Season 1, Episode 8: “Panda-monium” 8/2/13
Starring: Mickey Mouse
Setting: Beijing Zoo, China
Armed with his camera, Mickey is visiting the Beijing Zoo and is ready to take some pictures. He captures various animals with no problem until he gets to the very crowded panda exhibit.
He tries to snap a clean pic of the baby panda on multiple occasions but the shy bear always seems to find a way to obstruct Mickey’s view. Not to be deterred, Mickey gets high on a rock to get a better view but he’s quickly thrown into the monkey habitat by a territorial elephant. The monkeys harass Mickey, steal his camera and throw it from high atop a tree.
In his attempts to retrieve it, Mickey finds himself in panda exhibit, face-to-face with his subject. Only now, the panda is in possession of his camera and leads Mickey on a slow-speed chase. During the chase, Mickey runs into a couple of trees giving him two black eyes. Because of this, big mama Panda mistakes the mouse for her cub and, in a crazy turn of events, the baby panda snaps a pic of Mickey being cradled by his mother.
Of course, all dialogue is in Chinese.
I want to know who plays this baby panda… his comedic timing is amazing!
We get a great look at the famous Tiger Statue from the zoo as Mickey bounces off of it.
That scene where a slumped over Mickey lies unconscious while a pack of monkeys surrounds him is creepy and terrifying.
The de-feathered buzzard breaking down the fourth wall is a much appreciated old-timey cartoon trope.
Final Grade: B
This one is as straight-forward as it gets. Other than the Chinese setting and language, nothing is particularly noteworthy or remarkable. Yet, the short still has a solid and funny premise with a very clever ending. Although, I am starting to grow a little weary with the over reliance on Mickey. Wouldn’t the seldom used Donald be a better and more effective choice to go through the “Panda-monium” Mickey endures here? I do appreciate these shorts’ willingness to chip away at Mickey’s hero mythos but NOBODY sells the indignity of being the butt-of-the-joke better than Donald Duck!