Season 2, Episode 11: “Mickey Monkey” 11/18/14
Starring: Mickey Mouse
Co-starring: Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy
Setting: The African jungle
Plot: The gang is embarking on a cruise through the African jungle when a mischievous chimp steals Mickey’s identity.
Their jungle treehouse looks a lot like the Swiss Family Treehouse (1962 -1999) formerly of Disneyland’s Adventureland.
The Tikis outside of Mickey’s room have mouse ears.
Although the setting is Africa, the Tiki motif of the hut has a decidedly Polynesian flair which evokes the “jungles of the world” setting of Disneyland’s Adventureland.
Their steamer, with its candy striped canopy, is a dead ringer for a boat from the original Jungle Cruise (1955 – present) fleet. The boats have since been remodeled and given a more weathered look to coincide with the opening of the Indiana Jones Adventure (1993 – present).
Going back to Season One’s Panda-Monium, Mickey has now been mistaken for both a panda and a monkey.
This episode premiered on Mickey Mouse’s birthday which was also Steamboat Willie’s (1928) release date. Among other references to the famous short are Mickey’s captain’s hat (of which the monkey absconds) and the shot of the monkey steering the boat and wearing said hat while Minnie, Donald and Goofy play “Turkey in the Straw.”
While Mickey is swinging from the vines he bellows the famous Tarzan yell.
We have another great Goofy moment when Mickey angrily points at the monkey and utters “youuuu” and Goofy responds with a “me???”
Decent end gag with a trio of crocodiles stealing Minnie, Donald and Goofy’s identities.
With Goofy’s inclusion and Daisy’s omission it occurred to me that these two have never appeared in a short together.
Final Grade: A-
Combining an homage to Steamboat Willie with the Jungle Cruise might be one of the more clever things we’ve seen thus far in the new Mickey Mouse series. And, while it totally works, the whole monkey-impostor storyline left me a little cold. It’s just that the Jungle Cruise is one of my favourite Disneyland attractions of all time and I just wanted more of it. There are just so many iconic scenes and storylines they could have included like the backside of water, the gorilla camp, the native village/attack, etc. Oh well… this one had the potential to be an all-timer but instead was just very, very good. This excellent series has spoiled me.