Day 9: Boat Builders (1938)
Starring: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy
Costarring: Minnie Mouse
Cameos By: Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow and Mickey’s Orphans
Setting: A Mid-Atlantic Harbour
Plot: Mickey enlists his pals, Goofy and Donald, to help him build a ready-made boat.
Yada, Yada, Yada…
On the “Ready-Cut Folding Boat Company” blueprints, it notes that “Even a Child Can Do It” which Donald mockingly reads and gets a laugh out of.
Mickey decides they’ll call the boat the “Queen Minnie.”
When Goofy wails in pain after falling on a barrel of nails, it’s jarring to not hear the “Goofy Holler.” That’s because the “Holler” wouldn’t debut until 1941s The Art of Skiing.
Goofy’s bashful flirtation with the boat’s mermaid figure head is among the funniest and most charming sequences of any short. Especially as it’s punctuated with his line of “What a gal! What a gal!”
Once the boat is built and the gang is ready to push off, Donald wears his regular sailor suit while Goofy and Mickey don some new maritime threads of their own.
In the scene just before the Queen Minnie is ready to launch, we see Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow standing on the stage, waving to the crowd. I’m guessing they may have just hosted the boat christening and/or might also be the well-to-do financial backers behind this whole boat building enterprise.
By all accounts, the event is a pretty big deal…quite the large crowd has gathered and there’s even an orchestra.
Of course, Minnie gets the honour of breaking the bottle of champagne across the Queen Minnie’s bow to make the christening official.
In this same scene, you can spy Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse climbing a pole to catch a better view of the action.
So, who’s to blame for the demise of the Queen Minnie? Shoddy craftsmanship, subpar boatbuilding materials or Minnie’s powerful swing of the champagne bottle?
I’m not sure how official these promotional posters are but the one for this short includes Pluto, an owl, a bat, an ostrich, a frog and a baby chick – none of which appear in this cartoon.
A Short About Nothing
This is the first in an unofficial trilogy of nautically themed shorts in the Mickey, Donald and Goofy series so it will be interesting to see how this one measures up with the next two. But the star of the show here is Goofy. His ability to carry on a whole conversation and establish a relationship with an inanimate like the wooden mermaid is unrivaled. It’s equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking and that’s not easy to pull off. Mickey and Donald may have more star power but Goofy is the true thespian.