Season One of the New Mickey Shorts has come to an end and I’d say it’s been a rousing success!
What I Liked
The Animation: Crisp and clean with a perfect blend of modern animation with old-school, hand-painted storyboarding (at least it looks “old” but it’s probably fancy new animation that’s so good they can make it look painted when it really isn’t).
Destination Settings: It was fun seeing all the animated versions of real life places from right here in in the USofA (NYC, Idaho, etc…) to across the globe (The Swiss Alps, Tokyo, etc…). It got to a point that when an episode didn’t do this it was a mild disappointment.
References: Be it Disneyland, Classic Film characters or long-forgotten characters from Classic Shorts, it was good fun seeing Main Street, USA, Lady and the Tramp and Clara Cluck pop up out of the blue.
Length: Just under three minutes per short (save “Potato Land”) is the perfect amount of time to spend with an episode.
Character re-design: A pants-less Goofy in a vest or Minnie with her flower cap were great callbacks to their earlier designs. While Daisy got some never-before-seen, modern– flair with her white cowboy boots.
Mickey gets his groove back: Mickey devolved from barnyard rabble-rouser to milquetoast suburbanite during the span of his career and it feels like he deservedly gets back some of that spunk and mojo in these new shorts.
Goofy!: I was shocked and surprised at how much action Goofy got as he now seems to have passed Donald as Mickey’s #1 pal and costar!
What I Didn't Like
Character usage: Too much Mickey; back in the day characters like Goofy, Donald and Pluto got to headline their own starring vehicles… but not here! Mickey gets it ALL. The most egregious of the slights though is that Pluto only appears in one episode and he was barely even in that! And, poor Donald was waaaay underused. Little known fact: Donald is the star of even more classic animated shorts than Mickey and even outranked him in popularity for a time.
What I'd Like to See in the Future
More of the same: For the most part, Disney just needs to keep doing what they’re doing as they are already well into Season Two and have just announced a Season Three.
More characters: The classic shorts have such a deep bench of characters that we have yet to see. The ones I am most hopeful of seeing are Huey, Dewey and Louie, Chip and Dale and Uncle Scrooge. It would also be fun to get a more fleshed–out appearance from characters such as Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow… specifically, to find out why they weren’t together and on separate dates in “Third Wheel.” It’s a big world Disney has and it’d be a shame if it spent the next few seasons as singularly obsessed with Mickey as the first was.
Now, onto our First Annual Awards Show!
Here’s a ranking of the episodes with re-rankings in bold (upon further review, I dropped and raised a few).
1. The Adorable Couple: A+
2. Yodelberg: A+
3. ‘O Sole Minnie: A+
4. Bad Ear Day: A
5. No Service: A
6. Potato Land: A-
7. Dog Show: A-
T8. Croissant de Triomphe: B+
T8. Ghoul Friend: B+
T8. Tapped Out: B+
11. Sleepwalkin’: B+
12. Stayin’ Cool: B+
13. Tokyo Go: B
14. Panda-monium: B
15. Flipperboobootosis: B-
16. Third Wheel: C+
17. New York Weenie: C+
18. Gasp: C