Season 1, Episode 5: “Tokyo Go” 7/12/13
Starring: Mickey Mouse
Guest Appearance By: Casey Jr. the Circus Train
Setting: Tokyo, Japan
Mickey, in full-on commuter mode with his coffee and trench coat, is braving the crowds at a Tokyo bullet train station. After buying a ticket for the blue train, he gets caught in the hustle and bustle of anxious commuters and gets forced onto the red train.
After tunneling through a mass of people, coming spike to butt with a group of punk teenagers and facing off against a Sumo wrestler, he finally makes his way to the roof of the train where he makes a death defying, yet successful, leap to the blue train.
Once disembarking from the train, Mickey scurries to his job at a farm where he gives children rides on Casey Jr. the Circus Train.
That opening shot of a snow covered peak is active volcano Mt. Fuji.
Those multi-coloured bullet trains sure look a lot like Disneyland’s Monorail system. That’s no mistake either because they definitely have the same horn.
I’ve never been to Tokyo but I understand it’s HELLA crowded and this short does a great job of capturing that sensation.
Mickey literally burrowing through the passengers might be the most mouse-like thing he’s ever done and it grosses me out.
Only five episodes in and the Sumo wrestler provides us with the second instance of healthy male bosoms with very prominent nipples.
Is that a Super Mario reference in the tunnel? Seems to be with all the coins he collected.
Mickey’s leap onto the blue train features the “Six Million Dollar Man” sound effect.
Those of you who know your Disney history would recognize the barn and train loop as Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn. It is known as the “birthplace of Imagineering” and serves as one of the early inspirations for Disneyland.
You can still visit the barn today in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park and a simple google search will find you pictures of Walt driving children on his very own miniature train.
Of course, Walt’s train wasn’t actually Casey Jr. but it’s still a wonderful nod to the popular Dumbo character and Disneyland attraction. And, if you listen closely, you will even hear a bit of the “Casey Jr.” song from both the movie and ride.
I love how happy Mickey is in that final scene. When he closes his eyes, takes a deep breath and lets out that sigh of pure joy, it’s almost as if he’s channeling Walt himself. Gives me chills!
Final Grade: B
I’m really torn on this one. On one hand, the whole bullet train storyline and sequence didn’t do much for me. Yet, on the other hand, that final nod to Walt was just so sweet and well done that you can barely even remember what happened leading up to that point. That’s part of the problem though - I can’t make any sense of how Tokyo bullet trains are in any way connected to Walt’s Train Barn. I don’t know… maybe I’m just missing it but to really cash in on that ending and earn the sentimentality it draws upon, it needs to have at least some sort of connection to the plot.
We love Disney. Period.