Season 2, Episode 16: “Al Rojo Vivo” 3/27/15
Starring: Mickey Mouse
Co-starring: Minnie Mouse and Pete
Setting: Pamplona and Bunol, Spain
Plot: Mickey and Minnie are enjoying the Running of the Bulls as spectators until Pete starts aggressively flirting with Minnie. This sets Mickey into a red-hot rage which draws the attention of an angry bull.
“Al Rojo Vivo” translates to “Red Hot” which is a reference to Mickey’s temper.
The shorts continue their trip around the globe in Spain where the dialogue is all in Spanish.
For the most part, this short’s colour palate is in whites, blacks and reds.
While the Running of the Bulls is held throughout many towns and villages in Spain (and even France, Portugal and Mexico), the most famous and celebrated occurs in Pamplona during the eight-day festival of Sanfermines from July 6 through the 14.
As seen here, the traditional garb for those attending and participating is a white shirt and pants with a red scarf around the waist and a red handkerchief around the neck.
While undeniably Pete, he has a different look here than he has in prior appearances during this series. His face is white in lieu of gray and he’s much more robust and angular than obese and round.
This is Pete’s third appearance (Tapped Out and Doggone Biscuits) and second with his peg-leg. In fact, Pete lost the peg-leg altogether after Mickey’s Service Station (1935) and it wouldn’t reappear until The Three Musketeers (2004).
Pete is reprising his classic role as an unwanted and over-aggressive suitor for Minnie’s affections which, in turn, results in Mickey playing the hero.
An angry Mickey briefly gaining his composure to sweetly exclaim “Hola, Minnie” is as funny as it is cute (and that’s “very”).
In reality, bulls don’t really hate the colour red. They can only see in blues and yellows and are aggravated by the movement of the red capes and not the colour.
The recurring gag of Mickey screaming “ROJO!” is as funny the first time as it is the last.
Although a logistical impossibility, Mickey manages to take a wrong turn into the streets of Bunol, Spain (500 km from Pamplona), where the La Tomatina festival is happening.
La Tomatina is a festival occurring on the last Wednesday of every August where participants engage in huge tomato fight.
Mickey also fought off an angry bull along with a rival (Mortimer) for Minnie’s affection’s in the classic short, Mickey’s Rival (1936).
In the final scene, Minnie’s outfit inexplicably changes to pink from red.
Final Grade: A+
This is the rare “damsel in distress” plot that’s both fresh and fun. The setting of Spain, amongst its famous festivals, offers a fantastic backdrop while Pete and the bull make worthy adversaries for Mickey. The music and the art also stand out as a notch above (I always appreciate a cultural soundtrack along with a distinctive colour palate). There’s also plenty of legitimate lol out loud moments – mostly by way of Mickey’s Spanish tongue. This short is definitely one of Season 2’s best.