Season 3, Episode 11: “Dancevidaniya” 2/5/16
Starring: Mickey Mouse
Costarring: Minnie Mouse and Pete
Setting: Moscow, Russia
Plot: Mickey and Minnie are attending a theatrical dance performance when its star, Pete, forcefully incorporates Minnie into the show. Mickey, then, must dance for both her safety and honour.
The short takes place in Moscow, Russia, but, more specifically, in its famous Red Square.
Some of the famous landmarks featured are St. Basil’s Cathedral, the statue of Minin and Pozharsky, the State Historical Museum and Bolshoi Theatre of which the vast majority of the short takes place.
Notably, this is the series’ tenth destination short in where it takes place in a foreign country and uses its native tongue.
This episode marks the first time in the series we see Minnie donning her more contemporary red bow.
The tracking shot where a wide eyed-Minnie takes in the majesty of the theatre is among the series’ best cinematography.
The gift Mickey gives Minnie is a matryoshka doll aka Russian nesting Doll with the innermost doll holding a Faberge egg.
Mary Blair inspired pines and snowscape provide the artwork for the stage’s backdrop.
Ironically, it’s an amputee (Peg Leg Pete) who stars as the performance’s lead dancer.
Pete yanking Minnie from her box reminds of when Bruce Springsteen pulls a young (and consenting) Courtney Cox onto the stage to dance with him during his video for Dancing in the Dark.
I love how Mickey awkwardly claps after Minnie dances with Pete.
I’m sure the “spinning top” inspired outfits and dance has a name but it eludes my googling. Maybe they are supposed to be Whirling Dervish type Cossacks but idk…
Although sounding similar, the score is not the Korobeiniki aka “The Tetris song” but the Kalinka – another popular Russian folk song.
It’s when Mickey turns himself into a Russian nesting doll that he finally gains the upperhand on Pete and his backup dancer goons.
After Mickey saves Minnie, the faberge egg opens to reveal three horses and becomes a carriage for Mickey and Minnie to triumphantly leave the theatre in.
The lasting image of Mickey and Minnie riding through the snow driven Red Square in their horse drawn carriage becomes the subject for a Zhostovo painting.
Final Grade: B+
While lacking a compelling story, this short delivers in its atmosphere and musical score. We also get the classic trope of Mickey rescuing Minnie from the villainous Pete which harkens back to the shorts from the late 20s and through the 30s (as well as Season Two’s Al Rojo Vivo). It’s frustrating though because I’m sure the episode was inspired by some sort of famous Russian performance that has a special kind meaning or relevance to the subject matter. But, alas… this is neither here nor there.
We love Disney. Period.