Season 4, Episode 14: “The Fancy Gentleman” 3/16/18
Starring: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
Costarring: Donald Duck, Goofy, and Wadsworth Thorndyke III
Setting: The suburbs and a fancy club
Plot: Inspired by a romantic movie along with Mickey looking worse for wear, Minnie tasks an instructor with classing up Mickey.
Minnie’s house looks like a toon’d down version of her home in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland.
The male lead in the movie Minnie is watching is named “Rex” which may be an allusion to Rhett Butler who is Clark Gable’s character in Gone with the Wind. Although, Rex doesn’t look much like Rhett and appears to be more Revolutionary War than Civil. The woman is Lady Rochester… not sure who that could be in reference to.
You may have noticed John O’ Hurley as the voice of Rex who EVERYONE knows as J. Peterman from Seinfeld.
Mickey is introduced as “Michel Francois Mouse” but EVERYONE knows that his real middle name is Theodore.
Minnie is referred to as “Minifred” but EVERYONE knows her full name is Minerva.
This is Thorndyke’s first appearance. He joins Gubbles (Gasp! and No, Erica (Shipped Out) and Tuppence (Feed the Birds) as the only Mickey Mouse series original characters to be given names.
The framed painting in Minnie’s in Mickey’s house looks a lot like Paradise Falls from Disney/Pixar’s Up (2009).
Final Grade: B
It’s happened before but this is, yet, another example of the series faltering because of its preoccupation with Mickey and Minnie. I know I must sound like a broken record speaking on how underserved and misused Donald Duck has been, but this storyline would’ve been the perfect vehicle for Donald and Daisy. In fact, the plot is very similar to 1946’s Donald’s Double Trouble where Daisy threatens to breakup with Donald unless he learns some manners and how to speak proper English.
All that aside, I’d say the best part of the episode is when Minnie calls on Donald and Goofy to beat the snobbery out of “Michel Francois.” Mickey also deserves kudos for his performance – especially for perfecting that “resting snob face.”