This was one of the very first Mickey cartoons I ever saw, and I have always loved it. It’s not my absolute favorite (either
Lonesome Ghosts or
Hawaiian Holiday would have that distinction), but it probably is the one that means the most to me. The first Disney book I read to my son and my daughter was an adaptation of this short. When I was a kid, we owned a VW Vanagon that seemed a whole lot like Mickey’s trailer. It’s a short that I could watch over and over again.
So, gushing aside, this short fits perfectly in with the other trio shorts, but to my mind, has some of the best gags in the Disney shorts. The sheer inventiveness on display here is on par with anything done in Mickey shorts before. Seeing the trailer fold and switch into different forms, and then the contortions that Mickey and Donald go through as the trailer goes down the hill…I just love it.
One of my real favorite gags is the very beginning, when Mickey wakes up and steps out onto his perfectly manicured lawn in this amazing landscape, and pulls the lever, having the lawn, backdrop and everything else fold up. It’s funny, but it’s also a commentary – we all want this idyllic life, but in the end, we are usually living in front of the city dump.
I also love the breakfast scenes. Mickey making the coffee by tossing things around the trailer, Goofy helping him get milk from a passing cow, dipping the pot under a waterfall for water – it all sounds wonderful. That’s the feeling I get from the first half of this short, is that idyllic, peaceful happy feeling that so many Disney shorts have.
The second half of the short is when Goofy realizes that no one is driving the trailer, which in itself is a great gag. As he tries to right the ship, Donald and Mickey go wild, the trailer flying down the mountain past trains, falling end over end, and causing the two of them to plead for help, especially Donald.
Like I said, I can’t really be objective about this one. I love
Mickey’s Trailer unconditionally, and I’ve always loved it. This is one of those shorts I watch over and over again, and always will be.
The scene opens with the boys camped out by a beautiful mountainside
like. The birds are singing; the sky is crisp and clear; they sure have
picked out a wonderful place to go camping; a place like you'd never
find nowadays. Mickey wakes up and pops out of the trailer, and pulls
a lever. Suddenly, the landscaping is pulled back into compartments
in the trailer, a door pops open ejecting Goofy in the car that will
pull them along, and even the background fanfolds back into to trailer
so we see that they have been camping next to the city dump all along.
The first order of business is breakfast, and the passing landscape
seems to provide everything they need. water for the coffee is taken
from a passing waterfall; ears of corn are lopped off as they pass a
farm. Even milk is provided as Goofy lures a cow into marching along
beside them and Mickey milks her by hanging out the trailer window.
Now why, when Goofy is driving and Mickey is making breakfast, Donald
gets to sleep in is anybodies guess. But the next order of business
is trying to get the truculent duck going. One push of a button from
Mickey, and Donald's bedroom is flipped into a bathroom, complete with
tub which is already full of water! Donald happily takes his bath, only
taking time out to chase away a small group of watching birds. (Ironic,
since Donald is wearing a bathshirt, and usually goes without pants
anyway; what was he afraid that they were going to see?)
Another button is pushed and the bathroom is turned into a dining
room and breakfast is served. Goofy is called up to eat, but he might
as well not have bothered. Because of the close quarters of the trailer,
trying to eat potatoes is made impossible by drawers flying open; watermelon
just makes a mess all over his face. (By the way ... whatever happened
to bacon and eggs?) And in a scene that has been cut for most television
screening, Goofy's attempt to eat corn on the cob only produces popcorn
when he accidentally sticks his fork in an electrical socket.
But isn't Goofy supposed to be driving the car? Yup ... and when
Mickey points this out to him he runs back up to the drivers seat, accidentally
unhooking the trailer. Goofy goes one way, the trailer the other, and
it appears that Goofy got the easy way. The trailer, somehow defying
the laws of nature, has to hang on to the site of a cliff, rampaging
down the narrow hillside road. Mickey has to help a few times either
pushing it back onto the road or hanging onto a streetsign to keep traction.
Twice they are almost blasted by the same oncoming train! And after
finally cannonballing off the cliff, they are bounced and turned over
and over down the hillside.
And where is Goofy in all of this? Tootling down the mountainside,
oblivious to everything Mickey and Donald have gone through. The trailer
does a perfect flip and bounces itself back to the car where it hooks
itself back up. Goofy looks around, and sees that the trailer is still
there ... well, hasn't it always been there? ... and says with relief
"Well, I gotcha down okay!"
If I ever go on vacation with Goofy, I'm driving.