Season 3, Episode 8: “Wonders of the Deep” 11/26/15
Starring: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy
Co-starring: Ludwig Von Drake, Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck
Cameos by: Pinocchio and Gepetto
Setting: Under the Sea
Plot: During an underwater submarine voyage, Mickey, Donald and Goofy must save Ludwig Von Drake after accidentally jettisoning him into the depths of the sea.
Each short in the series is three minutes long except for this one and Potatoland which both have a runtime of seven minutes.
This is Ludwig Von Drake’s second appearance in the series. His first was in Down the Hatch.
This episode is chock full of references from the live action Disney classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Among them are the following:
Among some of the sea creatures the gang encounters are a guppy, a dog fish, a tiger shark, angler fish, jelly fish, electric eels, a sea slug and a Kraken/giant squid.
Mickey’s “The Wonders of the Deep” book includes an original Mary Blair piece of concept art of mermaids for Peter Pan (1952).
The book also has sketches of underwater ruins and the Kraken/giant squid.
It’s not the clumsy Goofy or the reckless Donald who launches Professor Von Drake from the sub, but the usually more sure-handed responsible Mickey.
While exploring the ocean bottom, Donald utters the famous Star Wars line of “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”
What’s the difference between a Kraken and a giant squid? The Kraken is a mythological creature whose legend derived from sailor’s sightings of the very real giant squid.
Mickey and Donald’s musical interlude with the mermaids is reminiscent of a sequence that you’d see in a Swinging-‘60s-esque movie like a James Bond or a Barbarella (1968).
A very Italian (hand gestures, accent and all) Pinocchio and Gepetto make a cameo from inside the belly of the Kraken.
Final Grade: A-
I love it when the shorts pay tribute to otherwise forgotten Disney classics that most of today’s youth probably knows nothing about. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a big deal once upon a time and influenced the various submarine attractions at Disney’s theme parks. This also serves as a great Mickey, Donald and Goofy episode and I like how Professor Von Drake is becoming the go-to for all science based plotlines.