Saturday, April 17, 2021

Of Mice and Muppets

Began a cloudy morning with breakfast and Muppet Babies. Fozzie sees how impressed his little sister Razzie is with Piggy's knowledge of animals and makes up a creature called a crocopoodle to get her attention. She demands to see it, especially after learning it gives hugs. Fozzie has to lead the kids on a "Backyard Safari" to find out if a crocopoodle made that strange trumpeting sound over the fence. Kermit becomes "The Invisible Frog" when he uses Bunsen and Beaker's new invisibility formula to cover up his wearing pajamas on Sports and Games Day. 

Worked on writing for a while after breakfast. Gene explains the situation as he takes Richard across town to City Hall. They need a new Sheriff...and more to the point, someone who can figure out what's going on with the Wild Riders Gang. They've attacked almost every business in town and several ranches outside of it, forcing people off their land and to pay heavy taxes. Most of the town lives in fear. Richard admits that he wants the job, but claims he's not violent and only shot the bandit to defend himself.

Jodie came in just as I was about to have leftovers for lunch. A package came for me in the mail. Yay, it was one of my eBay birthday presents to myself. I've wanted to pick up more Walt Disney Treasures sets for years, but most of the ones I'm interested in tripled in price since they went out of print over a decade ago. Finally found Mickey Mouse In Living Color Vol. 1 for something very close to what it likely cost on release. It even came with the original tin, "Band Concert" artwork, and paperwork. 

Began with "The Band Concert," Mickey's first color short. Even here, Donald Duck steals the show as he keeps randomly playing "Turkey In the Straw" on a flute, disrupting Mickey's classical music concert. Even when a storm hits and throws the musicians everywhere, Mickey refuses to stop playing...and so does Donald! 

Mickey and Pluto are hard at work eliminating pests in "Mickey's Garden" least until Mickey dreams that he shrinks and the pests try to eliminate him. Donald and Goofy join Mickey as "Mickey's Fire Brigade" first tries to save a house, then rescue its sole occupant, Clarabelle Cow. Clarabelle doesn't appreciate the guys invading her bath and keeps trying to avoid them.

Hurried out to work right as the cartoon ended. Work was on-and-off steady, pretty much the same it has been for the past week. There were a few really annoying customers, including one lady towards the end who took so long to get organized and load her items on the belt, even her young son complained. Thankfully, I finished the last customer with just enough time to sign out and hurry home.

Returned to Mickey Mouse while having dessert. Skipped "Pluto's Judgement Day" and "On Ice," both of which I have in full elsewhere. "Thru the Mirror" is one of Mickey's most famous color shorts, and one of the few where he's completely solo. After reading Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass, he dreams he can step through his own mirror. In the looking-glass world, he shrinks small enough to dance with playing cards and go swimming in a globe. The King of Hearts doesn't appreciate him shimmying with the queen and sends his card after him!

Mickey more commonly appeared with the rest of the gang from the mid-30's onwards, like the "put-on-a-show" shorts "Mickey's Circus" and "Mickey's Grand Opera." Mickey barely figures into "Circus," which mostly revolves around Donald's difficulty with his trained seals and the orphans watching the show. He introduces Clara Cluck and Donald in "Grand Opera," but it's Pluto and a magician's hat who really bring down the house. 

Pluto also appears in "Mickey's Elephant." His bad side goads him into feeling jealous of the adorable baby pachyderm and the house Mickey built for him. He wants revenge, but his attempts to get rid of this rolly-polly interloper ends up backfiring on both of them. 

"Mickey's Polo Team" consists of Mickey, the Big Bad Wolf, and the rest of the Disney gang (with Donald riding a burro). The opposing team is all caricatures of Hollywood comedians of the time, including Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, and Harpo Marx (the last riding an ostrich). While the fast-paced players outrun Donald, Stan, Ollie, and their stubborn equines, Clarabelle Cow happily flirts with Clark Gable.

I enjoyed seeing the many sides of Mickey so much, I finished the night with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: The Three Musketeers at Disney Plus after a shower. I go further into this adorable comic opera satire at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

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