Season 4, Episode 9: “The Birthday Song” 11/16/17
Starring: Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse
Costarring: Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto
Appearances by: Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Pete, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Chip, Dale, Clara Cluck, Humphrey the Bear, Gus Goose, and Mary Poppins
Setting: Minnie’s house
Plot: Minnie’s plans to surprise Mickey with a birthday song and performance go awry when the musical notes run amok.
This is the second short to celebrate Mickey’s birthday after Season Three’s Feliz Cumpleanos.
Mickey is now 89-years-young.
In a house full of party goers, notably absent are series regulars Daisy Duck and Uncle Scrooge.
We had a couple of first timers to the Mickey Mouse series make an appearance in Humphrey the Bear and an animated Mary Poppins.
I’d love to see more from Humphrey the Bear who had a hilarious run in the 50s (mostly alongside Donald Duck) including two starring, solo vehicles with Hooked Bear and In the Bag (1956).
Inexplicably, this is ONLY Chip ‘N’ Dale’s second appearance since Season Two’s Space Walkies. Even though they were stars of the classic shorts, their roles here have been limited to brief cameos.
This is Gus Goose’s second appearance in the series after the Christmas Special Duck the Halls (2016). Before that, Gus starred in the classic short, Donald’s Cousin Gus (1939), and was featured numerous times in Carl Barks’ Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge series of comic books.
Also in the crowd is that same female hippo from Season One’s ‘O Sole Minnie and Four’s Locked in Love… or, maybe all anthropomorphic female hippos in dresses look alike.
This cartoon is reminiscent of both Mickey’s Birthday Party (1931, 1942) as well as The Whoopee Party (1932).
In both the original and its colour remake, Mickey’s Birthday Party has Minnie throwing a house party for Mickey where guests in the 1942 version include Donald Duck, Goofy, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and Clara Cluck.
While the Whoopee Party isn’t a celebration of Mickey’s birthday, it does feature Minnie playing the piano.
I have a horrible ear but the tune Minnie is singing in the open sounds a lot like Donald and Mickey’s number from the beginning of Season Three’s A Flower for Minnie.
This really should be a Minnie short – she’s clearly the star of the episode.
Final Grade: B
This is a lively enough episode with a lot of cool appearances by lesser represented characters but there isn’t much story or charm here. This is far inferior to last year’s birthday episode, Feliz Cumpleanos and, in the end, Minnie’s song-and-dance number just didn’t pay off in any meaningful or memorable way (#HATER).