March 11, 2016

Short Subject: The Pointer (1939)

I may have just discovered my favourite Mickey short.

First off this is gorgeous.  With Snow White under their belts it’s clear that the animators had great confidence in what they were doing.  The backgrounds are detailed and lush.  The shading on the characters is great, and the designs of the woodland creatures are adorably cute.  The title card too is nice with the wood carving style.

It’s also really funny with things like Pluto trying not to move after messing up the first time and the animals crawling all over him. There’s Mickey trying to talk his way out of being a bear’s lunch, and the animation of him saying "you know Mickey Mouse?" was appaernt;y taken from Walt's own voice acting session for this short so we know how big he thought Mickey was, about a quarter to half of his own height.
Speaking of Walt he is the absolute best part of this short, with his voice work.  Yes, he’s been voicing Mickey from the beginning, but this is the first time I felt he has really hit his stride with the character.  While Wayne Allywime gets I think the highest of the falsetto of the three actors, I haven’t heard enough of Bret Irwan to make a judgement for him yet, and captures a very innocent but not childish side of the character;
Walt here captures the irritated bossy side and it’s wonderful!  Just hearing him use words like Bonehead and Sap, something he would never get away with today being targeted towards the five and under crowd.  Also his shout of "Come here!" It’s not all out yelling and yet it's so stern.  I get that Mickey is frustrated but he's not raging in anger and I love it.  I also love his shout of “hooray beans!” after scoffing at the can earlier.
I have to say the only downside in this short is the bear design.  Yes I know these things have a budget they were never intended to be seen so close together so using designs over and over was cost effective, but having seen it so much for these reviews I’ve just grown tired of it and wish they would use something else.  Oh man, this means I’m going to hate Humphrey the bear when I finally get to his shorts aren’t I?

Well in any case this is great short, one of the best for me.  It’s funny, beautiful to look at, and Walt’s voice work makes it a treat to listen to, too.

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