Night 5: The Worm Turns (1937)
Starring: Mickey Mouse
Co-starring: Pluto and Pete
Setting: Mickey’s House and Neighbourhood
Plot: Mickey concocts a courage building potion to empower the tormented against their bullies.
Tricks and/or Treats:
The title of this short comes from an expression that originates from Bill Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 3 (1591). It means that even the meekest of creatures can stand up for themselves if pushed too far.
In his book of “Ancient Formulae,” Mickey looks to the “Courage Builder Spell.”
- Tigerus Marrow
- Spirito Bravado
- Stimuli Valorus
- Lionus Tonicio
First, Mickey gives some “courage” to a fly, then a mouse, a cat and finally to Pluto.
Although Mickey is a big, anthropomorphic mouse, he still has a normal sized, four-legged rodent scurrying around his home.
Pete, a cat, is ironically playing a dogcatcher.
No worms actually appear in this short.
Mickey isn’t playing your common mad scientist. He’s not into grotesque creations or terrorizing his patients like the Mad Doctor but he’s a benevolent scientist – one who chooses to empower the weak against their bullies. Perhaps he was inspired by the fear he felt in The Haunted House, The Gorilla Mystery and The Mad Doctor. And, while he worked up the courage from within to overcome his terrors, he recognized that others may need an artificial boost.