Season 1, Episode 12: “’O Sole Minnie” 10/18/13
Starring: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
Guest Appearances by: Pete and Willie the Whale
Setting: Venice, Italy
Mickey, a Venice gondolier, spots a fetching young mouse (Minnie) waiting tables at a ristorante and finds himself instantly smitten.
Mickey attempts to get Minnie’s attention but mistakenly flirts with an obese hippo who lustily reciprocates his unwitting advances. After giving the hippo the slip, Mickey then attempts to woo her by singing opera outside the ristorante. However, din from a local housing complex along with an operatic whale salt his game and leave Minnie unaware of his efforts. Desperate, Mickey sets forth on a death-defying stunt – strapping a motor to his gondola and launching himself through the sky, leaving a skywritten message for Minnie to see. Unfortunately, Mickey fails to stick the landing and whether or not Minnie notices him is unclear.
Wet, dejected and alone, Mickey is left wandering the moonlit canals. After retiring to his gondola, a hooded figure appears – it’s Minnie and she DID notice Mickey’s wooing after all! With her, she brought a candle lit dinner for two, leaving the young mice floating down river on their first date.
Like “Yodelberg,” this short’s animation is also heavily inspired by Mary Blair.
As another “Destination Short,” this one takes place in Venice, Italy and all the dialogue is in Italian.
With Minnie’s derriere on full display, no wonder she got Mickey’s attention like she did!
What happened to that lovely toad couple? After getting knocked into the water, we never see them again.
That’s Mickey’s old feline nemesis, Pete, crashing into his gondola while making his New Mickey Shorts debut.
The wide shot of the Venice apartment complex reminds me of the scene from the intro to “The Muppet Show” (1976-1981).
Mickey’s operatic pipes impress everyone within earshot including Minnie and even the famed Lion of Venice!
That opera singing sperm whale is none other than Willie the Whale who hasn’t breached since his debut in Make Mine Music’s “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met” (1946).
Mickey and his gondola bounce up, over and across both St. Mark’s Basilica and an Italian version of Disneyland’s It’s a Small World.
“Ciao Bella” translates to “Hello, beautiful.”
No, whales have not been known to swim through the Venice canals but sharks have!
The sad, violining clown is yet another detail illustrating this episode’s operatic theme.
The short’s title is an ode to the popular Italian love ballad “’O sole mio.”
Final Grade: A+
This one is just so sweet and romantic that even I can’t help but to get swept away by its charm. I’m usually not one for the Mickey/Minnie-centric shorts but this one is just so well done. From the animation, to the music, to the story – it really is right up there with “Yodelberg” (there’s just something about the Mary Blair inspired background art that really makes an episode sing!). And, we even get to see a few old friends (Pete and Willie) along with another fantastic Disneyland reference in It’s a Small World.
We love Disney. Period.