15 Favorite Mickey Mouse Shorts
On a whim, I spent a couple hours watching all the Mickey Mouse shorts on the Disney Channel, which are wonderfully all available on YouTube. I absolutely love the Mickey shorts. I know some people do not like the style, but I think every short is absolutely beautiful. The stylization and colors are perfect for the broad style of slapstick comedy. I love all the references to Disney animation and theme parks. But, most of all, I like that the shorts make Mickey Mouse fun again. Not that he isn't normally fun, but these shorts take Mickey and his friends back to their roots.
Having watched them all, I picked my FIFTEEN (five was too hard) favorite shorts.
Yodelberg (season 1) The concept is simple. Mickey wants to visit Minnie who is drawn to her by her mad yodeling skills. The problem is that he has to avoid any noise lest he cause an avalanche. The backgrounds for Yodelberg are absolutely beautiful taking inspiration from Mary Blake's "it's a small world" concept art. I love the references to the Matterhorn, including an appearance by Harold, the Abominable Snowman.
Croissant de Triomphe (season 1) This was the first Mickey Mouse short I ever watched and fell in love with it right away. Basically, Minnie runs out of croissants at her streetside cafe and it's Mickey to the rescue to get them for her. Of course, obstacles in the way add to the hijinks. I love the part where Minnie tries to offer other pastries, but everybody wants a croissant. For some reason, the whole scene makes me laugh. The cameo of Cinderella, Prince Charming and her castle add to it!
Potatoland (season 1) Mickey, Donald and Goofy travel to Idaho to visit Potato Land. Goofy is disappointed that it isn't an actual theme park, so Mickey and Donald build one in the middle of the night with potatoes and gravy. How could you not love that? All the references to Disneyland are hilarious.
The Adorable Couple (season 1) Mickey and Minnie try to get Donald and Daisy to stop bickering and get into an argument of their own (sort of). I love a musical episode and the music goes well with the comedy. Again, there are references to Disneyland in this, in particular Main Street and the old Carnation Plaza Gardens. Belle and the Beast make an appearance.
O Sole Minnie (season 1) Mickey is a gondalier who notices Minnie from afar. He wants to get her attention, but all these obstacles get in her way. This is another one that draws inspiration, stylistically, from Mary Blair. Just beautiful backgrounds. It features a cameo of Willie the Whale from "The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met" from Make Mine Music.
O Futbol Classico (season 2) This takes place in Brazil with Mickey excited to watch a soccer game. The only thing is a giant pig with a giant afro sits in front of him. So, wacky hijinks ensue as Mickey tries to find a better seat. The episode features Jose Carioca as the announcer.
Down The Hatch (season 2) Mickey, Donald and Goofy visit Ludwig Von Drake's Hall of Science and Mickey and Goofy check out the shrink ray. Donald accidentally sets of the machine and shrinks Mickey and Goofy sending them on an adventure in Donald's body. This short was inspired by Adventure Thru Inner Space which was one of my favorite attractions at Disneyland when I was younger.
Mumbai Madness (season 2) This takes place in India with Mickey to take an elephant passenger to a certain mountain. Once again, obstacles get in his way and it takes forever to get there. When he delivers his passenger, it turns out that the passenger is Ganesha, the Hindu God of Good Luck, (or, at least, it is alluded to) who rewards him with a new scooter with wings. Another episode with absolutely beautiful backgrounds. And who doesn't love a Bollywood number featuring cows. There is also some humor if you know that Ganesha is also the Remover of Obstacles and the irony that the whole episode is filled with obstacles.
Clogged (season 2) Minnie is planting tulips in Holland when she runs across one needing water. She needs the windmill to work to pump the water, but it is too difficult. When she finally gets it to work, it pumps too much water and the tulip becomes a giant. This is another Mary Blair inspired episode with absolutely beautiful "it's a small world" style backgrounds. I always love an episode that spotlights Minnie by herself.
Wish Upon A Coin (season 3) Mickey and Minnie go to make a wish at a wishing well (Snow White's, to be specific). But Pete steals the coin as well as the rest of the coins in the well. The two go in pursuit as madness ensues at the well. But, as all things go, all the coins are recovered and everybody's wishes come true. The episode features Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs heavily. The most hilarious part is the opening as Snow White begins singing "I'm wishing" when, suddenly, Mickey and Minnie stomp in and knock a bucket of water on her.
Ku'u Lei Melody (season 3) This takes place in Hawaii. Mickey is trying to work on a song on his ukulele, but can't seem to get his melody right. He is haunted by a spirit that seems to inspire him, but he can't catch up with her. It turns out it's Minnie who has been inspiring him. This short features the Enchanted Tiki Room, including the singing totems and Tangaroa.
No Reservations (season 3) This episode features Minnie, Daisy and Clarabelle who have a reservation at a fancy dining establishment, but are kicked out. The three try desperately to get inside and finally succeed. I love this episode because I am a sucker for Clarabelle Cow. I love the fact that she's just one of the gals in this short. And I like the fact this is a girl-centric episode.
Nature's Wonderland (season 4) If I had to pick, this short would definitely end up in my top five. It might be my favorite of them all. Mickey takes Minnie on a vacation to find the Rainbow Caverns. The only problem is "somebody put a big thunderous mountain on top of it." That's an actual line from the short and it had me laughing so much. So many references to Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland and Big Thunder Mountain with so many beautiful backgrounds.
Carnival (season 4) Mickey goes to Carnival in Brazil to see Minnie perform. She is wearing a fabulous bird inspired dress and, when she dances, she starts to fly. Mickey tries to catch her before she realizes how high she's flown. In the end, she saves him. So many guest stars in this episode, including Jose Carioca, the Mary Poppins Penguins and the Fantasia Ostrich ballerinas.
Year of the Dog (season 4) This one takes place in China. Pluto is starving and sees Mickey is preparing for his Lunar New Year feast. Pluto manages to eat all the food, except one bowl of dumplings. Mickey goes in hot pursuit of Pluto who is dressed as a dragon. When he realizes it's Pluto who's starving, he invites him to his Lunar New Year dinner with his friends. This episode has beautiful backgrounds and colors and features Mickey's friends, including Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar.
I'm so glad that Disney is continuing to make these shorts. The fifth season is coming and will bring the amount of episodes to 90 in celebration of Mickey's 90th birthday. And we also have an attraction inspired by the Mickey's shorts coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. So, the future looks bright for these shorts and I look forward to what more they will bring.